I was recruited. You could be too! Shadowbox Live Auditions.
In July of 2001, I walked into the doors of my first theater job: a place that was then called Shadowbox Cabaret, a black box theater that performed sketch comedy, one-act plays, and live rock ‘n’ roll. That day, the company was in a final tech rehearsal for its summer show, so after my orientation I sat at one of the tables in the house to watch a run.
Sixteen years later, I’m still here, working as the Director of Recruitment for the same company – now known as Shadowbox Live®, the nation’s largest resident theatre company.
The bulk of Shadowbox Live’s productions are composed of original work – in addition to comedy, the company creates original musicals, rock anthologies, and innovative retellings of literary classics, like Wuthering Heights (“Madness and Lust”) and The Great Gatsby (“Broken Whispers”). The company’s growth has been nothing short of exponential: in just over 25 years, Shadowbox Live has grown from an itinerant troupe of actors into a regional powerhouse, partnering with New York Times Bestselling authors and spearheading collaborations with organizations like The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Kindai University (Osaka, Japan). It is a time consuming, demanding job … and a perfect fit for someone who is interested in immersing themselves in the live entertainment industry.
We aren’t a company that searches for people who choose to package themselves as “actors” or “singers.” Instead, we look for performers who want to be aggressively challenged to be the best at what they do. As our productions evolve in both quality and complexity, so must our ensemble. Workshops are held regularly to allow new performers to play with one another, as well as receive coaching and feedback from veteran residents, who provide “tough love” notes that put the quality of the performance above everything else. Performers are pushed to explore character building in workshops and rehearsals, and company auditions are followed up with notes from producers on how to improve for the next audition. Our commitment to a high quality patron experience comes from our audiences’ commitment to watch us experiment and grow as performers. The end result is a relationship with our audiences that is intimate and unusual for the industry.
After watching rehearsals on the first day of work, I was convinced that I had – somehow – cleverly fooled the company’s recruiters and slipped through the cracks. My brain kept screaming, “What have you done?! You’ve never done anything like this before! How can you possibly make it on that stage? Now, I’m able to read that same flash of fear that comes over a new member’s face after watching their first Shadowbox Live show. I give them the same advice I was given on my first day: “Work your butt off and have fun.”
If you think you’ve got what it takes, visit shadowboxlive.org/auditions.