I've had such a RELAXING few weeks, and wasn't AT ALL stressed about my new teaching job at a day camp today, so it was just PERFECT when I discovered yesterday, shortly after noon, that there was a BIG AUDITION being held TODAY. An audition where lots of theatres from all over the city would watch nervous actors do 2 contrasting monologues, and, if so inclined, sing 16 bars from a song.
Could you hear my harrowed scream from your home? No? It must have been at the wrong decibel.
Once I was done screaming, I called the theatre hosting the audition. Being Sunday, the offices were, of course, closed. I left a message, indicating the absolute earliest I could be there, and then took my daughter to the pool as promised. Poolside I watched as she and her friends enjoyed the waterslide, and I reviewed a small stack of monologues I had pulled from my monologue file.
Fortunately, I have such a file for occasions like this. And, fortunately, I have a few monologues I've been doing for over a decade and know like the back of my hand. And are, shockingly, still appropriate.
After The May Queen was in bed I printed out 20 Headshots and Resumes from my computer. I'm in desperate need of new pictures, and my husband took some pictures of me on his new camera a while back as practice. We've been meaning to do a new shoot to get some better shots, but I just picked the best of the batch and printed it out. My old professional shots are over 7 years old, my hair is much shorter, and I have a few less wrinkles (sigh). But the newer ones do look more like me, and I silently thanked God and whoever it was that invented digital cameras, photo editing software, and personal photo printers. Thank you.
Today, I went to teach (and that is a post for another day...) and checked my messages mid-day. Score! An audition time (being so late to the party I was afraid I wouldn't get one, in which case I planned to show up and sit around until they saw me. fun.)
So I finished teaching, hurried home to get ready, and rushed into the city. During rush hour. I made it there about 10 minutes before my time, and they were, predictably, running late. A few minutes later a friend of mine showed up, so we sat together and caught up while waiting to go in.
Finally, my turn. I would have 4 minutes to wow them.
Although it's been a few years since I've done this kind of audition, I'm rather practiced at it. (This doesn't mean that I don't get nervous. I still get nervous) I'm good at picking the pieces to show off my strenghths. I'm good at going in, giving a friendly introduction, and then launching myself into my pieces without missing a beat.
The first piece is a funny bit I've adapted from a short story by Donald Barthelme. It never fails to make them laugh, and by the end, they were all laughing in appropriately shocked ways (it's about a lot of things dying. It's funny. Trust me) Then I did my Shakespearean piece from Henry VI, part 2 (raise your hand if you've even that read that play. It's a surefire way to make sure I'm not doing the same Viola or Ophelia speech everyone else is doing. And it's strong, short, and to the point) Then, I had them laughing again with my brief 16 bars (the ones that won me a part in an opera, so they must be miracle workers).
I thanked them and exited the stage, feeling pretty good.
As I was leaving I heard a woman's voice say "She was wonderful."
I feel good. I deserve the margarita I'm drinking.
Now... if only one of those directors will CALL me....
(oh, hey! you can read part of the short story here. I do a WAY trimmed down version of a piece of this, but if you're up for a morbid laugh...)