Audition Anxiety

Audition Anxiety

Haley Szczech, Online Arts Editor

Every actor and actress, whether they’re young and inexperienced or they’re professional Broadway performers, experience some form of audition nerves. The performers in Durango High School’s theatre Troupe 1096 have to face audition-related anxiety a maximum of three times in one school year.

Senior Ataley Villasenor, has the opportunity to be the assistant director for Troupe 1096’s fall production of Beauty and The Beast.

“Even the people that are the most accustomed to [auditioning] have that weird energy to them,” said Villasenor.

As an actress and a director, Villasenor has been on both sides of an audition.  She is aware of her own nervous mannerisms and can notice other’s too.  She wants every actor to understand that the directors want them to succeed.

“These people are people as well.  They’re not there to criticize you, they’re not there to put you down, and they’re not there to not give you the part,” said Villasenor.

Sophomore Colson Parker is currently Lumiere in Beauty and The Beast, and has performed as leads in multiple DHS shows, such as Gavroche in Les Miserables, Mr. Collins in Pride and Prejudice, and Aaron Schultz in Legally Blonde.  He understands audition anxiety, even if he experiences it less now than he used to.

“I usually cope with it by planning on doing my best, if I plan on doing my best then I know I couldn’t have done anything better and the director has seen enough to know my dedication and want to be in the show,” said Parker.

Junior Sierra Kelly is definitely on the other side of the spectrum, along with the majority of young actors.  She experiences nerves much more than Parker.

“I always get really nervous the day of and I totally overthink everything, sometimes it makes me super unmotivated and I wonder why I like doing this in the first place since it makes me so nervous,” said Kelly.

Additionally, most actors have a specific pre-audition routine they go through in order to best prepare themselves and rid themselves of nerves.

“[I] just kinda focus on audition stuff, like focus on reciting my monologue again, go somewhere, sing. Go over my blocking, just distract myself with other things,” said Jr. Shane Minerich.

Minerich is acting as Gaston in Beauty and The Beast, and last year performed as Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice.

Troupe 1096’s director and Durango High School’s drama teacher, Benjamin Mattson, has acted in his fair share of plays and musicals.

“We think of anxiety as this thing that gets in our way, and it totally can, but what’s happening in our bodies is a fight or flight response,” Mattson said, “We react to auditioning like we’re going to die. But if you create a healthy relationship with that stress, with that anxiety, it’s actually there to help you. It makes you reactive and it makes you energized and it pumps your muscles full of blood, and all of that is there to help you be fiercely dynamic.”