My Phoenix Theatre audition is in just a few hours and I am definitely entering the nausea/fainting stage.

Luckily, I have the coolest daughter in the world.  After Moo watched me sing my songs a few times, I had an idea.  I had her sit up on the couch, I grabbed my headshot and resume, and walked into the room.

“Hello, Mrs. Director Lady!” I said.

She looked confused a second, and then her eyes flashed.  “Oh hello, yes, you’re the next girl to audition,” she said, carefully studying my headshot as I handed it to her.  “Yes, this is you,” she decided.

And so I went through my whole audition, four times, under the critical but loving eyes of my dear Moo.

I still want to crawl into a hole/faint/throw up….but not quite as much.

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Seeing Other People

August 16, 2010

I found out that DFT is holding another round of auditions for all roles in “Bye Bye Birdie” – sigh.  So I guess my rival and I weren’t necessarily two great options.  Although I can’t blame them for trying to find a more Alvarezish actress, and I suppose it would be really difficult to cast the leading lady without having a clue about your leading man (no one was called back for the lead, Albert).  Soooo I’ll just sit here patiently until the next round is over next Tuesday. 

I’m still in the running.  But my chances of getting the role seem less and less likely as more time goes by – I just become less and less familiar.

More waiting.  Tick-tock, tick-tock.

Xtreme Callback

August 11, 2010

I still haven’t heard about the audition.  Which is, of course, TORTURE.  The director told us we would hear “soon,” which could mean anysecondnow, or tomorrow, or Monday, or two weeks from now…  I check my phone and email about every three minutes.

There are only two of us up for the role…unless they hold more auditions, but I think they had two pretty good options with the two of us.  And here’s something different than all my past auditions… I think I deserve the role.  This confident feeling is so strange and foreign.  If I don’t get the role, I think I’ll feel a little pissed off, instead of diving into a black hole of self-doubt.  And I would certainly prefer pissed off over depressed.

I mean, I would PREFER to get the role.  But I have no idea if I will.  Here’s the good news:

– Neither of us look remotely Alvarezish, so I guess that’s a nonissue.

– I was really well-prepared and had my lines and song memorized.

– I think my voice sounded nice – the songs sit very comfortably in my belting range, and I think I acted pretty well, too.  The director had us sing a few times and do the scene a few times and gave us some direction to see, I suppose, if we could take direction and to see if we could make clear choices in our acting.  I feel like I did.

– I think, of the two of us, I’m the better dancer.

– I looked pretty fierce thanks to a dress I borrowed from Rosalind.

The best news is that, although I freaked out a bit in the lobby when I realized that there are only two of us up for the role, and that the girl I am up against is someone who I know is very talented, respected, and experienced (ask Herbie about my string of eeeek! texts), I overcame my fear.  When the director called us in, I went in that room to compete.  And I didn’t hold back.  That feels good.

Now for the bad news:

– See above re: talented, respected, and experienced rival actress.  And she has a looong resume.  I have two credits.

– We are completely different in look, style, and energy.  I have no idea which type the director wants. 

– She has a really gorgeous voice, and she acted well, too.

– The worst news: she knows the director.  She starred in the director’s last production at DFT.  So…yikes.  Familiar actress versus someone totally new?  Advantage:  Not Me.

So I just sit and wait, I guess.  Actually, I don’t sit and wait.  I play pretend and wash bottles and make bottles and vacuum and encourage good potty habits and clean up after bad potty habits and tickle tiny toes and glug coffee and fold laundry…and wait.

I survived!

And amazingly, I was NOT the only pregnant lady they’d seen this weekend – in fact, I was the third!

So much for originality.

I arrived a leetle bit late, because that is what I do, signed in and found a spot next to my friend Sonia and another theatre acquaintance, Alaina.  As we chatted nervously, talking but not really listening because OH GOD we have to audition soon, I remembered again how one of the best things about finally putting myself out there is the friends I’ve made. I am very lucky to have the support system I do, and I thank all of you.

