Since Fox’s hit television show “Glee” put out an open casting call on March 30, several ASU students have joined thousands of “gleeks” to answer.
Abraham Anene Ntonya, a sophomore theater student, and Samantha Fitzgerald, a journalism sophomore, are two such students hoping to win a role on the show.
Fitzgerald said she was excited and grateful for the opportunity to audition for a show she enjoys watching so much.
“I’m a big music nut. I was a choir kid throughout all four years of high school, so it hits close to home for me,” Fitzgerald said. “I’ve been in choirs since third grade and singing since I could talk. I like to think of my life as ‘Glee,’ I feel like every person on the show is someone I could be friends with.”
For Anene Ntonya it was the prospect of acting alongside the cast that prompted him to audition.
“It’s an opportunity for any aspiring actor who would like to get involved in or would like to begin a career on screen,” Anene Ntonya said. “The talent that’s involved with that show, you want to be a part of that. It’s a great opportunity to get your name out there if you are lucky enough to be part of it. I didn’t come here to play around, I came here to become an actor and that’s an opportunity to act and I want it.”
Fitzgerald said she was drawn to “Glee” both for the music and the show’s ability to appeal to a wide range of people.
“The show is so diverse, it reaches out to so many people and brings them all together,” Fitzgerald said. “Whether you are heterosexual, homosexual, white, black, gray, green — it doesn’t matter. They kind of poke fun at the stereotypes; they have a pregnant teenager, the gay guy, the black girl that can belt [songs]. They are poking fun but they are sending a message.”
As an international student from Malawi, Anene Ntonya said he hopes to bring an additional sense of racial and cultural diversity to the show.
“I figured there isn’t really an African American male in that whole thing who has a significant role,” Anene Ntonya said. “And so looking at that I was like, ‘Well, I could probably fit into that puzzle very nicely,’ and on top of that, … I could bring some sort of dynamic to the cast and create something interesting in the storyline.”
“Glee” has become one of the most-watched shows in America in what Fitzgerald called a “Gleenomenon.” Anene Ntonya said the show is also popular among his friends in Africa and said he would be happy to represent his home country on the show.
“I’m a Malawian, I’m an African. So those who are from Malawi could be proud that one of their children has made it,” he said.
A nationwide open casting call issued by Fox urged both professionals and amateurs to submit auditions online auditions through MySpace.
Each “Glee” hopeful was asked to submit a one-minute personal statement as well as a video recording of their rendition of one of 10 hit songs from the show.
Fitzgerald said she didn’t believe the news at first and thought it was a ploy to get more users on MySpace.
“At first I thought it may be a scam because Facebook had kind of defeated MySpace, but I think it was really smart on both Fox’s part and MySpace’s part because it rejuvenated and revamped MySpace,” Fitzgerald said.
The accessibility of MySpace drew a huge number of people to audition.
“It brought people who wouldn’t necessarily have auditioned for a television show. I don’t have an agent, so this was a really useful tool to audition through,” Fitzgerald said.
MySpace also provided a forum for other users to vote and give feedback on the video submissions.
“I got a lot of positive feedback from almost every single person who heard about my audition and had a chance to see it,” Anene Ntonya said. “Now it’s just a matter of waiting to see if they like it.”
Reach the reporter at email@example.com