Well, it still stings. 

But great advice and empathy really do help, so thank you very much for your wise counsel.

Now, I pick up the pieces and move on.  I need a better monologue (and I need to take a monologue class, but must feed and clothe children before working on character motivation).  I need to schedule voice lessons, even if it’s only every six weeks, and start working on those “bad habits” my most recent music director mentioned.  And also somehow turn my voice into Sutton Foster’s.  Or Lea Michele’s.  Either would be fine.

I need to continue getting into shape, but unfortunately that means attending Phoenix Theatre’s Summer of Dance classes.  I love those dance classes so much and look forward to them every year (last year I danced four weeks after Juice was born), but I’m afraid I’ll feel a bit loserish attending this year, post-rejection.  But I’ll go anyway.  I just can’t resist a good dance class.

And I’ll look ahead to other possible opportunities.  Although it’s almost an hour-long drive, Fountain Hills Community Theatre is doing “A Chorus Line” this winter.  I would give my right foot to be in “A Chorus Line,” although that would make it very difficult to dance.  Desert Stages Theatre is doing “How to Succeed,” and I love that show, too.

But at the moment, there’s nothing on the horizon, and I feel blue.  Sick kids don’t help.  Rising temperatures don’t help, either.

“Bridesmaids” helped.

Moo singing along to “Seussical” songs helps.

Juice grinning like a maniac and hugging my knees helps a lot, too.

So do those flowers from Herbie….

Okay.  I’ll quit whining now.

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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?

Fingers Crossed

August 23, 2010

Tonight is the second round of auditions for “Bye Bye Birdie.”  I received an email reminding me that if I’d been told I was still under consideration (yes, whew), I did NOT have to re-attend auditions. 

Ooh, why didn’t I think of that?  Show up and just start time-stepping through the hall, singing “Spanish Rose” at the top of my lungs.  I could show up in costume, a la Sean Young stalking Tim Burton in a homemade Catwoman costume.  I hear that worked out well for her.

No, no, I’ll just sit here quietly.  But let’s all uses the Forces of Our Minds to try and ensure that only boys show up for the auditions tonight, and that my blond rival receives a call from a Big-Time Broadway Producer wanting to cast her in the revival of “How to Succeed” in New York.

Or, you know, he could call me.  That would be okay, too.

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.

Bye Bye Burpies?

August 7, 2010

So…I have an audition tomorrow!

Here’s the thing – I love Juice, and I love Moo, and I love being a mother.  But I got a taste of filling myself up instead of just letting my children fill me up, and I really want some more.  This time around, there’s nothing novel about changing diapers all day long.  I want to be a mother and more.  I want to stretch.  I want to be scared of hitting the wrong note instead of scared about the weird bump on the back of his head (checked it out today – nothing to worry about).

So a few days ago, I read that Desert Foothills Theater is holding auditions for Bye Bye Birdie.  OOH.  I am sucker for the classics.  And the thought crept into my head…what if I tried out?  What if I asked our parents for some help in the evenings?  It’s not…an impossible idea, right?  I tried to shoo away the idea.  I mean, I have a new baby – the thought of being away from him in the evenings for 10 weeks should wrench my heart, right?  But I couldn’t stop thinking about it.  I mentioned it to Herbie.  And then I asked our parents.  And now I have an audition tomorrow.

I really do have such a lovely family.

I have an audition tomorrow!  And since I spent most of the week wondering whether I should or shouldn’t try out, I didn’t actually spend any time working on, you know, singing n’ stuff.  And I have absolutely nothing flattering to wear. 

I would be really stressed out, if I weren’t so damn tired.

Dancing Fool

May 21, 2010

Noooo!

Just when I was feeling better about my impending audition (thanks to some quality rehearsal time and all your support/threats), I got an email from Phoenix Theatre.  Reminder about the audition protocol, what to bring, blah blah, and also information about the dance call.  So – I knew there wasn’t going to be dancing at this audition, and I assumed correctly that dance auditions will be on a callback basis only, but I did NOT realize that the dance callback will take place on May 27.

So if (IF) I got a callback, I’d have to dance…next Thursday??

I thought they’d be closer to the actual production dates – like, next fall or next spring.  Not…next Thursday??!

