Acting as my truest self


Saige Joseph

A still from filming one of my prescreens

Saige Joseph, Editor-in-Chief

“Thank you.”

Most people are used to hearing this phrase as a form of gratitude. I was too. But after a week of auditioning that phrase slowly became dreaded. 

I had just cried in front of a random stranger, tears still wetting my face, and all I got in return was a thank you. 

I tried to compose myself, wipe away the stray tears, and shake his hand. As I made my way out of the room all the emotion I attempted to channel in my monologue came flooding out. 

All I had was a minute and a half to show them what I could do and I blew it. Or maybe I didn’t. 

Auditioning for colleges was one of the most emotionally exhausting experiences I have had thus far.. For five days, I had an audition everyday. The same monologues over and over again, yet somehow I had to find a way to make them seem fresh every single time. 

I had prepared, worked, and worked some more on these monologues since September, all for a few minutes to show schools what I can do. So much preparation bottled up into a minute and a half monologue. 

Every audition was completely different. I walked out of one feeling great about my performance and I walked out of others knowing that I couldn’t have done worse. 

Each time I felt like I was walking into something new. One audition couldn’t have prepared me for another. 

My first audition I walked into the waiting room to find every girl in there dressed almost the exact same. A dark red dress. I was wearing a black sweater and a skirt. 

I was paranoid that I had missed a memo or something. It only got worse. My headshot and resume were two separate documents. Around the room I was the odd one out. Everyone else had their resume plastered on the back of their headshots. This caused mental freakout. There’s nothing worse than getting in your head right before an audition. 

That was just one of the turning points of the audition process. I realized half of the battle was learning to adapt very quickly. 

Just because one thing went wrong, I had to not let that taint the rest of the experience. One day I had two auditions. The first was chaos. 

We started with a group warm up, a first for my experience at that point, and I was thrown off. I had gotten so used to my individual routine that I was caught off guard. 

Nonetheless, I jumped in ready to participate with the group. It threw me off and my audition’s energy was all over the place. 

I came out of there with that gut feeling. The one where you know it was bad and it makes you want to just run away and hide. I couldn’t hide. It was all out there for those three adults to see. 

The idea of not stressing after the fact was entirely new to me. I am used to overthinking even the smallest of things and so having no choice but to move on, with everything out of my control was far out of my comfort zone. 

I had always seen the “audition process” in the movies. The media had painted it as this cutthroat world where you pour your heart out and get nothing in return; that was far from reality.

Yes, some auditions I presented my raw self and I felt pretty much empty by the end. But most of them were an entire masterclass in under ten minutes. Not for the typical way, but how I learned so many real world scenarios early on. 

The colleges see so many kids a day I had to learn how to differentiate myself. I couldn’t just count on the emotion in my monologues working every single time. So, I quickly learned it wasn’t about making up “interesting” answers to their questions, but simply being yourself. 

They don’t want to hear the answers that are catered to their liking, they just want to know who you are and what makes you, you. 

With each audition, I learned to embrace who I am as a person and not be ashamed to share that with others. It pushed me to gain the confidence that I needed to go in and give it everything I had, without regretting anything afterwards. 

It was a learning curve but with each audition I learned more about how I react to changes and what to shift to improve. 

I wouldn’t change anything about the experience. It forced me to face a glimpse of the real world that I so badly want to be a part of.