Wednesday, April 30, 2008

So...a 30-person improv troupe would probably mean NO stage time, right?

Every year, auditions for Exit 16 get tougher. I think a lot of it is because the kids raise the standards every the audiences see what level of work is the auditioners don't really have to be told what not to do. 

And every year, we could probably make a whole, new, really talented troupe out of the kids we don't take. I hate knowing we're letting super-talented people walk out the door because we simply don't have room...but if the group got bigger, stage time in rehearsals and shows would suffer. So I hope the High School League gets going again soon.

Tonight, we did warmups, character work (lots of walking around) and object work (tug of war), then played Gauntlet and some restricted dialogue scenes. Pretty much everybody had some funny in them—there was almost constant laughter from the current troupe and the audience. 

Unfortunately, we're only losing 3 this year (one ducked out early; two graduate in a few weeks). We could take 2 or 3. Probably more guys than girls—adding one more girl would keep them in the majority. (Which I think is kinda great—just because it's so rare. And no one has ever said, "Wow, your cast seems really over-girled.") But balance is good, when you can get it. We also look at balance in grades, styles, types and comfort level. ("Hmmm...he plays like Matt and is two years younger. And she plays like Amy and is in the same grade. Matt is graduating—and Amy's not—so we'll take him but not her.")

We've narrowed it down to 9. 

Tomorrow, the kids coming back next year will play with the potential new guys. We'll see if some of the bad-habit patterns we saw in the audition can be trained out. We'll check for teamwork, range, creativity, character work—and save stage presence for a tie-breaker. Perkins will be a rowdy place around 9:30, let me tell you. 

The kids get pretty passionate. Maybe this year I won't have to keep them from yelling at each other. That would be cool.


  1. So is it just you making the picks or does the group have a say, too? Either way, I hope tonight is fun and the decisions aren't too tough to make.

    (But honestly, I'm picturing you with ultimate power...arms stretched out...looking to the sky...muuuuu-haaaa-haaa-haaaa!)

  2. Ah, to have that much power. I can barely get them to shush.

    We team up to decide who makes it in. I have the experience to see potential; they get to be on stage with them. I've never had to overrule a decision about who gets in—but I've made some strong recommendations that they've listened to and have worked out really well.

    I was surprised to find out how much tougher High school auditions are than adult ones. With adults, you're looking at fully formed personalities; with kids, you're watching people who will change dramatically every year. So I give the kids a lot of input, because they hang out with these people day to day.

    Just a few more hours...


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