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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Sept. 2, 1998)
Auditions take actors to depths of despair
ERIN REITZ is a senior theater per
formance major and a Daily
Today I ’d like tell you about one of die great
est abhorrences known to mankind. It is die
scourge of many, and has more than once caused
its share of blood, sweat and tears.
It is die audition.
The audition was basically invented to weed
out musicians, dancers and actors who are having
bad hair days and smell funny. Acting handbooks
will tell you auditions were created to help audi
tors find the true talent they are looking for, to
single out that one special person who could
“make** their production.
This is a myth and every actor knows it!
(Hereh why, by die way.)
It is a well-known truth that auditions help the
auditors get rid ofpeople who resemble their exes
or other people they’ve come to hate over the
course of their seasoned lives. If you look any
thing like their evil fourth-grade teacher or a
Spice Girl, you will not get cast.
Also, your audition experience can be severe
ly hindered if the auditors had a crappy bagel
sandwich for lurch. Your performance may be
stellar compared to the aftertaste in their mouths,
but they will never know it They’ll be too busy
trying desperately to remove the leftover dried
onion pieces caught in their teeth and entirely
miss your show of skill.
Because I’ve been lucky enough to have gone
through a small slew of auditions, I will share
with you what my typical experience is like.
YWe’ll begin at the (very) beginning. Since the
UNL theater department is quite good at “putting
the smack down” as I like to call it, they enjoy
scaring everyone by scheduling auditions during
die first two days of class.
This means that, in addition to scurrying
around campus lost and getting into fistfigbts at
the bookstore over the last copy of “Biochemistry
for Dummies," UNL actors get to worry about
this annual ritual, die lucky schmucks.
Monday, 10:00 am.
Me: Holy guacamole, auditions start today,
Everyone else in the department who has a
This is about the time my stomach and most
of the rest of my inner workings start churning,
and I realize that, once again, I am not fully pre
pared. You would think after awhile it would sink
in that auditions are held at die same time every
year. It hasn’t I always manage to forget Nothing
matches the beauty of a college mind, I tell ya.
Thinking I can rely on my prowess and skill as
a young actor, I race home to consult my numer
ous plays and monologue books. After all, my
scheduled time is not until Tuesday evening, so
with an early start, I can pull off the greatest audi
tion of all time!
(I like to keep telling myself this until I start to
Upon arriving home and realizing that at the
start of die summer I packed all mybooks away
and took them home to North Platte, I start
Because I consider myself tobe a courteous
person (and I don’t want the gals on my floor to
diink of me as being any more psychotic than I’ve
already demonstrated), I stop screaming and run
my butt over to the library.
I consult IRIS for any possible source of the
atrical genius, and begin my desperate hunt for the
perfect piece. Because it takes me approximately
10 hours to locate what I am looking for in Love
Library, I find the monologue books at 11:57 p.m.
Editor’s Note: Maybe that’s why they offer a
class in it Did you skip that one?
If you are a good UNL student, you are aware
that die library closes at midnight and are proba
bly thinking to yourself, “Three minutes to look
through the books and find the right material and
manage to make it up the stairs and down to the
circulation desk? There’s no possible way.”
But, my doubting friends, you are wrong! I
have become an expert at instantaneously figur
ing out which texts I need and getting them
checked out with minutes to spare. (1 generally
just pull an entire section off the shelf and figure
out what I have when I get home. The odds of get
ting the right book really aren’t half bad!)
Tuesday, 12:10 aan.
By now I am walking back home (and drag
ging my backpack tm the ground) trying to think
how I am going to manage to get any sleep between
this time and 8:55 pm (my scheduled audition
time). Since I am a seasoned college student, how
ever, I know that sleep is severely overrated, and all I
realty need to function is lots of caffeine.
After putting the coffee on and dumping the
contents of my backpack cm the floor, this is what
I see: “101 Great Monologues for Men Over 60”,
“The Best Scales Eva Written For the Group of
Sixteen,” and “Easy Portuguese for the Beginner,
My life is ova.
