|Former HCSMT Leaders Jahtay Teh, Ashley Birdsell,|
Elaheh Eghbal, Billy Lewis, & Kellie Dunan
at their senior convocation ceremony.
Ashley Birdsell is currently a MFA candidate at Brooklyn College, studying Performing Arts Management. She also works as a Programming and General Management Associate at the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts.
The co-founder of HCSMT and director of Avenue Q offered this advice to students: “Own the space. I’ve seen so many auditions of people who are super talented, but don’t realize it. Have the stage presence to make me listen to what you’re saying. Take me on journey from the minute you walk in the door.”
Billy Lewis, the other co-founder who always made rehearsals fun, said this: “no matter what, just have fun! Show that you are fun to work with and do whatever you can to help out.”
Lastly, Kellie Duncan, an impeccable former Hood performer, remarked: “If you show the people casting that you are confident and having a good time with the number, it will come off better than you looking distressed and looking at your feet during the dance.” Duncan is a youth counselor for Norwegian Cruise Lines, based in Hawaii.
All three focused on song choices, advising students to select appropriate numbers that are similar in style and genre to Seussical. Most importantly, the song should showcase the range and talent of the individual auditioning.
So what are their top three tips?
1. Imagine: Have an open mind.
2. Create: Show off your talent effectively.
3. Explore: Do your research.