AriZoni Awards

August 4, 2011

Oh yes, and one more thing – I received a Zoni nomination for Actress in a Major Role for my last show at Desert Foothills Theater!

This one:

In fact, every single person involved in the show received nominations!  The whole cast, our director/choreographer, music director, lighting designer, sound designer, set designer, everybody!

It’s nice to be one of the cool kids, especially after my epic fail at Phoenix Theatre auditions.

It’s even nicer to have an excuse to go shopping for a new dress for the awards ceremony!


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?

Well, I had stomach cramps and a backache all day, and complained repeatedly to Herbie that I was really, very deeply and honestly concerned about my health, both mental and physical…but the actual audition part went down rather smoothly.

I think my favorite part was practicing with Moo while Herbie and Juice went to Costco.  I planted myself in the family room and belted out my songs at 100% performance level.  Moo stood there and looked up at me with her mouth open.

“Whaddaya think?” I asked her.

“Welllll…maybe try it again,” she replied.

So I did, and she rehearsed with me, suggesting some moves here and there, until finally when I asked her, “Whaddaya think?” she replied, “GOOD!”

With Moo’s approval, I drove to the audition with a little more confidence than in the past – the fact that I’ve worked with DFT before helped, I’m sure.

I thought I’d left plenty of time to get there, but as soon as I walked in I was told I was next.  Whoops!  Need to spend less time trying to convince Herbie I’m gravely ill, I guess.  Then they called me in, I said hello and went over my music with the pianist and then took my place to sing, trying to look happy and bubbly and thinner than I am currently.

I’ve got to figure out how to set the tempo with the pianist, because that is usually the thing that trips me up a bit.  And, as Herbie points out, since I always have that problem, and they are professional pianists, it’s proooobably my fault.  Shall I tote along a metronome? 

But the tempo-issue only flustered me a bit, and I belted out my notes and tried to be in the moment.  So, so hard to just be in the moment at an audition.  But I finished, and I smiled, and they said, “thank you,” and I said, “thank you, thank you, and thank YOU, and oh thank YOU!” and scuttled out the door.

Then we learned a dance to the song, “Kids,” and I felt very relaxed since the choreography was simple and I figured we’d have plenty of time to practice.  But after only going over it twice with the music, they called us in to dance for the director.  Eep!  I had to give my head a good sharp shake and call my sleepy brain into action, which must have worked – I think I can say I did well on the dance.

Afterwards, the director told us to just wait a few minutes in the hall to see if they’d like to have any of us back for callbacks Monday night.  So we sat a couple minutes and smiled nervously at each other, and then the stage manager appeared with a few pieces of paper, walked over, and handed them to me. 

Looks like I’ll be auditioning for the female lead on Monday night!

So now I have a song to learn and lines to memorize – perhaps I’ll enlist Moo’s help again.  She just may be my good luck charm.

Zoni-Who? Zoni-Wha?

August 6, 2009

So there we were, driving down twisty roads Tuesday, back toward civilization after a lovely vacation at our no-cell-service cabin.  Of course, I checked my email on my phone as soon as I got a signal, as any good wired-in blogger/Facebook addict would do.  And there were all these messages saying congratulations, and sometimes even, “CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!”

My heart danced a little boogie.  I knew that the Zoni Award* nominations were announced Monday night, and I knew that I was submitted for consideration, but every time the thought, “maaaaybe…” began to creep in my head, I stomped it out and focused on choosing a potty seat instead.  But finally, there was the email from Desert Foothills Theatre’s producer, announcing the news that not only had I received a Best Actress in a Musical nomination for “The World Goes Round,” but the entire cast had also been nominated, and the director and sound designer as well!  So now I don’t have to stomp out secret hopes anymore, and can shout out loud (virtually):


I can barely get my mind around it.  How did I go from here to a Zoni nomination in one year?  How is that possible?

I’ve been playing it pretty cool around all my family and friends since I found out, like, “Yeah, did I mention?  It’s pretty cool, I got nominated for this Zoni Award thing… yeah yeah, I’m pretty excited about it…yawwwn.”  Maybe I feel that at 35, I should really be mature about this whole thing, but what I really want to do is be Moo for just a few minutes.  I would run willy-nilly around the house, windmilling my arms, quacking like a duck, kicking, somersaulting off the furniture, and shouting at the top of my lungs.

Ahh, what the hell – nobody’s home but me and Moo.  You won’t tell, will you Moo?



*The Zoni Awards are like Arizona’s version of the Tony Awards, giving out annual best-in-show awards to professional and community theaters in the Valley.

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.

Um, excuse me, what happens at a callback?



Just as I was leaving my second audition, feeling a little blue (they were not so impressed, I think), I turned on my phone.  Voicemail!

(And this is the part where I hopped in a circle like a bunny in the middle of a parking lot.)

I got called back for “The World Goes ‘Round” at Desert Foothills Theater.  Oh joy!  Oh bliss!  Ohhhhh no!  What happens at a callback?  What do I do?  And am I supposed to call back my callback and tell them that, yes, I accept this callback and called back to tell you so?

Am I supposed to prepare another song?  Are they going to make me sing with other people and expect me to read music and sing harmony?  Oh dear!  Not so good at that, right off the bat.  Eep.  Eep.  Are we going to dance?  SHOULD I WEAR A LEOTARD?  WHAT ABOUT LEG WARMERS?!

Hop, hop, hop, hop, hoppity hop hop.