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Broadway Vet To Hold Auditioning Master Class For Students

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In 1999, David Gaschen walked onto the stage at the Majestic Theater on Broadway for the first time in the title role of The Phantom of the Opera. It was by no means his first performance. He had been playing the role on the European stage for years. Now, Gaschen is coming to Pensacola to try and help young people’s Broadway dreams come true. 

While on Broadway, he picked up a lot of important information about auditioning and thought he could teach that to young people, no matter where they lived. "[If they live] anywhere that's not New York, they don't actually get to get first hand knowledge. And the knowledge I was gaining from auditioning I wanted to share with the kids as soon as I could."

Gaschen will be doing that on Monday at the Pensacola Children’s Chorus. Alex Gartner, the Artistic Director of the chorus, says "[Gaschen] offered to come here to do an audition 'master class' for tenth through twelfth graders and even college students to kind of hone in on these audition skills that are so important for having a successful performing career. Learning how to present yourself the way you want to in two and a half minutes."

Gartner says that in his career he’s learned that knowing how to audition is one of the most important skills any performer should have, and learning from Broadway actor is a great opportunity. He calls it individualized, audition based, confidence building.  "Learning how you present yourself to a roomful of people you've never met. Learning how to study monologs and present songs in a way that's effective and meaningful and emotional. All those things are really important and ultimately get you the part."

During the workshop, Gaschen will talk about the importance of choosing the proper material for an audition and the right way to present yourself. He also reminds students that the people in the seats are not the enemy. "The people you are auditioning in front of are on your side! A lot of times (people) think 'it's me against the auditioners', when actually they're on the same side. They want to hire the best people they can hire because their job is on the line as well. So they want you to be your absolute best so they can hire the best people."

Gachen, who now lives in Frisco, Texas, and runs a voice studio with dozens of students, has been teaching the audition master class for a while now and has had some great successes. "I actually just found out a few months ago that one of my former students is in the cast of Hamilton on Broadway. So, you can't go wrong there!"

David Gaschen’s auditioning workshop will be held Monday, July 11 at the Pensacola Children’s Chorus headquarters on East Chase Street from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.. Students from tenth grade and up, including college students, are welcome.  You can reserve a place in the class by calling the Pensacola Children's Chorus at 434-77-60.