Recently I went to two separate auditions for plays that I self-submit to on backstage. The first of these auditions was totally unprofessional. It was an awkward situation wherein I felt like the director could not possibly see my audition, as I was auditioning with 10 other people on stage at once, and he was not even in the room for most of it. We didn’t have to prepare anything except for being ready to do some improvisation. It made me weary of auditioning for plays on Backstage ever again because I expected that this is how all of them would be. I later found this same theatre putting up listings for castings under different names. The lesson I learned from this was to always do some good research on where you are auditioning for before you go, when it is a self-submit especially. When I heard back about auditioning for a separate play, I decided to do my research beforehand and really look into the place I was going to.
     This theatre looked legitimate. It had nice reviews, 4 stars on yelp, and a LOT of reviews (which is good when you are looking into a place of entertainment, it means that a lot of people go there). They currently have a show running and it all seemed too good to be true. But I was optimistic that the photos online would not be a lie, and that I would pull up to the picturesque theatre and stride in to sing my 16 bars of a musical theatre song. When I pulled up, the place was immediately recognizable and it was extremely professional. People were showing up in full hair and makeup, and they waited outside of a dance studio where people went into audition one by one. It was pure musical theatre bliss.
     I learned from this whole experience of severe letdown, and then a total boost, almost back-to-back, that it is very important to research the project before you audition for it, especially where theatres are concerned. You want to make sure that they have received good reviews on yelp, that a lot of people have been there, and make sure that it is a place you would be comfortable being in. If you aren’t comfortable there, you will not be proud of the work that you produce. When you are not proud of your work, you do not want to show it to people, and I have a hard time seeing the value in working on a project you never want anyone to see, even if there is money involved. Art is about way more than money; you have to be interested in your work, and happy with the art that you are making.
     Backstage is very valuable, but you have to know what you are willing to go out for, and you should know about the project you are signing up to do before you do it. Make sure that you are getting the art that you want to get out of the jobs you audition for, and hopefully end up booking when you are self-submitting to backstage.

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