Over the course of a production, a room full of strangers will become like family. The director begins as the best actor in the room. What, you ask? How is that? Let me explain.
When you walk into my audition room, I’m meeting many of you for the very first time. I’m auditioning too. I’m auditioning to be your director. I’m trying to see if my leadership is a good fit for your personality. I’m looking for cues that tell me that we can collaborate. From the first moment you step in to read, I’m trying to be all the things I think good directors should be. I want to be fair, impartial, open-minded, perceptive, encouraging, and most of all kind. I want to build trust. Performers must trust the director. You have to trust my judgment even when you can’t see my perspective. You have to trust that I have the best interest of you and the show at heart when I make decisions. You have to put faith in me that the show will be good and that an audience will come; that you were cast in the right role and that I didn’t play favorites.
You are auditioning as well. Do you have your heart set on a role? You may have dreamed about being that part for some time. It might be hard for you to envision yourself in any other character. You may have strengths in acting but not dancing. You might be worried about your ability to sing well in the audition room. You may feel at the end of the audition that you didn’t do as well as you could have. You might feel like the readings didn’t showcase your abilities properly. You have to take a leap of faith in me just as I have to take a leap of faith in you. Life is an audition. In the words of ABBA, take a chance on me. We at Footlights want to include everyone. If it’s your first time walking in the room, you have just as good a chance at landing a role as anyone else. There is no pre-casting and no playing favorites. Take a chance.
Kristi Kargic is executive director for Footlights Community Theater based in Athens, AL. She is an elementary teacher with a lifelong love of performing arts. She strives to provide art in her home community at little to no cost to participants. Kristi is a published poet, playwright, and performing musician. Her motto is "if you build it, they will come."