Your Dad Can’t Come Backstage: An Oral History of the Blackburn High School Theatre Department


“Footloose” Auditions

VICKI: Oh boy. Spring of ’07.

CHANEL: Man, are we really gonna go here? All right. You asked.

HEIDI: If it’s a musical, you gotta be able to sing. You just gotta. Those 30-second auditions for the spring musical really showed you who people were. Every single year. New stars. New has-beens.

TIM: I spent, like, 3 and a half hours editing my karaoke track to get it perfect for the big day. When I sang “Sex & Candy”, I needed the perfect backing track.

HEIDI: They have like every karaoke track to every song ever on iTunes. My library’s full of ’em. There’s kind of a subculture.

VICKI: “When She Loved Me” was my song.

CHANEL: “When She Loved Me” was MY song. Vick knew that. The girls at camp would always call me Jessie and it was our thing and they even got me a Jessie cake one year for my birthday. I told Vick that in confidence.

TIM: I mean, obviously the big shots wanted Ren, but I’m always like, I just can’t do what those guys can do. Ya know? I feel like getting Willard was my big personal breakthrough. I realized, then, that I am at heart a character actor. I know what I am. And it feels good.

ALEX: I was kind of the only guy who could sing so I knew I was gonna get Ren.

HEIDI: You always never knew if Jim liked ya or not. That was his power. Am I gonna get the country solo at the beginning of Act 2? Am I gonna be a townsperson who’s upset at Ren’s suggestion that dancing is celebrated in the Bible and therefore okay for the state of Beaumont? Jim knew what you were cut out for the second you stepped out onto that drama room half-circle blue-carpeted floor.

VICKI: Yeah, he just knew.

CHANEL: Of course I got Wendy Jo. Fourteen lines.

VICKI: The song just fit my voice, ya know? And I kind of looked like the girl who played Ariel in the movie version. Chanel had a hard time with that.

CHANEL: It’s a two and a half hour show. Fourteen lines.

VICKI: Man, I miss those days. The gritty, tension filled set-building weekends where you could really get your aggression on fellow cast members out by painting platforms.

CHANEL: Rusty at least has a good singing part. But have gave it to that slutty extra dancer girl who doesn’t even know theatre. And Vicki got paint in my hair.

ALEX: My mom was big with volunteering for the school so she let us have the after party after opening night at my place. I lost my virginity in my pool that night.


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