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    Posted August 1, 2011

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By Melissa Robinette

Outside Business and Audition Representative for the Western Region, Ivan Rivas, reports that in 2010 the West had 318 Equity Principal Auditions (EPAs) and 115 Equity Chorus Calls (ECCs). Of those auditions Los Angeles had 87 EPAs and 53 ECCs while Las Vegas had 2 EPAs and 13 ECCs. The Los Angeles numbers do not include Orange County.

Two summers ago Ian Gould attended a combined EPA for the Great Lakes Theatre Festival and the Idaho Shakespeare Festival. With only one call back he booked the entire season for both festivals. That was 9 months of work! In fact, one of the productions was able to remount itself for the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival this summer.

Sandy Rosenberg has had much success with Equity Auditions; she has two stand out stories. She auditioned in Los Angeles in the mid 1990s for the out-of-town try out for JEKYLL AND HYDE and booked it. From that job she booked the original Broadway Company of THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL. Recently she auditioned for MENOPAUSE, THE MUSICAL and that lead to almost a full year of employment all over the country.

Councilor Kevin McMahon "dragged" fellow Councilor Doug Carfrae to the EPA for Phantom Las Vegas and Doug booked the job! (Thank you peer pressure!)

One of the best stories I came across… In 1969, Councilor John Herzog auditioned in Los Angeles for this new musical that was sweeping the nation called HAIR. He got the job, his Equity card and he remembers fondly, the dance captain was Kay Cole. He says, "I've never kept count but I believe I've gotten about half of my jobs off of open calls in my life and I must have been on at least a thousand by now."

I spoke with Steven Glaudini, freelance director and Artistic Director of Musical Theatre West. He expressed, "For the Musical Theatre West EPAs and ECCs I have the entire artistic staff in attendance at every audition because that is VERY important to me as an artistic director. We love to find the diamond in the rough!" I asked if he had any insight to help actors with auditions. He enthusiastically replied, "People book jobs that they didn't audition for through EPAs and ECCs. You never know. The audition is YOUR time. Do what you do. SHOW ME! We want you to succeed."

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