Samantha de Groot
Leg-warmers were in short supply but energy was high as aspiring dancers, singers and actors turned out for the Melbourne leg of auditions for Fame the Musical this morning.
Contenders high-kicked and barrel-spun for director and choreographer Kelley Abbey, hoping she would remember their name among the scores of people who turned out at Her Majesty's Theatre.
Abbey is no stranger to the musical having played the lead role of Carmen Diaz in 1999.
Producer John Frost saw the parallel between the musical and what those turning up for the audition experienced.
"The auditions mirror the theme of Fame - young people dreaming of breaking through in the entertainment world," he said.
That was the feeling in the room this morning as those auditioning prepared.
Ebony Dwipayana, 19, said she came for "the experience and I'm trying to make my way into the industry".
Her ultimate aspiration - like most people who turned out - was to be on the stage, but she was all too aware of the reality.
"It is difficult ... it's very competitive," she said.
Ashlene Mudroch was eager to get in front of the director.
"It's every dancer's dream to be in Fame the Musical," she said.
The musical follows the lives of a group of students from New York's School for the Performing Arts.
The production ran for a decade at London's West End and has two film versions, one a 1980s cult classic and the other recently released.
Alex Quayle, 23, came to the Melbourne audition having already performed in the musical with an amateur theatre company in Echuca six years ago.
"You can relate to it big time," she said. "Growing up you can feel like an outcast because you are so open-minded.
"It's good to be in a musical that hits so close to home."
Those who auditioned today will find out if they have made it through to the next round of auditions, to be held later this week.
Fame the Musical will open in April next year.
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