Faces of KTC - Natalie Farahani
A very well-known and appreciated face behind the curtains at Keyano Theatre is 15 year old Natalie Farahani. Born on upper Vancouver Island, she moved to Fort McMurray eight years ago and has since become a graphic artist and general theatre-er. Natalie has worked on no less than 15 shows - teching a total of twelve (soon to be thirteen) shows and working as an actor on three; Hometown... The Musical!, Les Miserables, and CRY, a show about human trafficking. The theatre talent extraordinaire says: "Despite doing mostly tech these days, I have a ridiculous love of singing and acting, musicals are my one true love!"
This year, Natalie has decided to leave the tech booth and try out for a part on stage, auditioning for this season's musical The Drowsy Chaperone. "It has one of my favourite soundtracks, so naturally it had to be the one I make my comeback with, but Nurse Jane Goes To Hawaii looks quite interesting too" she says.
Her journey into the world of theatre started almost by chance: "I was at Keyano College with my mother when a teacher there stopped and asked me if I acted or sang", Natalie explains, "she then told me that the theatre was looking for a girl my age for a show. It turned out the show was Hometown.. The Musical! As it turns out, eleven-year-old Natalie’s audition wasn’t half bad and I got the part! I had such a great time that I auditioned for Les Miserables the next season, after that I got involved in tech theatre and acting took the bench until now."
Having experience as an actor, Stage Manager and ASM, Natalie knows a thing or two about the audition process, and what to keep in mind when auditioning. It's important to remember that not two auditions are the same. "My audition for Hometown... The Musical! called for people to prepare a monologue and a few bars of a song, this is how many musical auditions go. You go in on your own, sing and do your monologue, and then if they like you, they bring you in for a callback where you learn some songs and usually some dance steps", Natalie says. "Then they call you back if they’d like to cast you. My Les Miserables audition was just a general singing audition. A bunch of us got together, learned the songs, and the Musical Director and Director kept an eye on potential choices and cast later. CRY was a little different, we talked a little, read some scenes, and went home."
6 Steps to acing the audition, by Natalie
- Book your audition time, show up a half hour early. Formal auditions require you to fill out some paperwork and release forms, and then you need to warm up. If you show up too late, you push back ALL the next auditions and whoever is running the sign in desk gets a whole lot more work to do. On top of that, it can make you seem unprofessional/unreliable.
- Warm up before you get to the audition. In case you don’t have time once you get to the building, and in case you get nervous. Sometimes warming up in the hall in front of other people can be nerve-racking, but you still need to do it before hand. So at home right before you drive down is better than nothing.
- Read the script or find a bootleg recording of the show online. Sometimes the company will make the script available to you, other times you may need to find it yourself. It’s important to know what you’re getting into and which characters you could potentially play. Read up.
- This one is for musicals, pick a song in the same genre as the show! You wouldn’t want to sing a modern pop song at an audition for something like Hairspray or Cabaret! Listen to the soundtrack, find a song that suits the show and is in the range of the role you’re auditioning for, and make sure the song you chose shows off that range.
- PLEASE COME TO YOUR AUDITION WITH YOUR SCHEDULE ON HAND! It is so important that when they ask for your availability, you know it! If you say you have no conflicts whatsoever, then you get cast and tell your Stage Manager that you’re going to miss two weeks of rehearsals, it does NOT come across well! And it makes things for difficult for everyone involved in the creation of the show. Know your availability. This includes what time you work, times you may be in school, birthdays, weddings, anything!
- Have fun! If you don’t think you’ll enjoy a show, don’t do it! Don’t pick a song you hate singing, don’t pick a monologue you hate and don’t accept a role you’re going to hate. Do this within reason, it is also important to grow as an actor and get out of your comfort zone.
"The theatre community as a whole, as well as the community here in Fort McMurray is such a tight knit little family. It extends into almost any event you can think of. You will know someone everywhere you go, you get to dive in to these wild worlds with such cool people, and you get an incredible amount of joy from watching these amazing friends you’ve made, go on to do such great things.
Get out there and art!
On any level, theatre and the arts are amazing things. Whether you are involved directly or just go to witness it, make sure you are a part of it. It’s an experience you surely shouldn’t go without."
Keyano Theatre Company is currently casting Drama Series productions A Christmas Carol and The Drowsy Chaperone.
CLICK HERE for more information.