CAMILLE BERRIMAN: Show audition is a real drama for me

A personal view
A personal view

This week, I went through one of the most nerve-wracking, vomit-inducing experiences of my year: An audition for a musical.

Fear had made me postpone my original audition slot. I thought a week’s delay would give me enough time to learn the songs and get over my sore throat. Little did I know the delay would merely increase my quota of nerves and put me in a blind panic.

But on Monday evening I found myself outside the audition room, panicked, sweaty (I’d just instructed a Zumba class), no voice (from sore throat/whooping and shouting during class) and wondering why on earth I would put myself through this annual torture. On being called in I stood with some trepidation, mainly as a result of pulling a muscle in my thigh during some particularly enthusiastic squats, and limped into the room.

There ensued probably the most bizarre audition of my life. I was open about my vocal limitations and panic, before getting distracted and starting to tell the audition panel about my night out on Saturday. Of course they were not interested and instead wanted to see if I could sing any notes whatsoever. After a few croaked lines – torture to me and anyone within earshot – the panel said I could stop. What a relief.

All that stress, sweat and panic, and I was done within 10 minutes!

You might wonder why I would volunteer for the trauma of an audition. But, of course, most good things in life do not come easy – and performing in musicals is definitely on my list of ‘good things’.

Joining an amateur dramatics company five years ago opened up a different world to me: new friends, the joy of many people working towards one singular goal and, of course, the greasepaint, footlights, clapping and overall buzz of show week.

So the upshot of all this is: I have been offered a lead role in the back row of the chorus! The next five-and-a-half months I will be rehearsing twice a week until curtain up of Jekyll and Hyde at the Theatre Royal on April 29.

But will all that panic, sweating and trauma be worth it? I have a feeling it will.