Monday, October 18, 2010

The Replacement Experience

Name: Sarah Claire Smith
Hometown: Winter Haven, Florida
Role: Silly Girl/Enchanted Object

Sarah Claire Smith plays the role of a Silly Girl and an Enchanted Object in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and is today's latest blogger! Read on to learn more about Sarah!!

I wasn't living in New York at the time of the original audition for Disney's Beauty and the Beast in May of 2009. I was just visiting NYC, catching Broadway shows--yet with the intent of auditioning as much as possible! (I had just come out of a ten-month contract and I needed to be inspired!) Disney's Beauty and the Beast was one of the auditions I attended during my visit. Thankfully, I was called back the entire week and went through many callbacks for different roles. Still, I didn't hear anything back immediately. I was called back for another series of callbacks in September and October…again, no offer. I was called in one more time for an understudy role in February of 2010. While in the end I was not cast, it was a wonderful experience to be called back so many times. As actors do, I went on with my life--and other wonderful opportunities came about in result! They say, "When a door is closed there is always another opening." It's a wonderful lesson to learn. Now fast forward a few months...

I spent this summer in Florida performing RENT and teaching in a children's theatre program. I was in the midst of teaching middle school kids a number from Hairspray when I got "the call." The Company Manager called to find out my availability to replace a girl who was injured. This was a familiar call. I was asked to come in earlier that year but was unavailable--because I was opening a show the weekend they needed me! While I was thrilled to get another call, I was again under contract for the next 3 weeks. Thankfully, NETworks decided to wait for me and I came on board Disney's Beauty and the Beast in early August!

I joined the Dance Captain and Music Director in Kansas City for my replacement rehearsals. They taught me every aspect of my track in two days of 4-hour rehearsals! It was quite overwhelming, but the cast and crew were very supportive. In every stressful moment I just sought peace and relied on all of my good training. On my "Opening Night" we had a put- in rehearsal with the whole cast before the show. I remember feeling surprised at how calm I was. I must have understood that freaking out would only exacerbate this stressful situation--so I just took a breath, smiled, and made my entrance onto the stage! While my first show was not flawless, I felt great about my performance. It didn't actually become "fun" until a few days later, when I could relax into the role and enjoy my time onstage.

I still can't believe that I was put into the show in 3 days! I wasn't nervous--but I wouldn't wish that experience on anyone. It was intense!!!

Here I am, now almost two months into tour as a Silly Girl and spinning napkin! Touring is a wonderful and unique experience and that I am still learning from and adjusting to. Recently we were in San Francisco and Honolulu--both incredible cities. I had to pinch myself most days to make sure it wasn't a dream. I love being a Silly Girl. We cry a lot, swoon over Gaston, and have a great time every night. Getting paid to sing, dance, act and see the country is a pretty incredible gig. I am grateful to be here and be a part of a show that lifts people's spirits and brings them to their feet every night!

1 comment:

  1. Sarah, As my cousin Anthony, who is a colleague of yours on your tour, stated so aptly, You are a professional showoff! Thanks for sharing your travels to where you are currently.

    As I spoke with Anthony Fett while hearing about his efforts and travels, I am enjoying living vicariously through you all.

    Enjoy yourself. Stay healthy. And have FUN!!!

    A newly and excited fan, Matt Marino, Chandler, AZ, and cousin to Anthony Fett.