How I Joined “Meet Me in St. Louis”
Throughout middle and high school, I was involved in a capella choir and many musicals. Some of those were Shrek the Musical, Little Shop of Horrors, and The Music Man. Over the years, performing has become easier for me and is something I really enjoy. I didn’t realize how much I was going to miss it when coming to college. I understand performing on a stage can be someone’s worst nightmare, but for me, I love it. Yes, I get nervous anticipating walking on stage, but once I’m on stage, it all goes away. When I was younger, I used to get more nervous walking up to the plate during a softball game than when I was on stage. Don’t get me wrong — I enjoy sports, but that was clearly not my area.
When I heard auditions were coming up for the show Meet Me in St. Louis, I didn’t consider it at all because I thought the college level would be way above mine. The day before auditions, I had a friend ask me to audition for the dance ensemble. Keep in mind the only dance experience I have is from other musicals. I assumed it would only be dancing, so I learned the audition dance in one night and went to auditions the next day.
If you’re thinking considering auditioning for a show, I don’t recommend doing this. The timing worked well for me this time because I didn’t have to overthink the possibilities. I had absolutely nothing prepared other than the dance. After my dance audition, the director came up to me and asked if I had a song prepared for the music audition. To help you picture how unprepared I was, everyone was wearing nice button-downs or dresses for their auditions, and I showed up in leggings and a t-shirt.
Because I had nothing prepared, they tested my voice range, asked me a few questions, and had me sing “Happy Birthday.” After that, I went back to my residence hall and continued doing my homework. A little while later, I got a call from the director saying I got a callback. The adrenaline started to run quickly. How could I be called for a callback? I barely auditioned. When I realized that this was actually happening, I went to the callback.
The cast list came out by the end of that week, and I got the part of an ensemble member.
Rehearsals were Monday-Thursday from 7:00-10:00 p.m. In the beginning, the rehearsals consisted of learning the choreography and music. The closer we get to the show, the more we start blocking. We can adjust things along the way when we figure out what works and what doesn’t. You can learn your lines in whatever way works best for you, but that part is pretty much on your own. I’ve never had many lines, so I like to write them out without looking at the script and then eventually run them with people.
Anytime anyone asks me how the musical is going, I always respond with the same thing: "It’s hard, but I’m really enjoying it. It’s a fun challenge." I have loved this experience so far and will miss it when it’s over. Rehearsals have become a place where I can work hard, have fun, and stop worrying about my other responsibilities for a moment. It’s helped me meet new people along the way as well.
I’m not sure if I’ll do more musicals in the future, but with how much I’ve been enjoying it so far I’ll definitely consider it more. If you’re on the edge about being in a show, I say go for it. Just make sure you’re willing to commit to it, but I promise you won’t regret it. This has become one of my best memories so far as a student at HU.
Get your tickets to Meet Me in St. Louis (playing March 30 through April 1, 2023) and tickets to other stage productions at Huntington University throughout the year at huntington.edu/MeetMe.