Every year, since I was a sophomore, I've auditioned for every play and musical. I've only gotten a couple parts (i.e. "The Radical"/Chorus Member in Wonderful Town and Ms. Lynch in Grease), but I am usually still very involved in every production. The only one I wasn't really involved in was last year's play The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940, when I was asked to be the drama dirge (I think that's what it was called) and look up information about things in the play in case one of the actors had a question. Honestly, I ended up not doing anything, although, somehow I was still allowed at the cast party. Other times I didn't get a part I helped out with make-up, which was my job for our most recent play (Don't Drink the Water). For the musical this year, I auditioned again. The next day, before the cast list was up, my choir teacher approached me and told me that I had a choice of either being a chorus member or playing violin on the synthesizer in the pit. It took me a minute to think about it, but I answered pit, and I haven't looked back since.
Isn't she a beauty?
As much as I enjoy being up on stage, I've found that I almost prefer being down in front of it more. Our pit isn't exactly big (which I'm sure you figured out when I said I'd be playing violin on the synthesizer), but it's still a joy to be a part of. There are four of us (piano, drums, bass, synth), plus the choir directer that directs us and we all get along wonderfully. I find myself laughing much more often than I would've had I just been a part of the cast. The way I see it, being in the pit means I don't have to wear a crap-ton of makeup (I always hated that part of acting), I don't have to worry about a costume (except for the outfit I will wear three days in a row), and I get to see the play (excluding musical numbers when I'm playing) for free! I even got a musical t-shirt for free because I was in the pit. Not to mention, since it's a violin part, and therefore only requires one of my hands, the music is pretty easy.
Basically, as much as I love acting, there's probably a good chance I'm going to stick with the Pit Orchestra (oh, look, the official name!), probably even into college. Hopefully when I get to college, though, I'll be playing either piano or clarinet instead of "violin on synthesizer".
Hey, at least I got free pizza tonight.