We had 19 kids audition tonight.
So apparently either relatively few people want to join, or there was very little promotion for auditions. (Or, as one of the kids put it, "Everyone who didn't make it last year hates us." Awesome.) In the past, we've had 30-40 kids.
The kids were mostly sophomores—just a few juniors. We're calling back 11, and will fill 4-6 spots. We may go small this year, just so the kids with experience outnumber the ones without. Who knows...we'll decide all that tomorrow night, in the annual fight.
Each of the kids getting called back got a piece of advice: show more character range, don't fight, show us you can play emotions.
For the ones who didn't get called back—and there was no one who doesn't have some potential—it was mostly about needing to see a little more growth. More maturity, more emotional range, more confidence, more presence. There's not a single one I wouldn't be thrilled to see next year...especially if they spend some time in theater class or forensics. Even sports. Choir. Anything that helps them figure out a little bit more of who they are. You can't improvise when you don't know—and that's asking a lot of a teenager.
Anyway, tonight's discussion was pretty easy. If I said, "I don't think I can help her get better right now" or "I really think I can get more out of him," they listened.