The spotlight hits their face as they stand before the judges with anticipation, and with a nod of a head they begin their performance for the new musical.

On Tuesday, October 26, musical auditions for Cinderella took place, rallying dancers, singers, and actors together in the cafeteria. Senior Casey Hartley auditioned for the musical of Cinderella this year, hoping to get one of the lead parts by doing what he loves.

“I wanted to be in this year’s musical because I have been in the musical for three years and it is my favorite thing in high school,” Hartley said. “I also just love singing and acting and the musical is the one thing at West that incorporates both of those. This year, I am hoping to get the role of Topher, the prince.”

Since Hartley has been doing musicals for the school for three years, he is seasoned in trying to convey emotion to the audience. He thinks that the most gratifying part of the musical is seeing the audience’s reaction when they connect with the emotion that is on stage.

“The thing I love most about performing is the feeling you get when an audience feels what you’re trying to convey,” Hartley said. “In every line, or lyric, or dance move, you are trying to convey an emotion. And when the audience shows that they feel that, it’s the best feeling because you have accomplished something.”

Dance teacher Cherri Crabtree helps judge auditions and produce the musical alongside the other fine arts teachers. With the many different aspects that go into creating a musical, Crabtree thinks that the final result that comes out of all of their efforts is the best part.

“The entire process of producing a musical is gratifying, I don’t really have a favorite part. From deciding on the musical, auditioning for parts, budgeting, advertising, developing set design, creating the scenes and choreography, costuming and makeup, to the final product of performance, each element is just as important and exciting as the other,” Crabtree said. The process of the experience before the gratification of the performance is stressful and demanding but the worth of it makes it a memorable few months.”

The first night of a musical is always rough and full of mistakes, so Hartley feels a strong sense of pride when the a certain scene or the whole musical becomes perfected.

“My favorite part of the musical is just watching a scene go from the early stages of practice where everyone is just trying to make it work to the first night of shows where it all comes together and the audience is wooed by it,” Hartley said.

To cast the right people for the right role, Crabtree and the other judges look at many different components of an audition, trying to cast a musical well enough to make it great and memorable.

“Directors study the production and the productions characters. It is our job to cast the right person to portray each character, song and scene in the play we choose to produce,” Crabtree said. “We look for vocal ability to house the requirements of the songs that will need to be performed as well as the characterization of auditioners to fit the actor to the role. We also look for adaptability and availability, as well as players who are responsible, have good work ethics and positive attitudes.”

Even though the auditions are full of pressure as actors and dancers chase after the part they want, Hartley always tries to remain confident in his abilities and perform as best as he can.

“It is nerve wracking to audition because you want to do your best. I calm down by just focusing on what I prepared and practicing constantly,” Hartley said. “Confidence is key honestly. If you believe that what you prepared is good, then everyone will see that.”