Annie The Musical Auditions
by Meiling Wong
We’ve just started a performance course at Kids Performing, a local school that teaches kids the finer art of singing, dancing and well, performing. Not wanting to rain on her parade that she had just started and being the supportive mom that I am, I consulted my dear friend, Joanne Buxton Leow, a mother of two and co-owner of Kids Performing and Precious Entertainment, a talent scout company.
As it was our first auditioning experience, she advises me: “Do not send your child into an audition unprepared. Go for an audition workshop. It will prepare the kids with a medley to showcase their singing and dancing abilities; and properly brief the kids on how to act or behave during the audition.”
So, I signed her up for an audition workshop organized by Kids Performing and conducted by her business partner, the multi-faceted and talented entertainer Kuo Po who among her many distinguished talents – the woman is an accomplished singer, saxophonist, entertainer and producer, has a talent for sniffing out and cultivating young stars.
Kuo Po’s most famous and successful child prodigy to-date is Julia Abueva who appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s show and was proclaimed by Oprah (only the most influential woman on Earth) as one of the world’s ten most talented children in 2008. Julia was previously managed by Precious Entertainment, an off-shoot of Kids Performing. So you can understand my reasons for putting my daughter (talented or not, doesn’t matter) within her radar. *wink,wink* [Read more about the young talents that Precious Entertainment represents.]
Check out the video below of the kids on the first day of their audition workshop performing the specially choreographed medley that Kuo Po created to be used in the audition.
Being trained under a seasoned entertainer meant that you get professional quality. Even though we paid for a one-day workshop (S$150), Kuo Po asked the candidates to return for a second workshop to ensure that her students know what to do or expect at the audition.
We were also very happy that Joanne arranged for the kids to have their hair and make-up done by Maria, a mother who found her calling in theatrical makeup, on the day of the audition.
Also, the benefits of being part of a group (i.e. Kids Performing) was that we were allotted an audition time (at 1:30pm) and did not have to queue with the rest of the “auditioners”. In total, 34 kids from Kids Performing went for the audition. Many had one-on-one voice training with the trainers from Kids Performing prior to the audition.
The competition was rife. All in all, over 300 girls in Singapore vie for the parts of orphan girls – Molly, Pepper, Duffy, Kate, Tessie and July (aged 6 – 14 years old). Three girls will be selected for each orphan role. The girls will then take turns to perform in the musical.After 25 minutes inside the audition theatre, a group of girls came out. Some were in tears, one was inconsolable. Others were solemn. This was the batch that did not make it.
My daughter was in this batch. She was disappointed, but thankfully not too upset. I think the certificate and bag of candies did the trick. (Good thinking producers!)
Eight other girls from Kids Performing stayed on for a second round of script reading, singing and dancing. In the end, it was her friend Chloe (#233) who won one of the coveted spot to be Molly. We’re so happy for her and will definitely look out for her in the musical!!
For those unfamiliar with the story of Annie, it is a heart-warming tale of a young orphan girl’s journey from the hard-knocks New York orphanage to the luxurious home of powerful, self-assured billionaire Oliver Warbucks. This rags-to-riches story of Annie has been told all over the world for decades, in Broadway and classic film musical.Expect brilliantly memorable scores including “It’s The Hard Knock Life”, “Easy Street” and the legendary “Tomorrow”, fantastically visual choreography, and a side-splitting funny script.
2012 marks the 35th Anniversary of ANNIE. So don’t miss this opportunity to see one of the best-loved family musicals of all time.
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