Monday, June 9, 2008

Tales from an audition

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...)

23 comments:

Alpha DogMa said...

Good for you! I bet you were/are wonderful.

Did you get the part in the play with the aerial flying apparatus? Uh. I'm going for google-proof with that awkward turn of phrase. FYI.

Sarcasta-Mom said...

Way to go! I bet you'll land a part no problem. it's always so neat to read about your acting life. I did a lot of theater in school and always dreamed of becoming an actress. Unfortunatly I was always to heavy to land a romantic lead, and we never did get around to doing Hairspray. LOL.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Ohhhh.... keeping fingers and everything else crossed for you! It sounds good!

niobe said...

Off to read the longer version of your audition piece.

Sounds like it went very, very well.

Sober Briquette said...

woo-hoo. you rock.

I don't know how you do it - the crazy schedule would be too much for me.

BTW, sorry I missed your blogaversary post - I read it and thought I commented... congratulations! I was ever so surprised a year ago when you commented to me & included me on your blogroll, and I'm still so glad to "know" you.

Kathryn said...

You had 4 minutes to do two monologues and 16 bars of a song? That is stressful in itself. It is so hard to find really good short monologues.
I bet you did amazing! Keeping my fingers crossed for you!

thailandchani said...

I'm happy to know it went so well! :)

Amy Y said...

Hooray!
Of course they loved you! :)
Keeping fingers and recently pedicured toes crossed for you!

womaninawindow said...

OMG, i'm nervous just thinking of you putting yourself up there. Much respect. Much respect. Ya, I wrote that twice 'cause that's just how much I mean it.

Jozet at Halushki said...

"As I was leaving I heard a woman's voice say 'She was wonderful.'"

Yes yes! Of course they loved you!

I'm impressed! I'd need two weeks and someone to hold my hand to get two monologues up and running that quickly. Well done you!

Mary Beth said...

When I got to the part about the Korean kid, I was snorting (trying sooo hard not to laugh out loud because, of course, I'm at work). I hope everything continues to go as well with the rest of the process:)

jen said...

babe, you are wonderful. and i want to see those head shots.

Rima said...

What a fabulous feeling that must be! I wish I could have seen your audition!

Chantal said...

wow that sounds like fun (stressful fun, but fun). In high school I had to do a monologue and got the hugest anxiety attack on stage and started crying... Not very flattering! LOL

another good thing said...

Of COURSE they're going to call you. And Of course you were wonderful, but geez, you had me so nervous and anxious for you, I needed a Margarita too.
btw love the DB story.

ewe are here said...

Sounds like your audition went brilliantly... I hope they call!

imbeingheldhostage said...

This was fantastic!! Oh, I can't wait to hear your good news! I also wanted to tell you that today, I said a little thank you-- to you. while I was sitting in Her Majesty's theatre, I thought of you. I wanted to act, but as I got older, I picked up this strange panic thing--that actually gets my heart racing just imagining having to learn lines etc... So, today I clapped when the cast took their bows and was so grateful for talented people who bring people like me such joy-- people like you. :-) So, thank you.

Bea said...

I am just in awe. That death piece was pretty funny. I would never be able to pull something like that off. Wish I could have been there to see!

slouching mom said...

ooh, ooh! when will you find out? sounds like you're a sure thing! (i'll say it FOR you, because you won't say it yourself -- you're too modest, i think).

can't wait to find out!

Chaotic Joy said...

Oh what I would have given to sit in on that audition. Good for you Maypole, you must have walked out of there on cloud nine. And I'm with SM, I have no doubt you'll get a call.

Laski said...

OMG--so excited! Can't wait to hear if you get it!

OK, English teacher here . . . which part from Henry VI did you do???

I know it was stressful finding out on such short notice, but then again, you didn't have much time to stress about it! And, you "were wonderful!"

Woo hoo!!!

wheelsonthebus said...

I HATE auditions. As a director or an actor. (I should be suing past tense, as I no longer function in eiher role.) Auditions are so stressful!

nomotherearth said...

Any chance you'd send me your trimmed down version? I don't think we'll be going for the same parts...

Btw, I got your May Crown - thanks! I put it on my head yesterday, then took it off to do a photo for my latest post, and didn't realize there was still a flower stuck in my hair. I think it's a pretty picture..