Insider's Guide to High School The Tattoo Theater

Taking the stage when the spotlight is on you

BRISTOL, Connecticut, U.S.A. — Asking someone about auditions to a show can sometimes cause more butterflies in your stomach than actually going on stage.
But luckily, there is no need to be so nervous about trying to become an active member of theater at your school.
If you’re interested in getting involved with your school’s drama department, start by getting informed: Listen to announcements, search the walls for flyers, and talk to your local drama geeks. (You know who they are.)
It shouldn’t be too hard to find out what you need to know to get into the drama club.
You may be enthusiastic and want to jump right into all the excitement of a school play, and that’s great. But don’t get ahead of yourself: Before you can become a star, you’ll have to audition.
Knowledge of several basic details is essential for any successful audition.
Find out when the auditions will be held and — unless your voice really carries — what room they’ll be in.
Also know what the play will be, and if possible, get familiar with the material ahead of time. Practice may not make perfect, but it will help you win over your audience.
If you’re comfortable with the play already, you’ll feel calm and self-assured at the audition. That’s a definite plus.
It’s crucial to be as relaxed and confident as possible.
When it’s your turn to audition, remember the rules of drama: Stand straight, project your voice, and say the lines slowly, clearly, and with emotion. Even if you mess up, keep going as if nothing happened, because that’s what you’d have to do on stage.
Your stage presence is really key to getting you a part in the production.
Also, it couldn’t hurt to bake cookies for the director.
Try your best, but don’t worry if you’re no Tom Hanks when you audition. Directors know that the actors they choose will have time to improve and really get into their roles.
Another important tip is not to worry about what part you get. Keep in mind that, although you may think you’ll be perfect for one part, the director of the show knows best, and will place you where they see fit.
Remember, every single part in the play is important, and you have to put them all together to make a great performance.
That great performance will also take a lot of hard work. There are lines to memorize and rehearsals to attend, so you have to be willing to put in the time and effort.
Even if you have no desire to be in the spotlight, there are still lots of ways that you can help out backstage.
“Techies,” as the cast affectionately calls them, assist the director during shows by putting out scenery, doing light cues, and communicating between the director and the cast.
They also get to dress in black and wear really snazzy headsets.
There’s no denying that the set is a big part of every production, so anybody who will help build and paint it is welcome. This is a great option for kids who really want to be involved, but don’t have a lot of time for rehearsals. Just show up, help out for as long as you can stay, then you’re off the hook.
You might also be able to assist in the search for props and bits of costumes that are needed. The school drama department has quite a bit of stuff, but there’s always something missing.
Overall, a lot of work has to be done to put on a successful show in the world of theater. There are sets to be painted, props and costumes to be bought, roles to be cast, lines to be learned, and a show to be made.
No one can do it alone, and the more people helping out, the better.
And even if it is a lot of work, it’s definitely worth it.
After your performance is over and the final curtain closes, that feeling of accomplishment is something that you’ll treasure for a long time.
Or, at least, until your next show.

Kate Haire and Katie Jordan are Reporters for Youth Journalism International.

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