I think my chances just plummeted.  I don’t know how they could look at me and say, ah yes, let’s bring this lady-about-t0-have-a-baby back in a couple days and check out her grand-jetes.  First of all, I’m sure they’d be terrified my water would break after the first pirouette.  Secondly, I would look completely ridiculous, not to mention I just can’t do what I normally can.  I mean, can you imagine?  All those dancers in their hot pants and heels, flitting about lightly, and then there’s me, with a 25-pound beach ball strapped on my body, bounding along like a gimpy toad and gasping for breath.

Shit.

FAIL

January 22, 2010

…Again.

I didn’t get cast at all in “Sweet Charity.”  Callbacks were last night, in the middle of a storm with 60 mph winds here in Phoenix – and I really should have stayed home.

Right away I felt, just…wrong.  Out of place, like I didn’t belong.  Like I was trying to be someone I’m not – which I realize is the very definition of acting, but in this instance it was just an ooky-feeling, not an acty-feeling.  On top of it, my outfit was all wrong, my shoes were all wrong, but I didn’t have time to eke out something better at home because of the feverish little girl clinging to me on my couch  – I really should have just stayed clung.

But anyway, I didn’t stay home.  I gusted into the audition room, sat down and was handed some scenes to read – but they were Charity scenes.  Huh?  Charity?  In the email when Director J encouraged me to try out even though I’m pregnant, he said, quite clearly, “Well, obviously you couldn’t be Charity.”  Obviously!  So why am I reading for Charity and not the secondary characters?  The only conclusion I could come up with was that Director J didn’t have any intention of casting me, but was just being nice in asking me to come to callbacks.  I tried to digest that while I studied Charity’s lines.  I hadn’t prepared for Charity at all.  Finally, Director J started selecting people to read lines, and when he called my name, I got to read about half a page, while the other Charity contenders read whole scenes.  Then I just sat there for a long time while all the other girls read for Charity and for the secondary characters, Nickie and Helene, which I had prepared for.

After a while, we took a break and I just kept thinking, what am I doing here?  My mind was completely muddled, and little baby boy kept poking my tummy.  What are you trying to tell me, little one?  You don’t want to be in a show?  Then we reassembled, and Director J called six of us up to let us know that we were all still in the running…for Nickie and Helene.  Huh??  I asked Director J if he realized that I hadn’t read at all for Nickie or Helene.  “You haven’t?  Well, I know what you can do,” he said.  Then he handed me a Nickie/Helene scene to read.

My brain was mush.  Any confidence I had or preparation I’d done was out the window.  And all the poking!  Finally, I got to read for Nickie, and I blew it.  It just wasn’t good.  I slumped back to my seat.

On top of everything, Director J was cutting people as we went.  Meaning, he would call people up to him, and whisper to them that they’re wonderful, and then they’d slink out of the room.  Some of them were offered roles as ensemble, and some of them were offered other things that they declined, and some of them were just politely cut.  But still – it was a quiet room.  We could hear what was going on.  Usually directors just hold auditions, let everyone leave, and then call later, privately, with the results.  I know different directors do things differently, but let me just say that personally, I am not a fan of Director J’s new method.  Not.  A.  Fan.

Anyway, the remaining group got smaller and smaller, and then Director J called three girls up to his table.  He talked to them for a moment, then announced that he’d just cast Charity, Nickie and Helene.  And that’s fine, they’ll all be great.  Then, he announced that there were three spots left in the ensemble, and that his top three choices for those roles were Girl 1, Girl 2, and Girl 3.  If any of those girls happened to turn down the roles, he added, then his next choices were Girl 4, me, and Girl 6.  In other words, I was his second-to-last choice.  In other words, I’m not cast.

That sucked.

I know, I know – actors face lots of rejection and I’ve just got to get used to it.  But it still feels shitty.  I’ve only been to five auditions, but now my rejections outnumber my successes.  And my fragile ego teeters on the edge  (remember, I’m still the girl that was too afraid to audition for anything for about 15 years).

The fact that this marks the end of my showbiz run before a long break for Mommyhood feels massively crappy.  Massively.  Crappy.

And so with that, my friends, I’m going to take the rest of the weekend off from the ol’ blogola to wallow in self-pity.

I’ll be over it on Monday.

Maybe.