556 auditions in 14 flights of students over four days.
That’s what I have been doing this last week.
Several years ago, my boss Peter Sargent asked me to join the theatre faculty in Lincoln so that we could better assess the musical-theatre prospective students. I think that I’ve made this trip now six out of the last nine years. And it’s always a treat.
My colleague Bruce Longworth and I sit at the table for the long flights of auditions, wherein students have 90 seconds to present one or two songs or monologues. After a few flights of students, we issue a call-back list of those we’d like to see again.
These students then work with us individually in a hotel conference room, mostly on Friday and Saturday.
The follow-up for me is to send these students a personal note, and include links to various blog entries that may be helpful, including my listing of all the songs performed at auditions this week, audition tips, and a blog entry about contemporary musical theatre composers.
Five years ago this week, I met my beloved student Ben Love here at Thespians. I hope that five years from now I’ll be able to say the same thing about one of these students we met this week!
P.S. — this is what Ben looked like when I met him:
Phil Solheim (rising sophomore in Musical Theatre) is at Crane River Theatre in Kearney, Nebraska in Newsies.
Benjamin B. Love (BFA Musical Theatre ’19) appears at The Muny in 1776, playing the role of Leather Apron. He heads to Minneapolis after that to rehearse for the China leg of Nickelodeon’s Paw Patrol Live tour, which takes him to multiple locations in China, October – January 2020. benjaminblove.com
Sarah Dao (Musical Theatre rising sophomore) is in Kansas City for part of the summer, in Pippin with Music Theatre Kansas City.
Magnus Kroken (Musical Theatre rising sophomore) goes to Shawnee Theatre in Indiana for a show.
Seven of my students answered the summons to Thanksgiving dinner at Chez Samson.
The menu was smoked turkey, corn on the cob, smashed potatoes, cheese grits, green bean casserole with pimentos, apple/sage dressing, cream gravy, sour cream yeast rolls, lime pickles. Desserts were honey pecan pie, paper sack apple pie, and pumpkin cream pie.
K and I enjoyed being the two old guys with a delightful group of students. We finished with some funny YouTube, and then a great deal of Christmas song around the piano.