Wednesday, April 24, 2013

How To Land a Part in Romeo and Juliet

Monday night, I kind of squealed all over Facebook and Twitter that I had gotten the part of the nurse in the play Romeo and Juliet for a local community theatre production.


Since I'm into lists this week, I'll share with you the story of how this came about in the form of a very scientific and thought of process in 10 easy steps.

1) Practically live at Starbucks.
This was where I had found the flyer for auditions. I was waiting for my drink to be prepared and my eyes scanned the community announcement board. Auditions? For Romeo and Juliet? Yes please! The theatre group I work with now (and run the Facebook page for by the way) is currently doing a play, but due to scheduling I couldn't be in it. The next play will be over the summer, and my summer is INSANE. The play after that I'm co-directing. Which means, if I want to actually act any more this season, this was my chance.

2) Send an email to the director at the wrong email address.
Since my schedule can be crazy at times, and they did not post the performance dates on the flyer, I jotted down the directors email address and sent her a message to inquire about rehearsals and performances. I didn't hear back from her. I emailed her again. Nothing.

The day of the audition I realized I had typed in her email address wrong.


3) Between the ages of 11 and 26, watch the Baz Lurhman version of Romeo and Juliet with Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes a million times.
This way, you won't be stumbling over crazy Shakespeare language and have an idea of what the heck you're saying.

4) When you read the play in high school, don't follow along with your class. 
Since you've accomplished step 3, you don't need to pay attention. Read ahead as much as you want.

5) Begin to re-read the play to freshen your memory a bit, then stop randomly.
I pulled out my copy of the play and began to read.

The next day I stopped for no reason other than laziness.

6) Show up to the audition an hour early on accident.
I drove up to the church and the parking lot was empty. I mean... EMPTY. The only other vehicle was a church van. I parked and walked around the building trying to open every single door. All of them were locked. Weren't the auditions that day? Did they cancel the show? Did I get the wrong address? Did I put the address into Gigi the GPS wrong? I did some Googling and found the internet announcement for the show. I got the address correct. The email address wrong. What could have happened?

About ten minutes later another car pulls up. I smile and ask "Are you here for Romeo and Juliet?" The smile and say yes. Hooray!

They then tell me auditions were at 3pm and I had arrived far too early. I claimed the flyers said 2pm. I looked at the internet announcement.


I look at my Google Calendar.


Clearly, I'm just silly.

7) Since you've completed step 5, you have plenty of time to hand write out your entire theatre history on the audition form.
Yup. All the way back to my high school days. I felt really old when I realized when I was in The Wizard of Oz my freshman year of high school, it was 12 years go.

8) Realize that when you are 26 years old, you're really too old to play Juliet.
But I'm short! I'm blond! I'm cute! Surely I can pass for a young teenager, right?


Not when the other auditionees walk in at the correct time and they are 17 years old. (Thankfully, the girl who is playing Juliet I've worked with before and is going to be PERFECT!)

9) Make short jokes about yourself during the audition.
The director had me read for three roles. The nurse, Lady Capulet (whom she wants tipsy the whole play), and Mercutio. (Yes, the director was willing to change the genders of some characters. How fun would it be to play Mercutio and have an epic death scene and yell "A PLAGUE ON BOTH YOUR HOUSES!"?)

While reading for Mercutio I said the line "Prick love for pricking, and you beat love down." The guy reading for Romeo then began to kneel down to my level. I then said "Exactly! Down like me! This is why we're friend Romeo, you understand these things." He laughed and it was awesome.

10) The day the cast is announced compulsively check your phone for missed calls every two seconds ALL DAY LONG.
The director told us that we would either get a phone call if we made it on Monday, or not get a phone call if we didn't make it. She said we would receive the call in the evening. Naturally, I took that as wait by the phone all day.

That night, I couldn't focus on anything. ANYTHING. I scrolled through social media sites and half-listened to some show on TV for hours. The 17 year old messaged me asking if I had gotten a phone call yet because she hadn't. At least it wasn't just me. We said how the director told us evening, and 8pm was night, not evening. At least in our our opinion.

Around 8:30 my phone rang. I answered mid-ring, then my phone acted dumb, and the director had to call me again.

I got the part of the nurse!

Minutes later, my young friend got her phone call as well.

She's Juliet!

And that my friends, is how you get a part in Romeo and Juliet. I hope you took dilligent notes because I know you all will need this information at some point.

P.S. I have no intentions of leaving the theatre group I'm in now. I love having a variety of shows and groups to work with and it'll be fun to see where this all goes. Yay!


  1. Congratulations, that's awesome! And I love the list - it's totally the kind of list I have for anything. You know, one that involves being places far too early and awkward mistakes and having read the text five times before you study it in English class.

    1. Thanks! It was such a ridiculous afternoon. I felt like such a dork for getting there an hour early. But it all worked out!


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