Mount St. Joseph University

Trying Out: The Audition Process

Dateline: student newspaper

By: Zachary McCoy

File Under: "god of carnage", play, theater

Waking up and knowing I have to audition for a play that day always gives me butterflies, especially when I am doing it to write about later. The main fear is always, “what if I actually get this part in this thing?” So naturally you can guess what this article will be about.

The day went as normal up until the audition. I woke up, cried for a little, went to class, zoned out thinking about what robot dinosaurs would do to our planet, and then it was time. I walked down the hall of Mount St. Joseph’s classroom lobby feeling the pressure of the audition already.

As per usual, I was late and was greeted by a room filled with hopeful faces and Mario Pellegrino, sitting cross legged and a Norse trickster god’s sly grin plastered on his face. Mario greeted me personally and I took my seat in between two smiling, nervous faces.

Mario began to talk about the play and how we are here to have fun but we want to do a good job. He informed us all that we would be doing a reading for him and then he would determine who will get the parts.


The play is “God of Carnage,” and it will be performed in May at the Mount’s theater and it is a damn good play. I went with Dana Langenbrunner and two other girls auditioning to an empty classroom where we did dramatic readings of each of the parts for which we were auditioning.

That part was fun. Sitting in a room saying outlandish things to one another, performing for one another—it was by far the most fun I had during the process. Because the next part was entirely too nerve wracking for me.

I walked back to the outside of the theater to have Mario come out and call my name so I could go in and audition. I was the third guy to go in. Mario sat in the front way and watched me closely, like a hawk watches a mouse before it swoops down to devour (or at least that’s how it felt).

I got on stage and read the lines, passionately, letting the playwright’s words move through me. I really felt this part inside me, in a totally non-weird way. Mario watched the entire time and afterwards told me to go back into the hall. He also had another statement that shocked me. “I know you are doing this for Dateline, but if I offered you this part would you do it?” I felt the intense dreaded feeling of responsibility thrash its way into my throat. “Sure” I lied to his face.

I waited outside, and then I waited, and I waited, I caught up with an old friend while waiting, and then I waited. Finally, after everyone else had auditioned, I was called back in. Mario sat us all down along with Drew Shannon, the faculty advisor for the drama club. Then he announced who got the parts.

He announced the other three first, then, much to my disbelief, he said my name. I was shocked, but happy. He told us all to read the play a couple of times and then told us that if we thought we couldn’t do it to call him and let him know.

I went home and read the play. Then I called Mario. There was no way I could memorize all that—he was very supportive. He told me that he understood and I felt a tremendous weight lift off my shoulders.

Though I didn’t go through with it, the experience was amazing. I met some new people, saw one of my friends in his element, and got to curse on a stage. I even got photos of myself taken by Dana, who is an awesome photographer.


 So trying out the auditioning process turned out to be written into the script of my life, and I played the part happily.