Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Long Day's Journey Into Night- MT Audition Style!

Yesterday was nuts. I started off by leaving New Jersey on the 730 express train. Fast forward thru the train ride and some time in the subways, and I waited in line for half in hour in front of NOLA studios before they let us go up. I had thought I would be decently early, but there were tons of people there. And tons of those people put their friends names on the list. I was 166 on the list, and I didn't sing until 2. Fun!
I did make a new friend in the waiting room, who shared my love of Words with Friends and shoes. New Words with Friends buddies! Win! :)
The theatre is called "Beef and Boards," which is an unfortunate name. They are out in Indiana and hire both union and non union. They wanted 16 bars of one song, and it was for a hugely diverse season. So I just went ahead and sang something that had a lot of my own personality in it and was funny. I sing well enough, but I will never sell as a set of super duper pipes. I'm more of a whole package kind of girl!I started of a wee bit pitchy, but found my way back and made them laugh (all three of them after they had sat in that room for 5 hours straight watching 16 bar cuts. Success!). They were super nice, said I did well with the song (hurrah!. No call back, but I am now in their files. Next time I audition for them, I am recognizable (and hopefully memorable) if I fit something.
That's what is really weird about theatre. It's so much about constantly being seen and coming back, and back, and back, and you just keep coming back. Every time. "Maybe this time.." Hahaha. MT jokes!
There is so much theatre talk in the waiting rooms. Probably because we all have no lives. I'm trying to find my bearings just listening to people (while hiding behind my book) about how they've been going at trying for bookings. It's actually been more informative than 4 years of college was.
We were taught a craft in college, but never how to book or how to deal with how crazy this lifestyle is. New course for theatre majors- "No! It really is me. Not you." How to deal with rejection in auditioning.
Choreographing and having to cast choreography in college was probably one of the most beneficial learning experiences for me. Sitting on the other side of the table, you really want them to fit. And you make judgements quick. I typed people out before they started dancing at one audition. And I only needed three girls and there were forty something. And I had already picked them out before the audition. It's rough, but it's the world we live in.
Back to yesterday. I hopped back on the subway to a different studio to try and hit a few more auditions. I dropped my headshot and resume at "It's A Wonderful Life." There was a long line and a slight chance of being seen. Went down the hall to a podunk New Jersey Xmas show. There notice had said nothing about what to prepare, so I was coming in cold turkey. They want a singer-dancer. Ok. I can do that. The monitor was super nice. Put me on the list and said you're next. Holy shit.
Changed back into my dress and pumps super quick. Didn't even have time to double check my lipstick (oh no!). He said "Arlen, Mercer, Gershwin, or such." I have all three in my book, but all of my cuts of them are legit, not belt. And quite often, they want belt. Especially since they were looking for a mezzo/alto. I asked him which, he said belt. Ok. Quick look in my book. I went for the beltiest, vaguely old school number in my book- "Everybody's Girl" from Steel Pier. I've worked on it a lot, and I can full voice it so I sound like much more of a belter than I actually am.
In I go. Everyone in the room is old. Not middle aged, but like intense bingo player aged. I think I might have played bingo with some of them at my grandmother's retirement/assisted living complex.
The pianist looks at my sheet music and goes "Kander and Ebb 11 o'clock number!" It's not an 11 o'clock number. It's a character song. I refrained from saying so. I gave him the tempo. He seemed vaguely crazy, but nice enough. I get out to the center of the room, and he stops before giving me the pitch so he can move my book to the right. Why, I don't really know. Away I go; away he doesn't go. It was so slow. And I like to take everything fast. And I could hardly hear it over the wonderfully live room (I'm loud). Some of it sounds vaguely saloon like, and he was totally adding extra tinkly bits. I wanted to say "Stop showboating!" I went with it. I only got ahead of him once. (From what I could hear)
The senior citizens brigade laughed at none of the jokes. When I finished, they crabbily asked me if I tapped. "Yes of course!" Then I was done. Weird stuff.
Further downtown to see if I could get in to an equity dance call for Annie in CO. Talking with another new friend, she also had a funny story from the podunk Xmas people. Which made me feel better. They had maybe thirty of the girls on the list show up. And they didn't see any of the non union girls (They apparently hadn't seen any at the vocal call either). Apparently TUTS didn't see any non-union girls for "Whit Christmas." Hobby Center pipe dreams can still hope!
Tired me should have gone back and tried for "It's a Wonderful Life," but I was just plain tuckered out. Back to the Penn Station, and for the first time in my life I caught the train without waiting at least half an hour! Hurrah!
I was wonked and fell asleep on the couch around 7ish trying to work. When I woke up, I just crawled into my bed and went right back to sleep. Long day. Very long day!
Back into Manhattan this evening for Haunted House fun. Snow White anyone?


  1. Yay! I'm so happy you're getting out there and auditioning already! So exciting! Those old farts sound intense. I'm glad you held your own though. Merde on your future auditioning ventures!

  2. Houston Ballet is at the Joyce in a month. Come visit? It will be just like old times! :)