taking risks

The Joy of Taking Risks


Auditions can be scary, stressful, and nerve-racking. It is often hard to stand in front of a group of people and put yourself and your abilities on the line. While this holds true for many auditions that our campers have previously experienced in other settings, Acting Manitou auditions shatter the stereotypical ideas of what auditioning means.

Audition day at Acting Manitou is a day full of joy, creativity, play, and risk taking. We consistently hear from campers that here they don’t feel like they are auditioning, but rather that they are getting to be a part of all five shows for a day. Acting Manitou is producing five incredible and diverse shows this session, and while the campers will only be cast in one show, on audition day they have the experience of being in all five shows. They get a chance to work with each director and experience for a moment what it is like to be in their show. At Acting Manitou we do not have the typical high-stress judgmental auditions that are perhaps common at schools and community theaters, but rather our auditions are opportunities for the campers to share their love of theater with their peers, counselors, and directors.

Every camper is so incredibly unique and has a wide array of talents and skillsets, and our auditions are merely a way for the campers to share those individual talents with everyone. For a whole day, our directors get to learn about everything that each camper has to offer. Our directors are so incredibly supportive, and they do everything that they can to ensure that our campers succeed ad enjoy the process. Cheers and clapping are always heard in the audition room from both the campers and directors; our community goes above and beyond on this day to support and inspire others. You’d be hard pressed to find an audition room that is more supportive, encouraging, and fun-filled than the rooms at Acting Manitou.

A beautiful thing happens when campers are in a supportive and safe environment: they show their true selves and they take risks. For some, a risk might be choosing to sing at the morning vocal auditions. For others it might be standing front and center at the dance audition. And for some it might be performing a Shakespeare monologue for the first time. This risk taking, though scary, often leads to the most memorable and impactful moments of the summer. When our campers dare to be brave, they often find that they are able to accomplish things that they didn’t think were possible. When they challenge themselves to step outside of their comfort zone, they discover new things about themselves as performers and individuals. We believe that there are no wrong choices when auditioning, and that any attempted choice is a great one. With this freedom to be silly and bold, our campers soar.

Margie Gilland, Head Counselor

Margie Gilland, Head Counselor

By the end of all of the auditions, the air is buzzing with inspiration, joy, and creativity. New friends and memories have been made, and our community has grown stronger.