Auditions: What's Stopping You?
It's audition season. We know from experience that lots of you think about auditioning for shows but never take the plunge and come along to meet us. That makes us sad, because we'd like to meet you. We reckon you're pretty awesome. So we looked at the top 5 reasons you might not have signed up for an audition yet, and Andi Denny speaks to some of our previous cast members who can tell you why you shouldn't worry...
#1. You've auditioned before, and you didn't get in; and #2. You haven't performed in a big long while.
Laura Molloy first auditioned for GMT in 2013 for the season's annual large-scale production, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. She was unsuccessful but, months later, returned to audition for Merrily We Roll Along, earning one of the places in the show's small ensemble. She has continued her involvement since, performing in GMT in Concert: Hitting the High-Cs this past summer.
Why did you want to be a part of GMT?
If I'm perfectly honest, I don't know how I first heard of GMT. It was probably a result of one of my regular "musical theatre auditions Glasgow" searches on Google. I hadn't performed since my high school production of Fame in 2005, so obviously nothing had really caught my eye yet. I hadn't gone beyond Google until How to Succeed, but that was when I swallowed my apprehension and went along to the pre-audition info evening. I sort of fell in love with GMT that night. Everyone involved was so passionate about what they were doing and really excited about putting on a great show. Although I knew I might not get in, I admired that it was all free, so quality was more important than membership fees and only the people who were right for the show would be cast.
What happened with How to Succeed?
After the audition, I thought I'd done a good job (aside from some admittedly dodgy dancing) and kind of expected to be offered a place. I'd been to see amateur productions in the past and thought "I can totally do that", so I didn't really expect it would be all that difficult to get in. I was disappointed when I didn't, and a little embarrassed for thinking it would be a breeze, but I was determined to try again.
A lot of people would let that faze them. Where did the determination come from?
Well, because it had been so long, I wasn't going to let one knockback put me off for good, and I was pretty smitten with the GMT way of doing things. When I got an email advertising auditions for Merrily We Roll Along, I was intrigued. I'd never heard of the show before, but a few YouTube videos later I was thinking it probably wasn't for me. Fast forward a few nights and I was in by myself, listening to the soundtrack and falling in love with it. So I auditioned again, and I was so, so happy to get in.
Are you glad you took that chance?
I'm so glad I decided to go. It was nerve-wracking going into that audition room, especially because they had seen me before, but it really shouldn't have been. It was a clean slate, and they were just as friendly as ever. If anything, I think my experience with How to Succeed made me all the happier when I got the call this time. I had an amazing time doing Merrily and met some fantastic people, and then the concert this summer was just wonderful, performing a lot of songs I'd never heard of before. People: don't ever let one audition put you off coming back. I don't know what I'd be doing now if I had.
#3. You're a real adult now, with work commitments and a family to raise.
Businesswoman and mother of two, Kath Sheridan, first joined GMT in the cast of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, before lending her classically-trained talents to the company again in Merrily We Roll Along.
So, why GMT?
Well, a good friend had seen Into the Woods when the company did it and suggested I keep an eye on what they were doing next. She thought it might be the sort of thing I would be interested in getting involved in, and she was right. I hadn't done anything like that in a while, but it was absolutely worth the chance.
Why had you been away for performing for so long?
Fifteen years ago I studied vocal performance at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (then RSAMD), but a few years after graduating I got pregnant and had two beautiful twins which put an end to several projects I was involved in at the time. When I discovered I was expecting twins and had done a bit of research into what raising twins would involve, I realised music would have to take a bit of a back seat for a while. Over the past few years, I've started getting back into it -one-off jazz and operatic gigs here and there - but as my girls were getting older I realised I had a little more time to commit to something more demanding, and my friend's suggestion to keep an eye on GMT came at a very opportune time.
Has the balance between home/work and rehearsals been as easy to balance as you'd hoped?
It was quite challenging, actually. I had to ask friends and family a few favours, particularly during show week, but there was always a way around it. My husband was great, and was on hand when I needed him. Family and work have to come first, but you need a little fun in your life, and if you have the support of just a few important people you can still have that time to pursue the things you love.
#4. You're a guy; and
#5. You're not a dancer.
David Yates has been involved in musical theatre for years, and has performed with GMT since Fame in 2012. A talented singer and actor, he finds himself most at odds when it comes to dancing, but has returned repeatedly to tackle shows with challenging choreography, including A Chorus Line in 2013.
So, Dave, you're a man who does musical theatre. That's a bit unusual, isn't it?
Not at all! I've been involved with different musical theatre groups since school, and in each one there was always a good number of other guys who were keen to perform. I will admit that often the numbers of guys and girls weren't always equal, but I think more and more gents are shaking off the 'men can't sing or dance' stigma and are looking for a chance to do just that. I'm noticing more guys appear on stage in different groups every year.
What made you want to audition for GMT?
I had been lucky enough, by that point, to be involved in shows with a few folks who were now part of GMT. We got chatting at Dance Glasgow (GMT's partner dance school) and they had mentioned that the company was doing Fame and did I fancy auditioning? Having seen previous GMT productions, I didn't take much, or any, persuading.
How did you find the dancing?
Being a member of the five-left-feet club, I was initially worried that I'd be in over my head, but Maz (our choreographer) and the entire company were incredibly supportive. They knew how to push a group with a varied mix of experience levels to achieve the best results. It was hard work at times, but a lot of fun, and you steadily get better at these things without really realising it. That's why I keep coming back for more.
It's safe to say that some guys might be put off or intimidated by the idea of dancing. What would you say to them?
I can totally understand it, but it's worth diving into time and time again. It's a great way to keep fit, especially at GMT. I've often found GMT rehearsals keep me in better shape than many gym-based classes or workouts. The large shows often include a dance 'boot camp' session which really helps you get over any fear as everyone gets thrown in to the deep end together. Plus you get to see improvements week after week. While I'm never going to be the best dancer the stage has ever seen, it's been one of the better decisions I've made: to face that intimidation and dance right through it.
And if that's not enough to convince you to audition, why not come along for a taster session at our free Flashdance Workshop - you can experience all the fun of a GMT rehearsal as Marion Baird and Barrie McKillop take you through one of the numbers from our forthcoming production of Flashdance. There's no pressure to audition, but if you like what you see, there will be the chance to sign up for an audition at the end of the session: Dance Glasgow, 37 Ruthven Lane, Sunday 31 August 1- 4pm.
Auditions for Flashdance will be held over the wekend of 13th/14th September. If you are interested in signing up for an audition but can't make it along to the workshop, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org