What’s in My Audition Bag? (Heathers, Disney, and Evil Dead)

I’ve been doing a LOT of auditions lately and I thought I would share what I carry around in my audition bag! I’m starting to get a little more used to making videos, so I hope y’all like this one. I did forget to mention one key thing though- I always bring some kind of snack with me! For my double audition at Disney day, I had a Body Armor drink and a granola bar. It was really helpful, honestly. It kept me from getting too hangry before I was seen.

Leave a comment below if you’d like to see more about auditions, my upcoming rehearsals, or anything else theatre related! And tell me what you carry in your audition bag!

Christmas in July: Auditions for Candlelight Processional

It’s the time of the year again- Christmas in July! It seems strange to start thinking about Christmas when it’s a million degrees out, but in theme park world, you prepare for the holidays early.

 

One of the signature Disney holiday events is the Candlelight Processional. The event started in Disneyland in 1958 and came to Magic Kingdom in 1971, but it moved to the American Adventures pavillion in Epcot in 1994 and has stayed there ever since. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a thirty minute concert that features a celebrity narrator telling the nativity story, interspersed with a choir comprised of cast members and local high school choruses singing Christmas songs. It’s a wonderful event to watch, and I’ve been lucky enough to be part of the cast member choir for two years now (technically three, but I had to drop out my first year because I didn’t have a car!)

 

Previously the cast choir was selected by just signing up- so as you can imagine, it was a mad rush to sign up for the limited spots! They tried for a year or two to use a lottery, but that was wildly unpopular. Everyone would sign up, and then the final choir was drawn at random. Definitely not a good time. Starting in 2013, they moved to an evaluation system. It’s not a formal audition- no headshot, no resume, no 16 to 32 bar cut of a song showing off your voice- but it’s an effective way for the clinician to evaluate those who want to be part of the choir.

 

You can sign up online for one of the many audition sessions- but sorry, folks, if you’re not a cast member you’re not eligible. It’s only open to current and retired Disney cast members. It’s held at one of the backstage buildings, and you should be wearing your cast member nametag (if you forget, they have sticker nametags use can use). Once you’ve signed in, you wait for your selection process to begin. I brought a book with me, which turned out to be a great choice. I also had headphones, which worked nicely. They provide MP3 files of the music selection, both for a group and for your specific vocal part, as well as sheet music, so I used the piano app on my phone to play through the trickiest part of my selection and get it ingrained in my head.

 

At the beginning of the selection session there’s introductions of the clinicians, some announcements, and a warmup. The warmup was super helpful- auditions of any kind, no matter how laid back, make me nervous! They also ran through everyone’s vocal parts individually to give everyone a chance to hear their part. Then they started calling people back.

 

In previous years, they’ve offered several options for song selections, all songs from Candlelight with the cuts already marked. This year everyone sang the same song. I came in, introduced myself, and the clinician told me to start whenever I was ready. I did fine for the first part, but I also struggle with finding the second soprano notes in the second part of that particular song! The clinician gave me some advice and let me try the second half a second time, then gave me a few more tips and sent me on my way. Easy as that!

 

Now I’m just waiting to hear back about whether I made the cast choir- they gave us a date when emails should be going out, so I’m hoping for good news! The evaluation scoring process itself is a mystery, but basically they’re looking for personality, energy, and if you can pleasantly carry a tune in a bucket. Now I just have to wait! I’ll probably post on Instagram first if I get chosen, so feel free to follow me (themetaphorgirl) there too. I’m also going to post a video about what I carry in my audition bag, since I’ve done three auditions in the past month and I’m about to do a fourth one this weekend! Subscribe to my youtube (themetaphorgirl) if you’d like to see it, and comment below if you have questions about Candlelight or auditions in general!

How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather

How to Hang a Witch (How to Hang a Witch, #1)How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I hate to admit it, but I was unimpressed by this book for the first third of it. It was so…I don’t quite know how to describe it. I felt like I was reading something I read before. The so quirky and clumsy and “nobody likes me and I dislike everyone” heroine. The golden boy next door (I’ve literally forgotten his name already). The squad of mean girls. The incompetent adults. I felt like I was slogging through a literary groundhog day. What really saved the weak characterization was the plot. It was incredibly clever- the idea that the curse of the Salem Witch Trials was still affecting their descendants. I kept reading because I wanted to know how it would end, but not because I cared about the characters. The introduction of the ghost character did leave me rolling my eyes a bit- it felt way too much like Hocus Pocus: Dani Grew Up and the Ghost Isn’t a Cat But Close Enough- but I was at least intrigued by the final reveal of the villain, even though the execution raised a lot more questions than answers. All in all, it ended up as a pleasant read, albeit with incredibly forgettable characters (seriously, y’all, I can’t for the life of me remember the name of the love interest).

