Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Actor Diaries

9/8/11 Auditioning at DSP
By Kelly Knight

Actor Kelly Knight is a newcomer to Desert Star Playhouse. She’s just been cast in her first role, playing Elle Woods in our next production: Legally Brunette. Kelly is talented, energetic, and fun, and we think our audiences are going to love her. We thought it would be fun to have Kelly keep a diary of her experience at Desert Star as an on-going feature, to give our friends a backstage look at what’s it’s like to work here. Here is Kelly’s first entry…

Ahh! Two hours to pull together an audition! Why hadn’t I checked the Desert Star webpage sooner? I knew they didn’t hold auditions often, so when I saw the posting at 5 PM on audition day, I quickly called to see if they could squeeze me in. They had a slot at 7:05.

Let me back up and give you a quick background story: I am brand new to Utah—officially moved here three weeks ago. Why? After performing with a children’s theatre company in South Korea for three years, I had met my husband and was ready to “settle down.” But where? I was from Montana, he was from Mississippi and, before heading to Asia in 2008, I had been “living the dream” as an actor in New York City. This meant my life was basically as follows: wake up, audition, go to my night job, go to bed. This would continue for a few months before I’d book a gig, then I would be shipped off to a random theater across the country, finish out a three- or four-month contract, return to NYC, and start the routine all over again. That is, until I landed the Korea gig.

After three years of international adventures and meeting the handsome American English teacher who later became my husband, the NYC routine just didn’t sound that appealing anymore. And I wasn’t about to drag my new husband into it. He’s not a “theatre person.”

We both liked the idea of settling down out West, somewhere that we could ski all winter, hike all summer, and where I wouldn’t have to give up my performing career. My parents had moved to Utah while I was overseas, and after some Google research told me that SLC had multiple professional theaters, it wasn’t too hard to convince me that This Is The Place.

OK, back to the audition. I grabbed my repertoire book, dashed to my car, and practiced on my drive to Desert Star. This certainly wasn’t my first rodeo with a last-minute audition, but it was an important one--my first in Utah. I arrived 5 minutes early, was greeted by friendly audition monitors, and waited for my turn.

Hmmm, weird. This wasn’t like a New York audition. Everyone was smiling and friendly, wearing blue jeans, and had such a casual attitude. I did my little song and dance (literally) and I was done. In and out in 5 minutes--that sure beats waiting all day for the chance to “maybe” be seen. I was liking Utah theatre already!

I got a call the next morning from Desert Star, and I had landed the gig: Elle Woods in Legally Brunette. Sweet.

Legally Brunette opens September 29, 2011. Click here for tickets.

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