The Alliance Theatre prides itself on employing the greatest local talent each year in A Christmas Carol. If you know the Dickens’ classic, you know there are several child characters featured in major roles. Our production is no different. After a series of annual auditions, Rosemary Newcott and Jody Feldman select the best child actors Atlanta has to offer. These young actors attend rehearsals, costume fittings, and all performances while keeping up with school work and having a social life.
We asked a few actors to share their experiences with us. We hope you enjoy their responses!
Character: Melinda Cratchit
What was the first play you saw? Tell me about your favorite moment in that play: I’ve been going to theatre for as I long as I can remember but the first play I saw that I can recall was actually A Christmas Carol at the Alliance! I’ve been going to this show since I was 2 years old and I always dreamed of being a Cratchit child. So my favorite part of the show was seeing the kids because I always wanted to be up there with them and now my dream has become a reality! It’s such an incredible feeling 🙂 I also loved watching Belle and Fan do their parts because they’re such beautiful characters.
Have you always wanted to be an actor? When I was really little I think I wanted to be a gymnast or a ballerina, but in these last four or five years I am 100% sure that this is the path for me. I am so passionate about theatre and there is nothing in the world I would rather be doing.
What was the first play you were in? What character did you play? The first play that I was in that I can remember (besides Alliance Theatre summer camps) was Junior Players at the Alliance and I played Claire in Mama D’s Dancing Daughters. It was so fun!
What’s it like going to school during the day, and working as an actor in the afternoon/evening? It’s sometimes hard to go to school during the day and then come to rehearsal because of the long day I’ve just had and the amount of homework I have to do but there’s honestly nothing else I would rather do. It is such a privilege and honor to be apart of this production and I always try to keep that in mind. I love going to rehearsal after school because that’s what I’ve been looking forward to all day.
How do you like working with adult actors in this production? That’s honestly one of the best parts about the entire experience because I get to learn from all of these incredible actors that have so much experience. Just watching them, I feel like I’m improving as a performer. They are so kind and helpful throughout the rehearsals and the show and they are all so talented! It’s inspiring to be around them.
What surprised you about the rehearsal process? This is my third year doing A Christmas Carol so I’ve gotten pretty familiar with the rehearsal process. But my first year the thing that surprised me the most about the rehearsal process was how few days we got to rehearse before we went to the stage for tech. This year we only had 12 days in the rehearsal hall before going downstairs and that’s pretty remarkable to me that we get the entire show done in only 12 days!
Have you ever felt nervous in rehearsal or performance? If so, how do you get past that nervous feeling? Absolutely! It can be pretty intimidating to be in a room with professional actors who are so talented but everyone is so nice so you aren’t nervous for long. I mostly get nervous in rehearsal because it’s harder for me to perform in front of people I know because I want to impress them more. I don’t really get nervous for performances on the stage because I normally don’t know anyone in the audience. But the way I get past my nerves is I remind myself that everyone in the room wants me to succeed and I can’t give anything more than my best, so I always try and give everything my 100%.
What advice would you give a young actor trying to audition for professional theatre? Be passionate about what you do. Never do theatre or perform for anyone else but yourself. You shouldn’t be doing this to impress someone, do it because you love it with all your heart. Another thing I’d say is work hard. Work really, really hard because if you don’t you’ll never get better. I know this sounds cheesy but never give up. It’s okay to not book everything you audition for, that’s life. Don’t let a little rejection stop you. The last thing I’ll say is be confident in yourself. I struggle with this a lot. I’m always worried I don’t sing well enough or I’m worried that I won’t be able to pick up choreography at an audition. But just remember that you really can! You just have to try your best because you can’t do anything more than that. I know that sometimes it can be hard because you want to audition for everything or you feel like you’re not doing as much as other kids who are performing and booking jobs, but your time will come! Just believe in what you can do and never stop trying. Thanks!
-Olivia Aston Bosworth
Family Programs Manager