Standing O

November 21, 2010

Last show today! 

I’m relieved:  sweet sleep on the horizon!  More time with my family!  A chance to eat dinner with my family!  All those episodes of 30 Rock on Tivo!

I’m depressed:  I’ll miss my cast, and my new friends.  I’ll miss standing in the wings, waiting for my entrance.  I’ll miss being in a damn SHOW, being an actress, shaking my booty during my one dance scene.

Friday’s show was a bit of a fumble.  We were rusty, and as soon as someone uttered, “I have a feeling something’s going to go wrong tonight,” we knew we were doomed.  One girl fell off a styrofoam block (in retrospect, perhaps not the the best design decision) and hurt her foot.  Another girl whammed her shin during curtain call.  And my little pretend daughter got slammed by the stage door. 

But yesterday, after the injured had iced their bruises, we put on a hell of a show.  It actually took me a while to catch up – I felt exhausted, and maybe a little prematurely bummed that the show was over.  But, according to my pretend-husband, I finally perked up, and we pulled off the show – bad review be damned!  At the end, we were rewarded with our first full standing ovation.  Surprising, since the audience seemed more politely amused than excited, but hey – wanna stand up for us?  Stand indeed, good people of Cave Creek/Scottsdale/Carefree!

Then we celebrated at the cast party, where I impressed the kiddos with my Roger Rabbit and we all danced until 1 a.m., when a polite cop who looked straight out of The Andy Griffith Show politely requested we keep it down.  Partying with teenagers – always a good time.  Not that we adults didn’t hold our own – my pretend husband even broke out the worm!  It’s never a real party until somebody does the worm.

Countdown to the last curtain call…

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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.

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.

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.

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…

Audition Nightmare

May 17, 2010

I had a dream that I went to my Phoenix Theatre audition (next Sunday), and there were about 10 pregnant women there, including Oscar nominee Vera Farmiga.  I have no idea why my subconscious is interested in Oscar nominee Vera Farmiga.   But in my dream, I instantly knew that with 10 pregnant ladies present, any orginality or excuses I had about my performance were out the window – plus – Oscar nominee.  Crap. 

Then it turned out that we weren’t actually going to be performing for our auditions – instead, it was a written test.  So we had to write down, from memory, the lyrics to both songs and the text of the monologue.  Unfortunately I hadn’t memorized my monologue, and also I had to go to the bathroom.  When I got back, they announced that anyone who hadn’t finished was eliminated.  I begged to be given another chance (after all, I’m pregnant!  I can’t help it if I have to go to the bathroom all the time!) – but the lady in charge pointed at all the other pregnant ladies, and then pointed at the door.

Vera Farmiga got to stay.

I know why I had this dream – because I haven’t been preparing like I should, and because Rosalind gave me a long lecture on Saturday about how I would regret backing out, should prepare as best as I can this week, and basically just stop whining and get some balls.  She even threatened to show up next Sunday and drive me there herself.  So after the lecture and the dream, I took advantage of some time alone to pick up my monologue and start memorizing.

Then I practiced my songs, and I made a startling discovery.  I can’t sing!  I have no idea where my diaphragm is – you know, that handy muscle used for breathing – but it’s not where it used to be, and I suspect that a tiny pair of knees is currently embedded in it.  So I have to gasp for breath between each rasped note, and I just cannot sustain a note for the life of me.  I am going to look like a gasping blowfish washed up on the beach (and wearing sensible heels).

…Maybe they’ll find me amusing?