Monday, January 14, 2008

Audish Definish

Tourco audishes are this week, break a leg everybody!

I get word of the day emails from and recently this appeared in my inbox:

audition \aw-DISH-un\ noun
1 : the power or sense of hearing 2 : the act of hearing; especially : a critical hearing 3 : a trial performance to appraise an entertainer's merits

Did you know? Today, “audition” most often refers to a theatrical or musical tryout, but that wasn’t always the case. “Audition" is rooted in the Latin verb "audire," meaning "to hear," and was first used in the late 16th century to refer to the power or sense of hearing. "Audire" is also the root of such "hearing" words in English as "audible," "audience" (which first meant "the act or state of hearing"), and the prefix "audio-," which appears in various words relating to sound. It wasn’t until late 19th century that the noun “audition” began being used for an entertainer’s trial performance. And the verb “audition,” meaning "to test or try out in an audition," didn’t appear on the English language stage until the mid-20th century.

The original meaning of audition is a wonderful thing to think about going into an audish. For one thing, we all know that listening is a huge part of a successful improv scene. For two things, what really applies to any audition is hearing what the auditors are asking for and doing your best to deliver. Every VO audish I have been on has included some character description. Am I really listening and delivering what I think a depressed superhero would sound like? I try :) I think every tourco audish I have done has started with a speech from the SC folk saying that after watching tons of audishes they do not want to see inappropriate scenes or language. And then I see why they have to make that speech, because someone freaks out and does a prostitute-incest-seduction scene that freaks everyone else out.

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