For three seasons, I enjoyed coming to Muni. I was mesmerized by the talent, the spectacle, and the crowds that came to see these community theater productions. My parents took me to see Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, then the next season Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. The following season I made it a point to see every show . Around that time I started to get involved with my high school productions and Theatre in the Park. I knew I wanted to audition for the big stage, but was I talented enough? Did I have what it takes? A few of my friends in high school had been involved with Muni for years and told me that I needed to audition. I decided to give it a try… little did I know I was about to walk into an experience that would help shape my whole life.
March 2007 Muni was casting for Miss Saigon, Peter Pan, Grease, and Oklahoma!. I was absolutely terrified walking in. These were days of cattle call auditions where anyone and everyone could sit in on auditions. It was up in Theater 3 of the Hoogland and walking into the room was so overwhelming… but I had been training for this, this is why I had been doing other shows: to prepare for this moment. I was late, so had a high number. I waited, and waited, hearing people who had loads more talent than I did. Some of these people would later become some of my closest friends and mentors. It was my turn: I brought my sheet music up-“Alone at the Drive In” (I really wanted to be in Grease that year), took a deep breath, and sang my heart out in front of the crowded room. Later I got called back for the Grease ensemble and made the show!
I don’t remember all the details of the experience, I wish I did, but like I mentioned, little did I know 13 years later I would want to remember this moment. This was the moment that I took a step out of my comfort zone and “took a chance on” the Muni (see what I did there??) This was the moment that I found a part of me that was missing: the love for the stage and the family of people that work year round to make the Muni so special.
If you are new to this whole experience, I implore you, give it a try… lean into the discomfort, because if you do, if you find that ounce of courage, you’ll find that your Muni family is there to cheer you on. We want you to succeed, we want you to use your talents to create something so magical. If you don’t get cast your first audition, that’s ok. Find another way to help out, and keep trying. There is always a place for you somewhere at the Muni. Just remember to breathe and give it your all. And take in every moment you can! See you this March at 2020 auditions!