Doris Who?

August 26, 2010

The second round of auditions for “Bye Bye Birdie” were Monday night, so I figured I HAD to hear something sometime Wednesday.  And I figured the director would probably call instead of email this round. 

I was right – except she called while I was feeding Juice.  So I sat there silently pleading with him to drink fasterfasterfaster, all the while telling myself to NOT get excited, because if I got excited, I would probably be disappointed, because I probably was not going to get the part of Rose.  I went over and over the three possible scenarios in my head – 1) She offers me the part of Rose.  I scream and shriek and giggle and rainbows burst forth over my head.  2) She offers me the small part of the tap-dancing bimbo.  I accept happily – tap-dancing, yay!  3) She offers me a part in the chorus.  I politely accept and hang up, disappointed, but knowing that after all, I only have two credits on my resume, and I have a long way to go before I can begin to expect lead roles.

Juice finally finished his bottle, and I set him down and ran to call back the director.  But Moo announced she had to poop.  So I had to wait and wait and wait and wait for the poop to come out, and then do the reward chart, and then the reward bag, and oh then also she’s thirsty, and then Juice started fussing so I rocked and rocked and rocked him, until he finally fell asleep and I put him in his crib and FINALLY made the call… 

…which went to voice mail.  So Moo and I played ponies for 45 very long minutes.  Sweetie Belle had a baby.  It was very exciting.

Finally, the phone rang, and as I picked up the phone, I implored Moo to please, please not interrupt.

It was the director.  I steeled myself for disappointment and tried to keep excitement at bay, and then she offered me…Doris MacAfee?

Mama:  “Oh!  Doris…wait…who?”

Director:  “Mrs. MacAfee.  The mom.”

Mama:  “Oh!  Oh!  Well…sure!  Okay… Yes, of course!”

She assured me they were going “younger,” so my husband wouldn’t be 20 years older than me.  We chatted for a second and hung up, and I was left sitting on the couch, feeling…bewildered.

Doris MacAfee?  I didn’t read for that role.  Crazy.  And I think she’s a soprano…  And I don’t get to dance. 

I can’t help but feel a little disappointed at getting so close to the role of Rose and then missing out.  But I’m also thrilled to have a new challenge, and a new show to add to my resume.

But I don’t get to dance. 

But I’m in the show!  And I’m not just chorus!  No, I’m playing a woman with a 16-year-old daughter.  I always thought I looked young on stage, but maybe that era is over.  Am I destined for all mom roles now?  Do I finally look my age?

…Maybe I should get a facial?

P.S. – I’ve got a question for any theatre folks – have you ever asked a director why you didn’t get a particular role?  Is that considered a faux pas?  I doubt I could get the courage to ask, but I do think it would be helpful to know if there is something I could do differently in future auditions.  Anybody ever try that?

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I GOT IT!!!!!!!!!!!

Pant, pant, pant, pant.

I got the call as I was driving home.  Actually, I think I may have gotten the call as I was exiting the parking lot!  I was loitering outside for a while, chatting away, and when we noticed one of the auditioners come outside and open his phone, we realized it was time to skedaddle.  A few moments later, I had a voicemail.  Success! 

Yes, I cried a little.

So it’s official! I’m “Woman #3” in “The World Goes ‘Round.”  It’s a very small show, just five actors singing the songs of Kander and Ebb, and people – I have a solo!  I think more than one!  Holy shit!

So yes, I’d say callbacks went pretty well.  We were a fairly small group, and everyone seemed very nice.  First we danced, led by – let’s call the director Mary after “Mary Poppins,” since she choreographed the movie.  I think I love her.  She led us through some simple steps, directing me to “do it like a singer, not a dancer.”  Then the music director, Fawna, put us in groups and had us sing three part harmonies, which was rather torturous, but I think we all felt that way.  Finally she had each of us sing a song from the show.  On the drive out, I sang along to the soundtrack, and there was only one song, “How Lucky Can You Get,” that I thought – oh jeez, I hope they don’t ask me to sing this song.

So of course, that’s the song I had to sing.  It’s an incredible song – made famous by Barbra Streisand in “Funny Lady” (thank God I didn’t remember that before the audition) – fun to act, and even more fun to sing if you can belt that one high note near the end (“What’s your secreeeeeet?”) – which I cannot.  But I did my best.

And I guess that was good enough!

So incredibly, I’m two for three.  (Never heard from the Sweeney Todd folks.)  How did I get here?  I’m so happy – and yet I can’t help think about all those years, those many, many years, when I was too afraid to audition.  How could such a silly fear have such a huge hold on my life?  What could I have accomplished?  I don’t want anything to change about my life – my Herbie, my Moo – and yet I can’t help but wonder what might have been… what if I could have found success on Broadway, and still somehow met Herbie and had Moo?  What if?

But whatever might have been, is not.  I have my family, I am so very lucky, and for the first time in such a very long time, I feel proud of myself.

Thank Goodness for Big Egos

November 21, 2008

Although I have suspected for a while, I finally had it confirmed by J the director during our drunken opening night party – I only got the part of Rosie (formerly Ralph) the Stage Manager because the fella who was first offered the role insisted he would only play the lead.

So thanks, unknown actor with bloated ego!  I owe my return to the stage to you.

Tempe Little Theatre, Take 2

September 20, 2008

Hey, guess what?  I’m in a show!

Well, that was unexpected!  I mean, I must admit there was a part of me that thought maybe, just maybe I’d still hear – the director said he wanted his cast in place by Saturday, so if they just wanted me for the chorus, perhaps I’d still hear – and I guess that was the case!   From our phone conversation, I kinda got the feeling that the director thought, “Aw, here’s this cute mom who just wants to be in a show – let’s let her have a little fun.”  And I suppose that’s pretty spot-on.

Oh – the role, you ask?

Um, Ralph.

Seems there was a dearth of men, so I get to take on the minor role of Ralph, except, get this – the director is thinking of calling me “Rosie.” Ha!  Too perfect.  I’ll also be part of the chorus, and I’ll play a serving wench in the play-within-the-play part of the show.  I have a long history of serving wenchery, so that part should come easily.

Wow.  So all my bitching and moaning all week was for naught.  I got cast – my first try!  I’m going to be in a show!

Strangely, I have some mixed feelings.  I mean, my life is seriously disrupted – our quiet routine of playing, visiting Nana, dinner and bathtime is down the drain as of Monday evening, when rehearsals start.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m very excited about being in a show after all these years – just the idea of standing in the wings on stage gives me chills – but I also quite enjoy the happy routine of our family.

This must be where I start to learn the answer to the question, “So is this still my dream anyway?”

But in the meantime – yip yip yippee!