Wait! What’s that hiding under the Portuguese
book? Score! It’s “Fifty Perfect Monologues for
die Horrifically Unprepared
Actress”! The luck I have is
After a few minutes of
skimming the work, I have
found my piece. I read and re
read for about an hour, until I
can say it (almost) perfectly
without glancing at the book
(OK, so there’s a glance here
and there, but it’s no big deal!
I’m an actor - I’ll find a way). I
can now get some sleep, confi
dent that I will be ready for my
Tuesday, 8:30 a.m.
I wake in die morning not
able to remember a word I read
at 2 am. But I am not scared
(yet), because I have nine hours
to get die job done.
Fast-forward to 8:30 p.m.
I am in the basement of die
Temple Building jumping up
and down with anxiety, won
dering how in die heck I’m
going to pull this one off. The
lovely assistants hand me my
stat sheet to fill out and let me
know where they are on the list,
and, unfortunately, they are
right on schedule. (Only when I
am not ready to go does this
freak occurrence happen.)
I jump up and down some
more, run my lines a few times,
and suddenly, BAM! I am
ready! I look great, I have con
fidence, I know my lines. Just show me the stage
and let me demonstrate the art of acting.
Tuesday, 9:00 pm.
It’s over, thank God, it’s finally over!
Somehow I managed to forget a few lines and
screw up my blocking entirety, bat that’s OK.
There will be a million other auditions for a mil
lion other plays.
I have a distinct feeling that I won’t get any
callbacks for roles, but I can now take rejection
with a smile on my face (and the occasional
punching of some inanimate objects), and life will
Just point me to die nearest sign-up sheet
Last call for alcohol
Establishment of drinking age is a disservice to youths
GRAHAM EVAN JOHNSON
is a graduate student study
ing German and European
environmental social stud
ies and a Daily Nebraskan
Itfc absolutely pathetic that the
University of Nebraska joined forces
with the Lincoln Police Department to
enforce the prohibition of alcohol. This
does not sound like the land of the free
and the home of the Nave, but rather
die land of the restricted and the home
of the frightened.
I thought individuals in high posi
tions of law, government and educa
tion were learned individuals who
objectively viewed situations and for
mulated reasonable solutions; I was
mistaken. The recent actions of UNL
and the LPD show me a few ignorant
elders trying to lay down a fatherly fist
to control the youths who will soon
control the country.
The sooner the United States
removes the absurd law governing the
age of alcohol consumption, the fester
we will remedy many of the problems
that have been created by these same
Policy-makers in the US. have
always seen youths as members of soci
ety who should not be allowed adult
responsibilities. Because of this, they
are not allowed the opportunity to gain
the experiences that precede the acqui
sition of those responsibilities, die clas
The issue of alcohol consumption
and age has been accepted as “the way
things are” and, as we have recently wit
nessed, an area to be dealt with fOTcefulfy.
The only lesson I have beat taught
from the recent activities of Lincoln^
ever-flourishing authoritarian state is
individuals in authority positions have
no idea how to work with youths to
produce effective youth-related poli
cies. Furthermore, the recent Robert
Wood Johnson Foundation grant of
$700,000 is simply a Band-Aid that
doesn’t address the root of the problem:
Prohibition simply does not work.
Had youths, whom these prohibi
tive laws guard against, had a more
realistic socialization with alcohol use
and responsibility, they probably
wouldn’t be acting in a manner that
causes these prohibitive laws.
An organized and responsible
approach is needed to seriously reeval
uate this law and its severe faults, and
this must procede legitimate policy for
mulation and social change.
It is obvious an age-based law on
alcohol consumption is fundamentally
flawed and actually causes problems
like binge drinking. The absurdity with
an age-based law is that it claims to
equate a number with a certain level of
maturity; however, those who have
studied youth development understand
that “maturity” is far more complex
than an arbitrary number
In the United States, alcohol is
regarded as a forbidden fruit, but this
fruit is easily attainable. Alcohol has
been built up to represent an object of
desire and strong curiosity and undo*
these circumstances, usually far more
is consumed than is necessary.
