Remember that I did an audition last week? Yup, I was cast in two David Ives one acts (The Philadelphia and Sure Thing) which, incidentally, are the two that I was hoping to be a part of! Not saying the other ones weren’t great, but I’m a big David Ives fan and was hoping for an opportunity to perform his work. Not to mention that I think these two are great roles that show off a little bit of my manic on-stage energy and a little bit of restraint. Awesome opportunities that I’m really excited for!
To get a sense of my High School theatre years, you can follow that link. I believe I left off at meeting Dr. K at UW-Platteville.
So I chose UW-P for four reasons. My G-ma Barlow and my Sister are both alums, I was very familiar with the town/campus due to Band Camp, they recruited me for Track & Field as a hurdler, and they offered a Music Business degree with strong Engineering programs for a fallback. I don’t quite remember how it all started, but I believe I ran into Dr. K within the first month of school and she said I should definitely audition for the 7 person cast in the fall musical “The Fantasticks.” By this time, I had been training with the Track team and had a great start to make the team and really didn’t have time to prepare for an audition and maintain two activities, so it took some convincing for me to audition. I threw together a Solo & Ensemble tune (I think it was Stars from Les Mis) and went.
I sang well and did some cold readings with various people and was told the cast list would be up in a few days. It was quite an intimidating experience, if I remember correctly. Kelsey Klug (who would go on to play Luisa) was one of my reading partners and I do remember being in awe. It was a thoroughly impressive to see all that talent audition.
The cast list was posted a few days later in Doudna (where all those cast lists end up) and I didn’t have a chance to get over to Doudna during the day, but I did stop by after the building closed and peered through the window opposite the list. Fortunately the cast list had a large font and I was able to see “Matt – Benjamin Barlow”… I was so excited I called nearly everyone I could! The entire way back to my dorm room, I nearly ran with the phone to my ear.
Sure enough, I quit Track and decided to go theatre full-time. I justified that decision by weighing the option of being the third/fourth best hurdler on the team or the lead in a musical.
There are really no ways to really describe how I felt about getting casted. The experience was great and led to a full career in theatre in Platteville and Dubuque. I will always be very thankful for Dr. K and Dr. Schuler for starting me on that path.