Three years ago, Kirsty Provan finished her Pacific Theatre apprenticeship playing Joseph in our Emerging Artist showcase production of Jason Sherman's REMNANTS: A FABLE. She headed directly into the actor training program at Studio 58, and graduated this spring. Here's a feature article on Kirsty from The Richmond Review (June 17, 2010)
AUDITIONS ARE PART OF HARD KNOCK LIFE
Hundreds of hopefuls come to Gateway Theatre
to land roles in upcoming shows
by Matthew Hookstra
In the studio lobby of Gateway Theatre, Kirsty Provan finds a spot on the floor to stretch. She’s surrounded by other actors doing the same thing.
Some are nervously chatting, others are clutching papers, and all are waiting to be called by name.
Richmond’s only professional live theatre company wrapped up its season months ago, but it’s already laying the groundwork for its next series of plays by lining up performers for five productions (the sixth comes with a cast).
“I think the night before any audition you don’t sleep,” says Provan, a 22-year-old from North Vancouver. “You’re dreaming about monologues and songs and that sort of thing.”
Provan, a recent Langara College Studio 58 grad, went to a general audition at Gateway and was called back to audition for a role in Annie, this year’s Christmas-season musical.
“It’s just such a fun show,” says Provan. “I’m enjoying musical theatre a lot more. I was really afraid of it when I started out, and then going through the training and doing a lot of musical theatre, you just get to be crazy and act like a kid.”
Minutes before being called into choreography, Provan focused on showing the director who she really is.
“I think that really separates you from everybody else. It’s partly the talent; it’s also just bringing a part of you that nobody else has.”
Kathleen Duborg, artistic associate at Gateway Theatre, says besides looking for actors who can take direction, a director looks for those with the energy and volume to project to a 500-seat audience. Directors will also say it takes a little je ne sais quoi.
“Every director is looking for the character to walk into the room,” says Duborg.
About 230 people auditioned for Annie, and half were called back for more consideration.
“What you want to do is see them with other actors to see how they relate. For example there’s Rooster and Miss Hannigan, who are brother and sister, and it gives you a better sense of timing and how they interact with one another,” says Duborg.
Duborg, who is also an actor and nominated for a Jessie Award this year, says as an actor, she works to manage adrenaline prior to an audition and to focus on doing the best job possible, knowing the job could easily go to someone else.
“As an actor and a performer, one of the things that I’m doing now almost subconsciously, I am trying to go into that room and do the best that I can. We call it leaving it in the room.”
For musical theatre auditions, there’s plenty of work that goes into the audition, given that the actors have to not only act, but also sing and dance. Actors need to rehearse lines, prepare their song, get ready to dance and prepare a scene.
For Gateway staff, Annie also brings auditions of another kind: dog owners lining up to audition their pooch as Sandy, the friendly stray dog befriended by Annie the orphan.
In the meantime, for Kirsty Provan, she hopes her Gateway audition—win or lose—is a stepping stone in an acting career.
“I never thought I’d end up auditioning for musical theatre, and I’m really enjoying it. I’m just going to be open to anything.”