This instills a hinge consumption
mentality, and also treats alcohol as an
especially interesting and possibly abu
sive substance, which then allows the
policy-makers to continue making pro
tective, prohibitive and controlling
policies. This is totally unnecessary,
because alcohol is nothing more than
grapes, cactus or another distilled item.
Because of modem prohibition, an
important component of maturization -
the internalization of responsible alco
hol consumption - is dangerously
delayed in this country. Instead of hav
ing youths socialized early with an
understanding of alcohol, socialization
is postponed, delaying this process sig
nificantly by five to 10 years.
This delayed socialization allows
alcohol to be looked upon as a tool for
indoctrination into “mature” adulthood
rather than just another fact oflife. The
mentality actually encourages irrespon
sible binge drinking that often occurs
on a person’s 21st birthday. This fact
exemplifies a very “immature” attitude
toward alcohol and proves the danger
of delayed socialization.
The array of problems associated
with prohibition would neither be as
severe nor as common if alcohol were
socialized at an early age. 1 base this or
proof from every European nation,
Canada and Mexico and their policies
(m alcohol consumption.
The youths in these countries are
allowed the responsibility of consum
ing alcohol at an early age. These
nations understand that the only way to
produce responsible adults is to allow
youths adult responsibilities.
Around the world, youths are
respected as people who will be in
charge of the future. Nine- and 11-year
olds can drink beer in Europe, but they
don’t because it isn’t something 9- and
11-year-olds like to do. However, when
a youth turns 16 or 19, drinking beer or
wine becomes a legitimate beverage
because they have acquired a taste for it
and know its effects.
Ending age-based prohibition of
alcohol also would initiate a much
stronger role of the parent/guardian in
the youth’s life. The position of the
guardian as a role model would be
enforced, and the guardian’s interest in
the youth’s activities would increase.
I sat in on the luncheon when the
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
supervisors visited the campus, and I
expressed the following ideas to them
and hope I helped convince them to
donate the $700,000, which they did.
I suggested that the university
implement an 18-and-overpolicy for
drinking only on campus so individuals
from aU living establishments can gath
er and enjoy having beer and wine with
each other and enjoy the safety of the
campus, therefore improving the social
environment of campus. It would
improve the physical environment too,
because all living establishments would
be able to recycle fee abundance of
beer cans and bottles that otherwise
would lead to academic expulsion. I
also suggested that drinking-age dereg
ulation must be handled responsibly
and all involved individuals must have
In short, foe benefits are: respond s
He behavior, respect of imiversityptop
erty, campus community bonding, mod
erate enjoyment of alcohol, realistic
socialization of alcohol and the most
important thing: really, really fun stu
dent-run parties.This would be an enor
mous step for the university, allowing
people to be accountable for their
actions and allowing youngs individu
als to witness the benefits of an open
party and moderate alcohol consump
Lowering or removing the age of
alcohol consumption on campus is a
legitimate possibility, but it will have to
be taken up on the state level and can
be adjusted without infringing on
national rule. Because UNL contains
such a large population of individuals
who would be directly affected by the
end of alcohol prohibition, we should
have a significant position in the read
justment of this law through organiza
tional and responsiNe methods.
I hope UNL will creatively use the
$700,000 grant it received for alcohol
awareness and begin shifting toward
actual policy change, rather than just
talking about bow bad alcohol is,
because it is not I vote for more parties
and responsibility, because itfe better
than further cooperation and enforce
ment by UNL and the LPD of this
ridiculously prohibitive law.
We’re being deprived of the rational
method for socialization and need to'
begin changing the way things operate,
so future generations can concern
themselves with more important issues,
and so the global community doesn’t
continue to laugh itself silly.
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