September 21, 2016

‘Avenue Q’ auditions show an actor’s preparation process

Auditioning for a production, whether it be a film or a play, is a multi-step process that requires people with dedication and willingness to put themselves out there to make a statement about why they are the best one for the role.

Jamie Satterfield, a 22-year-old theatre major at Cleveland State University, recently participated in the open auditions Sept. 7 for the university’s production of “Avenue Q.”

Satterfield, who has auditioned for a Cleveland State production six other times and been cast in two, has developed her own process for the various stages of the auditioning process.

To begin the process, after Satterfield has found a production that interests her, she’ll read the play at least once.

“I find that when I do this it helps my monologue search because I have a better understanding of the characters and the play,” Satterfield said. “This helps me to pick the monologue that best fits me and the show I’m auditioning for. I believe this process to be versatile to plays and musicals.”

After Satterfield has an understanding of the plays and its characters and prepared the materials required, sometimes a monologue or, in the case of “Avenue Q,” two short songs performed in the same style as the show, it’s time for her to actually audition.

“During an audition I’m pretty in the moment,” Satterfield said. “I’m trying to put my all in so I tend to focus more on what I rehearsed for that audition.”

“When I mess up is when I start thinking to myself, ‘Okay just breathe, now fix it,’” she added.
After the initial thrill or disappointment of the audition being over is gone, it’s a waiting game to hear about who received a call-back.

“My emotional process when I see I got a call-back starts with excitement and a feeling that my work paid off for my audition,” she said. “That lasts for five minutes tops, and then I’m planning how I’m going to do my best. I stay a combination of excited and nervous until the cast list is posted after that.”
Satterfield said the best part of the auditioning process is feeling as though she’s really giving her all and feels as though it’s working out the best it could.

“I love during an audition when I feel on my game and am doing everything I practiced,” Satterfield said. “And maybe the director hates how short I am or how innocent I come off, but if I feel good about it in that moment, it’s very rewarding.”

Satterfield doesn’t have a single favorite audition but she does have a favorite type.

“I don’t think I have a favorite audition exactly,” she said. “I will say some of the most fun auditions I had were cold readings from the play I was auditioning for. I think I find them fun because even if I’m not cast, I got to act a little bit from the play. So someone, even if it’s one person, got to see my take on it.”

Tickets for “Avenue Q” can be purchased at or call the Playhouse Square box office at (216) 241-6000 Discounts are available for CSU students.


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