Westley Barnes and Sisi Rabenstein crack the boards in LG1 as they attempt Dramsoc.
For most people, being a vulnerable, shaking mess with everyone staring and judging you is merely a nightmare. For Otwo’s Dramsoc auditionees, it is a reality.
Westley Barnes auditioned for Dramsoc’s Freshers’ Comedy Project. His audition consisted of improvisation
and reading from a script. The auditions were nothing like what the reality TV judges of Britain’s Got Talent or the X-Factor would lead us to believe.
“They were really welcoming and weren’t at all bothered with my inexperience, in fact they were completely receptive and encouraging towards newcomers.”
Sisi Rabenstein’s audition for Dramsoc’s rendition of Rent went less smoothly. “I arrived in late during the
dance rehearsal, and so everyone else knew the dance routines, so it was a little highly strung and a little bit tense. I’m not a natural dancer!”
Sisi noticed that although the experience was nerve-racking, pockets of friends took comfort in each other,
something which she wished she had thought of! “I seemed to me that a lot of friends were auditioning together so it was a good support group for everyone. I must have been the only person on my own.”
Trying out for the musical was an arduous all-singing and all-dancing epic episode. “You do an hour-long workshop that teaches the group the main dance routine from the musical. For singing, we were organised into groups. They arranged us according to our voices. It was all really professional.”
“Then we had to sing an individual musical number. I did ‘Out Tonight’, which is Mimi’s main song. She’s really sexy, a femme fatale kind of thing… so I did a little dance as well. It was meant to be a musical theatrical audition so you have to give it your all!”
As onerous as the audition process is, Sisi found Dramsoc to be friendly in the face of her embarrassment.
“Dramsoc was lovely. The dance teachers and singing teachers couldn’t have been nicer and they were really
understanding of everyone’s situation. One auditionee had a lecture so they worked around it.”
This welcoming atmosphere helped both Westley and Sisi overcome their initial nerves. Sisi commented that
having auditioned for X-Factor, the contrast with Dramsoc was pleasant. “I wasn’t really shaking until I left and realised what I had just done.”
After getting off to such a good start, Westley will be returning to the Dramsoc stage again. “I was surprised
by how much I enjoyed it. It allows people to really come out of their shells and escape into personas of their own invention, which is always amusing.”
Sisi echoes this sentiment. “One of the UCD alumni told me that if me if I didn’t try out for Dramsoc, they would kill me. They were right! I would definitely audition for Dramsoc again. It really sparked a fire in me!”