Every so many years The Lion King Broadway comes to Jamaica to scout out new talent in the form of dancers and singers for both lead and chorus roles. It is an exciting time for the Jamaican performer, as it presents an opportunity for an awesome paid job, in another country, for one of the most respected Broadway musicals of all time.
The Lion King is dear to my heart because I had participated in a local production many years ago, that got me familiar with the joys of the theatre stage, and helped me to further unearth my love of the performing arts. Back then I was the understudy for Timon, but otherwise a chorus member. It was one of the most fun experiences I ever had, and to this day I am still friends with many of the cast members.
Here we are full circle, 2019, and I am auditioning as a singer for Lion King Broadway. I wasn’t very nervous, but I definitely plotted through all the possible outcomes. What if I was selected? Would I re-shuffled my entire life as I know it and move to London or Australia and start over for at least a year? Questions that all were quite challenging for me, as nothing in this life is ever truly black or white. At the end of the day I decided that at the very least I should audition. I would meet new people, reconnect with old ones, experience the Lion King audition process, and be in the database as someone who tried out. I really had nothing to lose in auditioning except the what-ifs had I not.
Number 084 would be my assignment, after being told signups were essentially closed. I warmed my voice up in my car, and thought through how I would pace through my song. I decided to sing ‘Ribbon In The Sky’ by Stevie Wonder as I am comfortable with it, and it has a few key changes to showcase my range. As I started to sing, I could tell they liked what they heard. They allowed me to sing through my entire song. One of the gentlemen auditioning flipped through pages on his table. I believe he was trying to decide which role best suited me. They asked me whether it was music or medicine? I responded by saying “It’s music, but I happen to be a doctor.” They asked me to stand outside the room for a few minutes, which was hopeful, as it was my own little on-spot mini callback. When I was called back into the room, they tested the lower register of my range to see how low I could sing. After that, they said thank you for my time.
So I didn’t get a callback, as most of the persons receiving a call back got material to learn for the following day. This time music and acting parts from the actual Lion King play. I left quite happy even just being considered. So the moral of the story is to always follow your gut, and sometimes even when you aren’t sure if it’s the right fit, if you aren’t losing much time, and time that could re-route your entire life along a path that benefits your passion…then why not. Go for it. I went for it, it didn’t work in my favour this time, but I have absolutely on regrets, and I can tick off my bucket list, ‘I auditioned for Lion King Broadway’.
That time I auditioned for The Lion King Broadway.