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The Awakening of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie

The Awakening of Sunshine Girl (The Haunting of Sunshine Girl, #2)The Awakening of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Oh boy. Sequels. Sequels have so much potential. I feel like this sequel squandered most of its potential. The book picks up a short while after the first, and it completely glosses over Sunshine meeting her birth father and jumps right into “let’s sit and have a lot of exposition.” Which was kind of a disappointment. And then the book ended up falling into a messy jumble where nothing happens, like when you’re in the middle of knitting and your ball of yarn rolls away and gets tangled up. Sunshine ends up going to Mexico (Mexico?) to a remote jungle where her birth father wants to train her. And of course she leaves Blond Boy Next Door behind and meets Brunet Exotic Bad Boy (the standard YA love triangle). But most of the resulting story is an endless training montage with non sequitor demon encounters that don’t really do anything to further the plot, they just remind you that “scary things are happening but meanwhile let’s talk some more about Sunshine wearing ratty clothes and becoming the best Looseach.

( I know I sound like I hate the book. I really don’t hate it, I was just super disappointed and I’m kind of salty about it.)

It honestly doesn’t feel like anything happened in the book. Like if you asked me to summarzie the book in one sentence it would probably be “Sunshine trains a lot and is torn between two boys.” And mixed into the training montage are lots of weird moments- her mother trying to seduce Nolan for her own purposes, her father being a cardboard cutout of emotionless mystery, her best friend driving from Texas to Mexico and then they drive to Mexico to the Pacific Northwest with barely a mention of WOW THAT’S A LONG TRIP. And then there’s the messy plotline about characters from the first book suddenly reappearing, and the book’s inevitable cliffhanger. Thank goodness there’s a third book, because this book was a hot mess. I still read it, and I’m still glad I read it because it’s a nice little series, but this particular book was very weak. I would never recommend it as a standalone book, and I think it’ll be more palatable once I’ve read the next one. But the jury will have to stay out on that one until then.

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The Haunting of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie

The Haunting of Sunshine Girl (The Haunting of Sunshine Girl, #1)The Haunting of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’m not even going to lie, I read this book because I kept seeing it at Target and the cover intrigued me. I finally picked it up at the local library and gave it a try. It has the same problem I keep running into with a lot of the magical realism young adult novels I pick up- the story keeps me reading but I don’t care at all about the characters. Sunshine is very much a stock young adult heroine- frizzy haired, endearingly clumsy, and obsessed with wearing Goodwill clothing, yet somehow incredibly attractive. Nolan, the male love interest, is another stock photo whose only unique quality was that he wore his grandfather’s leather jacket. To be completely honest, I read this back to back with How to Hang a Witch (another book I initially spotted at Target) and I keep mixing up characters between the books. They’re way too boring and similar. But, also like How to Hang a Witch, I kept reading for the plot. Which, upon completion, wasn’t nearly as exciting as I’d hoped it would be. I didn’t find it very scary and I found myself predicting a lot of the plot elements. I still finished it and still enjoyed it, but it wasn’t the unique horror story that I was hoping for.

(And on a very pedantic level, it really annoyed me that the pronunciation of “luiseach” was spoken by a character specifically as “loo-seach.” It’s…it’s supposed to be from Gaelic, right? So shouldn’t it be “loo-shawk”? Right? Or was this simply a word made up by the author?)

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The Stolen Child by Keith Donahue

The Stolen ChildThe Stolen Child by Keith Donohue
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve been fascinated by changelings since I was little, and I was immediately interested to see a mainstream adult book about them. (Usually you only see changelings in young adult novels.) It was an absorbing read, bouncing back and forth between Henry Day, the former changeling in a new body, and Aniday, the former boy in a changeling’s body. The book picks up in the late 40s, the day the boy and the changeling switch, and goes back and forth between their points of view. It’s fascinating to watch the changeling slowly becoming more and more human, and vice versa. What adds more depth to the story is the revelation that Henry, before he was Henry and before he was a changeling, was a totally different child. Watching the pieces slowly fall into place make the book a pleasure to read. The pacing is languid and steady, and picks up to nearly frantic as Henry (now an adult) and Aniday (still a child, but one who has lived for twenty extra years) come closer and closer to interacting with each other. All in all, the book is an unexpected, bittersweet take on changeling lore and I will definitely want to read it again.

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Hey friends! Today and probably will be a little bit of radio silence. I found out today that my beloved home, the Great Movie Ride, is closing in only a month. I have worked there for nearly four years and have truly loved it, so I’m having a lot of trouble wrestling with the idea of its sudden closure. In the next few weeks I’m going to have to prepare for the close, find a new work location, and take my final bows as Kate Durango and Mugsi Toccata. I’m a stubborn and resilient human, and I’m sure I’ll be fine and ready to chase my new dream soon, but right now I need to take a little time to grieve. I’ll be back soon! Any kind words and encouragement are super welcome right now.