In the middle of October, nearly 100 prospective members of Gamma Phi Circus demonstrated their courage and their skills in the audition process. Here is the process those prospective members went through for the opportunity at being a troupe member.
The 5 Steps of Auditioning
Being in the Gamma Phi Circus, whether as a performer or a member of the stage crew, is an amazing opportunity. As a freshman student, part of the college experience is typically figuring out how or where you are going to fit in.
Any new potential member that steps foot into the gym becomes quickly aware that the troupe auditions occur in October. Most students worry about the audition process. There are those that think that they are not good enough, and others who battle nerves about the audition itself. All of these feelings are common among newcomers, which is why “The 5 Steps of Auditioning” was created to help ease those insecure thoughts.
Step One: Getting Comfortable in the Gym
It is okay to be afraid and overwhelmed when you first start coming to practice. Most of this stuff is brand new to you. Which is why we recommend you go around and try everything at least once, you never know what you are going to enjoy. Make friends with new people starting the same time you are, and returning circus members too. Everyone is wanting to grow the Gamma Phi family, which is why we are always waiting with open arms to help you learn something new.
Step Two: Select Your Focuses
After the first two weeks or so you’ve had the opportunity to try out basically everything we have to offer. Now it is time for you to select the acts that you want to focus on for audition. You are open to try out for as many acts as you want. However, you do not want to spread yourself too thin and not be able to put the time and effort into the acts that you care most about. Our scheduling is tough and things might overlap, so choose wisely!
Step Three: Work on and Gain Your Skills
Once you have determined your focus, it is time to start prepping for the audition. By now you will have learned the basic skills to your act. Do not get bored or angry when your act captain asks you to warm-up with the basics. Those help you to be able to do bigger tricks. Each act has its own set of audition requirements, including—but not limited to—strength, flexibility, and even dance. This period of time is for you to work on your requirements and perfect them as much as you can. Don’t fret if you can’t do something on your first try. Practice helps you build the strength and stamina or whatever it may be to get you to where you want to be. Don’t forget your daily conditioning that is planned out for you (it really does help).
Step Four: Audition
Audition day has arrived. This is the time to show off what you have been working on. The nerves will be running through your body, you may feel intimidated by the other people auditioning for the same act. Do not let any of that get you down or distracted. Everyone is encouraged during their audition, with the whole gym cheering you on and wanting you to do your best. It is okay to be nervous, but get out there and show them what you got. Mess up during the audition? You dropped a juggling club? Your three high didn’t hit? That happens to the best and most seasoned performers. Don’t show you’re upset, just style and smile and continue on.
Step Five: The Results
This step can be more stressful than the actual auditioning. No one is for sure when results get sent out or what the results will be. Don’t get too worked up over it, sure it is okay to refresh your email 37 times every minute, but that’s normal. Finally the email comes, your heart is racing and don’t want to open it up. Kind of ironic right? You’ve been waiting days for this email and now that it came you don’t want to open it. But you’ve got to! As you read through the results you may be happy or you may be sad. If you made one or four of the acts you auditioned for, congratulations! But there are cases where things may not have turned out exactly how you wanted them to. Which is okay! Keep your head up high, it doesn’t mean Gamma Phi Circus is not the place for you. You are still welcomed and encouraged to be part of the family and take on the role as a member of our stage crew.
Auditioning can be a stressful time. But it’s also a very encouraging time. It takes a lot of guts to stand up in front of your peers and audition. Which is why Gamma Phi Circus is such an amazing organization, we help to build courage in our members to help them achieve something they might have not ever dreamed of doing.
2016-2017 Gamma Phi Circus Members:
Kyle Halkerston is a senior at Illinois State University, majoring in integrated marketing communications. Halkerston is a 3rd year member, the social chair of Gamma Phi Circus, a position within the executive board, and works as office assistant to the circus program director.