All posts by Sarah Bucknam


Auditioning is something that makes everyone nervous. It is often the hardest part about putting on a production. To help make the process easier, we want you to know exactly what to expect!

There are 3 parts of an audition for a musical (usually in this order)

  1. Vocal
  2. Cold Reading/Monologue
  3. Choreography

None of the audition parts are more important then the others. You must be able to sing, act, and dance the part!

If you come prepared, YOU’LL BE FINE!




Let’s start at the beginning!

1) The first thing you will be asked to do is SLATE. What is a Slate?  And Why is it So Important? A “slate” is essentially an introduction when you audition for a project.

“My name is…. and I will be singing…..”

After you have told the judges your name and what you will be singing you will sing about 16 bars of a song that shows off your range.

Here are a few examples of good vocal auditions-

Matthew Nassida: Take A Chance On Me (Little Women) & On The Street Where You Live (My Fair Lady)


Jessie Lawson


NEXT: Cold Reading/ Monologue– Depending on your age and what you are auditioning for you will be asked to do a cold reading or perform a monologue. Children ages 4-11 will not be expected to perform a monologue for Spotlight Acting School Productions. For those 11- adult, I would strongly advise preparing a monologue!

Cold Reading- Theatrical cold reading is reading aloud from a script or other text with little or no rehearsal

Monologue- In theater, a monologue is a speech presented by a single character, most often to express their mental thoughts aloud, though sometimes also to directly address another character or the audience.


LASTLY: Choreography- The choreographer will spending 5-10 minutes teaching a portion of a song. You will then be asked to perform what you were taught. This is mainly for the judges to see how well you can move and how quickly you pick up new material.





  1. Confidence- It sounds simple but it takes practice. Walk in the door with your held head high. Be wary of shuffling feet. You don’t get sympathy points if you’re nervous, not feeling well, or having a bad day. Leave it outside the door.
  2. Come Prepared– Know the story of the show you are auditioning for. Be familiar with the characters. Rehearse your slate, vocal audition, and monologue. PRACTICE.
  3. SMILE- This shows that you love what you do and that you will be a pleasure to work with. No one wants to work with a grouch.
  4. Don’t apologize. Ever. For anything.
  5. Always Audition- The best way to master auditioning is just like everything else.  Do it over and over.  You’ll get numb to the nerves.  You’ll be able to be yourself.  And you’ll get free practice!

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Get Creative!

As many of you know- our motto is DO SOMETHING CREATIVE EVERY DAY. Here are a few ways Spotlight and our students have been creative recently!

Student, Caraline Perkins, spent her snow day building Snoopy!



Dance classes at Spotlight have officially begun! Check out a short clip from our first jazz class.



Ryan Peters and his wonderful creative family spent their snow days building confetti canons for Beauty & The Beast!




Director Sarah Bucknam made a WHO HABITAT for Spotlight’s upcoming production of TO BROADWAY WITH LOVE. This flower will be used in a number from Seussical.




To Broadway With Love directors have spent many hours creating karaoke tracks.

We promise to continue sharing the fun and creative things we are up to!


KaSandra Barnes DMD

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KaSandra Barnes DMD
KaSandra Barnes DMD

Let me begin by saying that I am honored to have been asked to be the first featured “spotlight” for the acting school. It is most certainly true that the children’s Spotlight Acting School will always have a special place in my heart. When I graduated from Madison Southern High School in 2006, I was honored and excited to have been asked by Mrs. Kathie J. R. Bettler to join in her vision for a children’s acting school–one that had a sole purpose of giving the children of our community the chance to perform. From the very beginning, it was never about fancy sets, beautiful costumes, cool lighting, or even bringing in revenue. It was about the kids. Period. That is why Kathie’s legacy still lives on to this day and continues to help children foster their own senses of self during crucial developmental years. It was not uncommon for kids to come to us shy and unsure of themselves only to become the bright, shining stars taking center stage in our shows. It was truly amazing and rewarding to bear witness to such transformations over and over again. Continue reading KaSandra Barnes DMD