Auditions for the KC Ren Fest are a bit different than “normal” shows. Most shows or plays, you will read an excerpt from the play. Maybe the director will see how you work with other individuals in the show. But there is always a very defined script. You know ahead of time what character you want to audition for.
Ren Fest is different, because there is no script. Instead of the normal “walls” of a stage show, we are outside. The whole festival is our show. As I’ve come to understand, we are actors that want our audience to interact with us and play with us so that they become part of the show as well.
Auditions reflect that.
Since this was my first year, I was able to draw 3 slips of paper with different characters and then try to figure out which one I wanted to try to be. I decided on the Baker’s Wife.
And then you got a mentor and friend to help you walk through it, to help you decide what to say, and how to act. To remind you to breathe and to be BIG. Because the audition is to see what you will do and say in the lanes at the Faire. Interactions with the people are the lifeblood of the festival, and that is what the director is looking for when he is in auditions. My mentor is the lady who plays Capt. Cinn of the Sea Sirens.
The other important difference about these auditions is the fact that it is not just the director you audition for. You have a board of people that are there. I pretty much ignored them, because I didn’t want to freak out, but I think the king and queen were there, the head of the Fae (or the Fairies), the area managers (stage managers for different locations in the fair), and…. And I’m not sure who else was there, because I was trying very hard not to look.
Then there is a process of call backs, followed by a day of casting.
I do have to explain a little bit of my unique situation here, because my audition process was entirely different than everyone else.
If you go back and read this post I wrote on how I was going to be brave and that was my word for the year, you can see that I have had horrible stage fright for years, and that I have had no chance to ever get through an audition. I wrote that on April 21, three days before my Friday night audition.
My step mother called me Friday morning to let me know my Daddy had passed away.
I made the choice to continue with the process but to let them know I could not return for callbacks on Saturday and Sunday. They let me do a brief recording for the musical director, before I left the state.
Much of that weekend was a blur, but I do remember that the cast list was supposed to be posted around 5 pm on Monday. The funeral was that day. We were at the church building having dinner when I took a moment to look for the list. I found this picture.
And I found that I had been cast as Princess Sophia Jagiellon of Poland. But I shall tell you more about her in my next post.