We’re one year old today!!I can’t believe that we started our Threepenny Theatricals adventure just a year ago.In fact, quite a lot had gone on behind the scenes since February but we officially launched ourselves into the world on 1st July 2017.It has been a fantastic year!There were a few ups and downs but, on the whole we really couldn’t be happier.
What an exciting month June was for 3-T!The show announcement at the beginning of the month and then preparing for auditions, which were held on 24th.Ross and I even managed to squeeze in a short holiday to Menorca in the middle.The auditions were almost as nerve-wracking for us as they were for the poor auditionees.As all the cast were invited last time around, we didn’t have to hold any, so this year we were all biting our nails wondering if anybody would turn up!We got a few sign-ups straight away and then it seemed to go quiet for a while with a few people saying they’d have liked to join us but couldn’t commit to our rehearsal evenings.I was worried that we wouldn’t have enough people to cast the show.Then in the last few days there seemed to be a sudden surge, with quite a few new faces signing up too. Of course it was inevitable that some people who wanted to audition wouldn’t make the date, so we had to organise 5 auditions beforehand, and I can’t thank the people enough who let us borrow their living rooms and rehearsal spaces for these extra sessions.
Audition day didn’t run quite as smoothly as planned.We rushed across town from one of our extra audition sessions straight to the audition venue with 15 minutes to spare and managed to get everything set up just in time.We were only 2 auditionees in however when a children’s party started up in the hall above us.It sounded as if a herd of elephants had joined in the World Cup and was about to fall through the floor!There was no way that we could expect people to audition with that amount of racket going on.Luckily we had been using the stage area in Murrayfield as a ‘waiting room’ for people, so we decided that the only option was to swap the rooms round.We asked everybody to wait while we moved all our stuff and rearranged the furniture.Then just before we started up again I heard somebody at the piano in the main hall right next to the stage area.I rushed down to see what was about to happen there and discovered a friend from the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society.He told me they were about to have a rehearsal!Horror!Thankfully they were very understanding and moved their music as far up the hall as they possibly could and kept the noise down for their whole rehearsal, which was incredibly kind of them.I’m now very glad that I sang for a few of their Fringe shows and got to know them - and that they are such lovely people!!
I have auditioned myself many times before, sat in on auditions before and read in for auditions before, but it was the first time I’d actually held any myself.I know the feeling of dread that many people feel and I am one of the world’s worst for getting nervous auditioning – to the point of physically shaking. I wanted to make it as friendly and non-threatening an experience as possible to help people give their best possible performance.We weren’t disappointed on the day.It was fantastic to see what a great wealth of talent there is out there and it was proof of why Edinburgh’s amateur theatre scene is flourishing - and very far from ‘amateur’.
I tried to give people as much opportunity as possible to do their best and often asked people to read a section again if I thought they could do it better.It’s amazing the difference a second chance can make, along with a bit of direction, and it’s interesting that second chances are what our play is all about! The day seemed to fly past and we were seeing people non-stop.We only managed to squeeze in a cup of tea around 5pm!Finally we wandered along to the pub to have a chat about the casting and I made my final decisions – not ‘under the influence’ I hasten to add!Although I was delighted to have a cast, I knew my least favourite part of the process would be having to tell the people who hadn’t been cast.I’ve received a few of those letters/emails/phonecalls myself and know that awful feeling.It never gets easier and I didn’t want to have to do it to anybody else.I only hope that those who weren’t cast realise how difficult it was and how decisions can come down to the minutest things.Just because a person doesn’t get cast it doesn’t mean that they couldn’t have done the part brilliantly too.I’m sure that they will all go on to find something else just as exciting and magical to do as ‘Dear Brutus’.With the fantastic theatre scene we have in Edinburgh, Fife and the rest of Scotland, I’m sure they will. Now all I have to do is rewrite bits of the script, design the set, find costumes, block the show, write the props list, think about sound and lighting, marketing, programme material etc. etc. etc…..I suppose I really should get going and make a start!