To Chicago and back again: My college audition journey- part three

Hopefully Ill see you again soon, Chicago! Photo Provided by: Layla Valenzuela 23.

Hopefully I’ll see you again soon, Chicago! Photo Provided by: Layla Valenzuela ’23.

Layla Valenzuela, Copy Editor

Hi again! Last I saw you, I was telling you about my time auditioning in Chicago, so let’s start right where we left off, shall we?


Finally, a day free of auditions! For our last day in Chicago, we decided to explore the city before our flight left that evening. I had passed by a Dunkin’ Donuts throughout my time there, but vowed not to drink coffee on audition days because it makes me incredibly anxious. Anyway, I finally got the chance to go to Dunkin’, and ordered an iced coffee in 30 degree Chicago winter. I have zero regrets. It was miraculous. I also ordered a everything bagel that I’ll never forget.

JELLYFISH!!!! (Photo Provided by: Layla Valenzuela ’23.)

We then hopped in an Uber and drove to Chi-town’s Shedd Aquarium. My brother loves sealife, so I’ve been to many aquariums, and this was by far the coolest one I’ve ever been to. We saw dolphins, sea lions, and otters (oh my!) before we headed back to the hotel to pick up our baggage. We took the L train back to the airport and arrived back at LAX safely around 10:30 that night. Overall, it was a much needed day of rest.


Oh, you thought that because I arrived back in California, I was done with auditions? Well, you’re wrong! Luckily, I got to sleep in on Friday, but had to get up around 10:00 a.m. to begin my getting ready for my 3:40 p.m. Cal State Fullerton audition (that took place on campus). I had already met the head of the musical theatre program (who is SO NICE,) so I felt super comfortable heading into my audition. When I walked into the audition, I realized that the accompanist (the pianist) was someone I knew!

She loves me. Photos Provided by: Ally Lillestol ’23.

She was also the accompanist for Trinitas’ Musical Theatre class that I took in the fall. It was so nice to see her again and it made me even more excited to perform. After the audition, I went home, packed my bag for the next day, and laid in bed.

It was around this time that my esteemed friend, Ally Lillestol ’23 sent me multiple photos of her mourning me during my absence. Ally and I have three classes together, so the lack of my presense was noticeable. Here’s a collage I made of all the pictures she sent me. She reminicsces here: “It was terrible, I didn’t know what to do with myself. I had to walk up from the parking lot without her, I was sad and lonely and sad. I support you in everything that you do theatre-wise, Layla, but you need to be here.”

After I texted her back assuring her I would see her the next day, I went to sleep.


It was the day I had been waiting for: my last college audition ever!

Counting down the hours in rehearsal until my final audition! (Photo Provided by: Layla Valenzuela ’23. )

Except this day was going to be even longer than the ones before. As previously stated, I’m a maniac, so I scheduled my final audition after a five-hour day of rehearsal for our Trinitas show, “The Importance of Being Earnest.” It was great to see my friends again after an exhausting week. After de-wigging and turning my costume in, I headed home to quickly change into my audition outfit, and away we went!

On the way, I played Midnights to hype myself up and attempted to warm up my voice in the car. My final audition was for Emerson College in Boston, but the school had auditions in LA. When I arrived at the hotel that the audition was at, I fought against the wind to get inside. I checked in at the desk around 30 minutes before my audition and the administrators said that they could take me in right then if I was ready. Apparently the student before me cancelled. I said, “Sure, why not?,” handed off my water bottle to my mom, and went in. The audition went well, but they asked me to sight read sheet music- look at music notes on a page and sing,- which I don’t know how to do, so I just winged it…. yeah.

My mom snapped this pic of me before my final audition! Photo Provided by: Lori Valenzuela.

Overall, auditioning for colleges was one of the most challenging, yet rewarding experiences of my life. There were moments where I questioned everything and lost faith, but I’ve had the most supportive friends, family, and coaching team. I couldn’t have done it without any of them. Now, I’m just playing the waiting game, waiting for responses! The next article that I write about my college audition journey, I will know what school I’ll be attending in the fall- which is so crazy! We’re almost there!!!!