Friday, April 24, 2009

Audition Purgatory: Day #5 (where did #4 go?)

Guys and Dolls callbacks were last night. I made a hot blue dress, did my makeup all fancy-like, and put on a pair of heels. I didn't really know what I was getting into. I mean, I went in auditions thinking I was a shoo-in for a callback, then dropped to nothing, then became the underdog. Mike had practically already cast me as General Cartwright, after all. I expected to read several times for the general, and then have one chance to do an Adelaide, and that would be all.

I figured this out based on the callbacks for Barefoot in the Park. Everyone sat in the theater while Mike would say "I want this person for Paul and that person for Corie," and they would read, and so much time would be spent on certain people that other people, like me, wouldn't get much time at all. I only read once, and when callbacks ended, I already knew I didn't have the part.

However, last night I was shocked and ecstatic to find that I was getting an absolutely fair chance.

There was a complete schedule written out. Every 30 minutes, one group of auditioners- say, the Skys and Sarahs- would come out and perform, while the Nathans and Adelaides would practice in the back. Then we would switch. Everyone was already paired up, and everyone got a fair chance. I have never felt so grateful in all my born days.

The General Cartwright scene was up first, because that didn't have a song and didn't require any rehearsal time. There was one other girl up for the part, so she read first, and she was absolutely hilarious! Then I read...and while I was good, I could tell that I wasn't nailing it like Anna, and I wasn't what Mike was expecting. I didn't feel comfortable with the part, either. It felt like I was playing Helga in Night Watch again, only funny, and I couldn't get the funny to blend with the character.

Then I did the Adelaide scene and the song "Sue Me" with Sawyer- which was great, because I had practiced with him beforehand. Sawyer had already done the scene with Shannon, so Mike had him play it differently. This time, Sawyer played Nathan like a big, dumb gorilla, and I just ran with it. I tried a couple of things, like fiddling with his bow tie, and carrying this loud polka dot clutch. We got some laughs, and I know I sang well, but honestly, I can't tell you much else that happened. I just lost myself in the character and played the scene. And that makes me happy. I haven't been able to let go of myself while acting since Brittany got here. Whenever I was in a scene with her in class, or auditioning in her group, all I could think about was "What does Brittany think of this? Does Brittany think I'm a good actress? Am I beating Brittany yet?". Then once Brittany left, it became, "Is Deb impressed? Is Doc impressed? Is Vali impressed? Am I doing this right?"

The truth is, acting should never be about what some other person wants. It should be what feels right to you. If you focus only on truthful onstage, it'll translate to the audience.

Later I got to sing the first 20 bars of "Adelaide's Lament." I kind of screwed myself over on this part...because I learned it in a different key. But I still sounded good (other than jumping in and out of the two different keys). And I took a big risk. I heard the other girls sounding out their words- during the song, Adelaide's reading out of a medical textbook, and she's not that bright, so words come out like "bas-ic-al-ly" and "resp-ir-a-tor-y". And I looked down at the page and thought, "You know, 'psychosomatic' has a 'p' in it." I debated wildly and internally for a while- should I do it? Is it too bold a choice? Is it stupid?

I went for it. I just belted out "Wiiiiith p-syco-so-mat-ic symptoms difficult to endure." And for a sickening second, it was silent. Oh, crap, I thought, I'm an idiot. And then everyone cracked up. Even Mike the Almighty Director cracked up. And when I sat down, Shannon turned around and said "That was hysterical! I wish I thought of that!".

Needless to say, my poor bruised little ego felt miles better.

We finished out the night with posing. MTAD called people up and said "Okay, you're this character and you're that pose like you're on a show poster." He would try a couple of things, then call up another group.

For my first pose, I grabbed Matthew (he was Nathan at the moment) by the tie and kicked one leg up behind me. The second was not that exciting; I did a "talk to the hand" with a longsuffering expression. The third...well, the third started out as a basic hand on the hip with one finger beckoning. I didn't get a reaction for that, so I made it a "hey, you better do as I say" face. There were some polite chuckles for that. Then I made it a puppy-dog-pout. That got some laughter- not only from Mike, but also from Mindy and the music director.

All in all, it was a good audition. I feel good about it. This was the first time in a long time that I wasn't completely panicky. I actually didn't feel nervous at all. This was the chance I had been waiting for, the chance to show what I can do, and I got it. If I get the part, great. If not, so be it. I at least got my chance.
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