She had never really acted before. Not in plays, not in musicals. She was a part of the makeup crew for a couple of her high school productions, but being on the actual stage was foreign to her.
But that didn’t stop freshman Anna Barone from tagging along with her friend to audition for Sigma Sigma Sigma’s homecoming talent show skit.
The skit centers around two MU seniors who, once they reach the center of Speakers Circle, are taken back in time to an alternate history in which the university existed during the birth of America in 1776. The founding fathers and Nicholas Cage also make guest appearances on this journey.
Barone didn’t really know what to expect at her first acting audition. One thing she did know was that she wasn’t hit with the usual pre-audition jitters many prospective actors face before their casting calls.
“It really wasn’t that big of a deal,” Barone said. “The setting was pretty casual, too.”
It was down in the basement of the Sigma Sigma Sigma house. Those who auditioned were called into a separate room where they were met by a couple of upperclassmen from the sorority and the Sigma Chi fraternity.
One by one, people were called into the room, walking out of that door with a different, not very reassuring expression on their face from when they first walked in. It didn’t take long before Barone found herself walking through that same door.
She was handed two scripts to read and interpret from, one from “Mean Girls” and the other from “Home Alone.” It only took a few minutes before Barone became one of the girls who walked out that door with a different expression on her face.
Her facial expression didn’t read uncertainty or anxiety; it read ease, with hints of laid-back nonchalance.
“I didn’t take too much pressure going into it,” Barone said. “I was like, why not give it a shot?”
To her surprise, her shot ended up hitting the target. A couple days later, Barone received an email informing her that she received a part that would remain unknown until revealed in person at their first rehearsal.
When she showed up to her first rehearsal, she quickly found that her surprise about earning a role proved to be nothing compared to how she felt when she found out that the lead female role was hers.
“I was totally shocked,” Barone said. “I was also a little scared because I didn’t know if I wanted that big of a role and all that pressure on me.”
She was definitely feeling the pressure now. She had never been on stage, bright lights highlighting every detail, the audience watching her every move. It freaked her out.
But that was before she started going to rehearsals, got acquainted with the skit and her character’s role in it and finally got onto the stage to rehearse.
“A lot of people told me that it’ll be okay and that I couldn’t even see the audience because of the stage lights,” Barone said. “I finally believed them when we did our dress rehearsal. That definitely gave me a confidence boost.”
It was enough of a boost for her to truly look forward to her time in the spotlight Monday night, maybe even look forward to more time in the spotlight down the road.
“I would definitely do something like this in the future,” Barone said. “Acting is a lot of fun and it’s not that big of a time commitment for me either.”
Edited by Claire Colby | firstname.lastname@example.org