Minutes before their auditions, returning drama students and first-timers alike read over their scripts and shake off the ever-present jitters. As Hayley Proctor, stage manager of this year’s upcoming production of “The Curious Savage,” summons students onstage, the others await with a combination of contagious enthusiasm and dull nervousness.
Seasoned veterans, juniors Amanda King and Tori Congdon say that despite their experience, auditioning now is just as nerve-wracking as their very first time. “It has not changed,” King said. “I have always been just as nervous.” Congdon, when asked if the experience eases nerves, said, “No.”
On the other hand, seniors Jessica Armstrong and Connor Masten believe that over time, the anxiety fades. “It definitely gets easier,” Armstrong said. When asked ‘Does experience help?’ Masten said, “Yes. Totally.”
Sophomore Ashley McCarthy is more comfortable with the thought of auditioning. “I know everybody and I’m excited because I know how much fun it is,” she said. Despite differing opinions, returning actor senior Michael Bunch sums up the audition process, “The nervousness will always be there, but that’s part of the fun.”
As to what motivated these performers to join, the answers vary. Some wanted to develop friendships, while others started acting early on with productions such as “Aladdin Kids” and later through involvement with Ledyard Middle School’s annual production of “The Music Man Jr.” Many returning actors were first swayed by watching productions that involved their siblings.
One first-timer, sophomore Josephine Walker, was encouraged to audition because of a school project: “I did the Midsummer’s Night Dream assignment last year and I got some compliments on that so I decided to try it out this year,” Walker said. There is one commonality that can be seen though, and it’s in regard to the best part about being involved in LHS Drama. Without a single second of reluctance, all actors quickly blurt out, “the cast!” and, “the people!” Congdon describes it as, “one big family.” The students have a similar passion for acting and the desire to be involved in something as well-known as the Ledyard High School Drama Program.
As auditions are reviewed and casting is underway, these students anxiously hope for roles and the chance to spend another year as a proud member of LHS Drama. Performance dates are Nov. 19-21.
Carina Wang, Staff Writer