Hopefuls belt it out at “Aida” auditions

A collaboration of music written by Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice, “Aida”, the musical, first appeared on Broadway in 2000. It originated from a children’s storybook version of Verdi’s opera.

Dylan Lujano

Saddleback College held auditions for the upcoming spring theater production of Elton John’s “Aida.” Director Daniel R. Trevino and Choreographer Ellen Prince, held a two-part audition to cast the spring musical earlier this month. Students, alumni, first timers, and veterans, made up the diverse personalities of performers that attended the auditions.

“The competition is very intimidating, it’s hard to know whether to tell yourself you’re good so you can have a lot of confidence,” said Jena Slipp, 19, biology. “But then again you don’t want to be too sure just in case you don’t get the part and become really disappointed when you don’t get it.”

This was Slipp’s first audition for a Saddleback show, although she performed in Irvine Valley College’s fall production of “Bye Bye Birdie.”

When the audition time grew closer, voices could be heard rehearsing songs, with nervous energy consuming the moods of the people waiting to audition.

“I would be lying if I said I didn’t get nervous, but at the same time, those nerves usually end up helping me,” said Mikel Mitchell, 21, business.

Mikel added the nervousness reminds him that he’s not performing for himself in the mirror this time – it’s now in front of the decision-makers – the directors and choreographers.

With a turn out of about 60 people combined for both nights, half of them would be cut for a final cast of 30.

When asked about preparation for an audition, Slipp said, “I try to find songs that not only fit the genre of the show, but at the same time go beyond what other people may attempt to do, so I can be remembered.”

The weekend after the auditions the cast list was sent out to those who had auditioned via e-mail. Slip discovered she had earned the lead role, Aida.

When asked about her dream-Broadway role, Slip said it would be Elphaba from “Wicked.”

“She is a character that kind of pushes through all the doubts that people had about her,” Slip said.

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