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BWW Blog: “Could You Unmute Yourself?” - A Theatre Major Does a Zoom Audition

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Giving a speech to a computer screen is one of the weirdest things I’ve ever had to do

BWW Blog: “Could You Unmute Yourself?” - A Theatre Major Does a Zoom Audition

Connecting. Your internet connection is unstable. Your mic is muted. Could you please unmute yourself?

For the past several months, Zoom has been an excellent way for educators to continue to teach to their students during the pandemic. It's also been a great way to communicate with friends you haven't seen since you were all told you couldn't return to school. It quickly became something that we had to make ourselves used to, especially with how uncertain things have been lately.

I've been using Zoom for school since mid-March, and while I've figured out how to use it fairly well, it still feels incredibly awkward, even though I've been using it for nearly half a year. It's easy when all you have to do is show up to the meeting, especially for classes where you just have to sit and listen. In some classes, however, like public speaking-a class I had to take online-being able to physically attend class and present to people who are sitting in the room with you is really the best way to go about it.

I feel the exact same way about theatre.

Giving a speech to a computer screen is one of the weirdest things I've ever had to do, but having to actually act in front of a computer screen seems like it would be even weirder. I mean, I feel awkward just trying to do self-tapes with my iPhone.

Last week, I actually got to do my first Zoom audition. In many ways, it went exactly how an in-person audition would go. I joined the Zoom meeting a few minutes early, and when they let me in, it was just me and the directors. I did my chosen monologue, we all said thank you, and then it was over. It was quick, but it was still very, very new and weird.

It was new and weird, but it gave me an idea of how auditioning through Zoom works. That was a good thing too, because I found out the next morning that I got a callback, so I was going to have to do it again. Since I had an idea of the process, though, the next round of auditions felt a lot better and a lot less awkward.

This time around, everyone who had gotten a callback for the show joined the meeting and stayed the entire time. The director listened to every actor at least twice, pairing us up with someone else to hear our voices and how we sounded saying the lines together. It was a lot less awkward than the auditions the night before, but it was still just a little awkward. It did help having other people to play off of, though, as well as a director stopping us and giving us directions.

Doing auditions through Zoom really isn't my favorite thing ever, but apparently I did it well enough to land the part I got the callback for, so I don't think I should complain too much.

BWW Blog: “Could You Unmute Yourself?” - A Theatre Major Does a Zoom AuditionThings are strange at the moment, and I know we all want everything to go back to normal. We want to get back to work, back to the theatre, back to in-person auditions and performances. It's my belief that our current situation is only temporary, although I have no idea how long it'll be until things get back up and running the way they used to. We can get there, though, as long as we all do what we can to keep each other safe.

Until then, keep listening to your favorite cast albums, keep up to date on all your favorite Broadway performers, and above all, wear your mask.


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