Recalling Scholarship Audition with Christine Barreca ‘21
By Madison Kobe ’18
Every Saturday in February, a select group of high school students come to Carthage to audition for scholarships for the Fine Arts. This may involve compiling a portfolio of art pieces, preparing and singing or playing a piece of music for a faculty panel, learning and performing a short routine of dance moves in a group, performing a monologue on the stage of Wartburg Theatre, or a combination of any of these. This is a highly stressful time for students and families, so I met with Christine Barreca ’21, a freshman at Carthage who participated in auditions, and who shared some words of advice and encouragement for future students.
What is your major?
How long have you been involved in music theatre?
I started performing in musicals and plays about six years ago when I was in middle school. I’ve been hooked ever since!
What has been a highlight of your time at Carthage so far?
I would say being thrown into a performing climate that isn’t too overwhelming and gives the opportunity for a ton of audition experience and chances to converse with professionals in the industry. Not only have we had auditions for dance productions, such as Nimble Attitudes, and music theatre productions, such as the spring music theatre workshop How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, but also auditions for a summer program with a Broadway director, and we have multiple opportunities to perform in class. I have been given so many opportunities to put myself out there and get a feel for how the industry works, while still getting incredible one on one work from our incredible faculty.
How, if at all, do you feel you have grown as an individual and a performer since arriving at Carthage?
I think the changes I have noticed in myself both individually and as a performer have been astounding! In just a few short months, the Music Theatre program has taught me more about acting, voice, and dance than I knew could even be taught. After so many years performing it is so refreshing to start receiving concrete education to become a stronger performer.
How was your experience participating in the Fine Arts scholarship auditions?
My Fine Arts scholarship audition was a bit stressful at first, but was actually one of my more enjoyable college auditions, as we began with the dance portion of our audition. Having a large dance background, I think this loosened me up and gave me a more confident start to the audition. The faculty members were all extremely nice and laid back, which made the acting and vocal portion a lot less scary than other auditions. At this point, I wasn’t actually planning on minoring in dance simply because of my schedule, but Stacy Pottinger, the Dance Minor Director, approached me after my music theatre dance audition and asked if I would be interested in using that as the Dance Minor scholarship audition as well. I was thrilled to receive both Theatre and Dance scholarships, which really clinched my decision to attend Carthage. Overall, though, it was the interest and personal conversations I had with each faculty member at the audition that pulled me to the program. They were genuinely interested in me and my goals, and didn’t look at me as just another number auditioning for them.
What advice would you offer to a senior in high school before their audition?
Be prepared! Have a few solid pieces you feel comfortable with vocally and make strong acting choices. There were people with all kinds of dance levels at the dance audition, so I would encourage someone without dance experience to just concentrate, give it all you’ve got, and show off your personality and acting choices. In the end, technique can be taught but being a riveting performer can only come from you.
Good luck to everyone participating in 2018 Scholarship Auditions!