As my turn got closer, I went over and over my monologue, reminded myself to breathe, and closed my eyes and tried to envision myself having a great audition.  Then I was on deck, and I stood next to the staircase (how cruel to make an already out-of-breath pregnant lady have to climb a flight of stairs right before singing!) tugging on my leggings and trying to remain calm.  Then the girl before me opened the door and headed down the stairs.  My turn.  I climbed the stairs, thinking about Herbie’s text:  “KICK ASS!” and my own goal – Go Big.  My own personal goal was to not leave this audition feeling like I’d held back.  I mean, I’m already physically big, I might as well perform big, too.

So I opened the door and chirped hello, expecting them to say, “whoooa, you’re pregnant!” But it was no shock for them – instead, I was the one saying, “I’m the third one??”  We chatted for a second and hopefully I came across as cheerful and relaxed….either that or I was jabbery and loud.  I don’t know.

Moments later, I was singing my first song.  I got a little off on the music, and will think again before using that song as an audition piece – it must be difficult for pianists to interpret, because every time I’ve heard it played it sounds different.  So that may have been a strike against me.  But I think my voice sounded fine, and the second song was fine as well.  I tried to go big – bigger than I have at any other audition, certainly – I tried to imagine a big audience in front of me and just let go (a little lesson from Lost…but without the heavenly light).

Then I pulled over a chair and performed my monologue, and it went…fine as well.  Pretty much exactly how it went every time I practiced it – so that’s…good, right?  I guess so.  They were very friendly and tittered appropriately a couple times during my audition, and then it was over.

“So, obviously you can’t dance on Thursday,” said the man in charge.

“Well, I could try!” I said.

They laughed at me.

So I told them that I had been in contact with my dance teacher from their summer dance program last year, and that she had said I could drop her name as a reference.

“So if it comes to it,” I said, “she knows what I can do…”

They nodded…and circled something on my audition form.  OH I wish I wasn’t so stubborn and wore my contacts!

And then I was done – I waited for Sonia to finish after me, and then we all giggled out the door and thanked God it was over.

I felt good!  I still feel good.  It feels great to have another audition under my belt, to know that with each terrifying trip in front of that damn table where they scribble their opinions of me, I gain experience and get a little better.  It feels great to challenge myself, do something scary and not fall apart.  Whatever the outcome, I feel a little more whole than I did a few days ago.

Granted, as I looked over my resume once more before auditioning, I noticed another strike against me – there are only two damn credits on it.

But I’m working on improving that, even at eight months pregnant.

And now, I wait…probably for a long time.  The show I’m really interested in won’t hold callbacks until January (I’m guessing), so I won’t hear anything until then, or I just won’t hear anything at all.

So for now, I guess I’ll just work on this having-a-baby thing.

And Theaterworks will hold “Chicago” auditions in the spring…

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.

Germs and Doubts

January 21, 2010

Moo woke up with a cold yesterday, which didn’t keep her from putting on many, many dance shows for me but did keep us inside all day.  So what do you do during a hang-around-the-house day?  Make Rice Krispie treats, of course!  Strangely, that Hawaiian version of “Over the Rainbow” didn’t start playing while we stirred, like it does in the commercials, but we still had fun.   And YUM.

We had such a long, sick-free run – I don’t think Moo’s been sick since around Halloween…or maybe earlier?  Go little immune system!  It must be all those blackberries she eats – virtually the only fruit (forget veggies, they’re totally a lost cause) that she will allow to pass her lips.  But now she’s sniffly and sneezy, and I know my main concern should be MY MOO, and yet every time she sneezes I think, “Oh no, don’t get me sick!  I have a callback!”

My mood about the callback has descended into gloom and doom.  Due to some chatter on Facebook (stupid Facebook!) and general self-doubt, I think my chances are teeny-tiny.  Also, I wonder if I should be discussing it all on my blog – does Director J read my blog?  No idea.  Maybe I should keep my mouth shut, or, er, my fingertips still.  At least I have a haircut today, so I’ll look a little better than I did Tuesday.  All I can do is read the script a few more times, wear my badass boots, and try not to step in a puddle on the way in. 

….And duck when Moo sneezes.