Theater has officially made its comeback since the pandemic and that means auditions are in full swing. This is what every actor, singer, dancer and director has been waiting for… including me. I was ready to give it my ALL at these auditions and I did… but that doesn’t mean it was easy. This audition season was probably the hardest one in a very long time. The highs and lows of audition season are just part of the industry. One moment you can feel so confident walking out of an audition room. The other moment you can be crying in your car questioning your worth for not getting cast.
I personally did not have a great audition season. Coming from being the lead in three shows back to back last year to now… I had high expectations and I think that’s what nipped me in the butt. Regardless, I have always had a humble head on my shoulders and I did not go into this audition season thinking I would get every part I wanted. I would just be happy being PART of a show, in whatever way possible. So, I worked and rehearsed really hard for every audition I had, I gave it my ALL. I auditioned for six shows this season… and got cast in one.
Audition season started this summer and has continued until the Fall, which means I have spent the last four months going to auditions. It first started with the Maltz Theatre in Jupiter, FL. That was a CRAZY audition, and a bit chaotic I might add, with over 200 people auditioning for their season. It was obvious to see they did not expect that many people to show up, but like I said before, every actor has been WAITING to come back to theater. They asked us to prepare two contrasting songs for the audition, then it quickly got cut down to one song. We waited SIX hours to be seen for 13 seconds. It was a very long and tiring day, and after waiting for several hours for less than a minute of their time, I walked out of there very disheartened.
On to the next audition, The Wick Theatre and Museum Club in Boca Raton, FL. I was especially excited for this one because one of their shows this season is Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, which I have dreamt of being a part of since I was a kid. This was a very different audition from the Maltz because as soon as I walked through the doors, I was greeted by smiling faces and by NAME. I was at an all time high during this audition process because I was called back three times and made it through the entire audition process. They had me sing, they had me read lines and I made it all the way through the dancers callback. I walked out of there thinking I was in, until the rejection letter came in… then I was low again.
My next audition was at the Lauderhill Performing Arts Center and I was only auditioning for one of their shows this season, The Full Monty. Not gonna lie, I was still feeling very low after being rejected by two theaters but I pushed through and gave it my all, AGAIN, at this audition. The director could tell I was a bit in my head so he asked me to sing the song again and to not hold back. So I belted the song the best way I could and enjoyed myself. I walked out of that audition feeling good, but I didn’t allow myself to get excited again. Then I FINALLY got my first offer letter for The Full Monty and I said yes! I was at an all time high.
My last and most recent audition was at the Lake Worth Playhouse for Beehive the Musical. What’s not to love about a 60’s girl musical celebrating woman empowerment?! I was very excited for this show and prepared for this audition weeks in advance. I went and auditioned and made it all the way through callbacks once again. They said they were looking for a diverse cast, and being one of three latinas in the room, I thought the odds were in my favor. I really thought I nailed my audition. The director was smiling while I sang and I even was the first one to make them all laugh when reading lines. I was at an all time high because I thought I was for sure being cast. Then I got the rejection letter and was told they were going in a different direction, I think that one hit me the hardest.
So yes, there were a lot of highs and lows for me this audition season but I am not going to let it get me down. I’m grateful that I still get to be part of ONE show and that I will be back on stage very soon. I know that when I’m back performing, I’m going to forget about all the lows I faced this season. I still have many wonderful things to look forward to this year and auditions are always happening, so maybe there’s something special waiting for me right around the corner. Being an actress is hard work, mentally and physically. This is not a game for the weak and I don’t plan on giving up on my dreams anytime soon. Until next time, I’ll be ready for you and I will continue to always give it my ALL.
Jessie Dez is a graduate from Palm Beach Atlantic University where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts Degree, with concentrations in Musical Theater and Broadcast Journalism. As an actress, she has performed all over South Florida with well-known companies, such as Delray Beach Playhouse, MNM Theatre Company, Warner Bros Entertainment Inc, Lake Worth Playhouse, etc. Not only have you seen her on stage, but on television as well. As a television host for Living Local FL TV, Jessie has been on FOX 29 highlighting all the best places to eat, shop and play in South Florida. Jessie is thrilled to mix her passion of theater and journalism into her writing and content creation for The South Florida Theater Magazine.