Monday, October 31, 2011

Snowstorms, "Parties," and Vouchers

Happy Halloween (and first snow) to all!
This weekend has been weird. First, it snowed five inches on Saturday. In October. Weird. It being around Halloween created for odd parties and plans. Only the brave ventured out Sat, dressed to the nines. I certainly didn't. Power outages ran afoul of the roomie's fellow grad students attempts at a party, and before we knew it, we had half a dozen museum studies grad students in costumes with booze at our house. Let's just say, they might have considered it a party-party, but it in no way did it hit upon some of the crazier bashes I went to in college. Pizza, light boozing, and a movie. At one point, there was even some youtube clip watching. More college dorm messing around than Pike frat house. And it could not even get close to the annual theatre Halloween party. Now that was karazy.
Anyways, I spent today playing on casting networks, backstage, and actors access, submitting myself to anything that would stand still. Apparently several things stood still. I don't know if it is a combination of Halloween and weather (New Yorkers want out, film crews want to catch up), but I ended up with multiple offers to work background tom. Not bad. One was two day (which is sweet) , but I had already accepted the other that is supposed to come with an almighty SAG voucher. Sweeter! I can just imagine being those poor casting directors right now. Praying that they can find actors with the right look and availability that aren't off playing dress up at their favorite bar or club. As if we don't already play dress up all the time.
For those of mi familia who don't know, SAG is the Screen Actor's Guild. Actor's Equity is the stage Union. To join Equity, you get Equity membership candidate points. To join SAG, you get vouchers for your work. If you are a member of one for a year, you can join the other. It's a complicated muddle of fees, points, vouchers, and weirdness that is really hard to decipher, but it is better than nothing!
So, tom might be a long day of awkward hipster-dom (which hopefully means my sneaks are fine!), but hopefully I will have a lovely voucher and be that much closer to being union!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Long Days and Pumpkin Ale

Yesterday was more akin to what I had expected from Pan Am. Plus it was non union on the background. Which meant we had to stand up for ourselves at times. It was an over 21 hour day by the time I got home. Living dead or vampires or just extras heading home from CT?
I seem to have a secret gift for being used towards the end of a shoot. I have to stand less and still get paid the same amount. Sweet. I was there being made up and dressed at 9 am. I wasn't used until 4 pm. Not so sweet. Ensue time wasting with books, talking, eating the assortment of unhealthy food in craftee, and drinking some of the worst coffee I've ever tasted.
The heat of the coffeee was phenomenal. And it was sooooooo cold in the club that we were filming in that we all drank it despite the awful taste. Chattering teeth or crappy coffee? I will always choose coffee.
I was even colder than most cause I was the only extra in a short dress. My other extra super power is being given a wardrobe that sticks out amongst the hordes of background. This time I was in a groovy orange and gold sheath dress with bracelet sleeves. Of course I had bracelet, huge clip on earring with orange sparkly flowers, and bizzare yellow shoes. Everyone else was in floor length gowns with furs. (I borrowed a fur to help not freeze, but did not have one to wear on set)
I was also the only short haired one. They had mod-ed me up for all I was worth. Twiggy eyes, lashes, cheeks, and hair. It was drastically different than my Pan Am look. It was also drastically different than the rest of the extras.
It's a short film that is meant to be part of a grindhouse trio. If you see the Morning After late at night as a triple feature, look for the sparkly gold mod. Really, I'll probably just be a blur, but I think my fake eyelashes could have taken over the entire film!
Background isn't the most exciting thing I've ever done, but it's a baby step. It's paychecks and meeting people. Finding a comfort zone and a groove in a whole new world. I might be delusional, but maybe I can pay my bills doing background work and party entertainment. It sure beats working in an office!
On another note, my dad had an overnight in Long Island and met me in Penn Station. We had a super tastey dinner at an Irish pub (pumpkin ale!) and then chatted over cups of tea for a nice long while. I love that I have cool parents. They let me go and fly with my ridiculous dreams. If I fall, they are there to help me up long as I need it. Plus they will always have a liquor cabinet stocked with some awesome whiskey and a wine fridge full of malbec. Love and kisses to both of you! :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Legit or Legit?

I woke up this morning still feeling like I had fought the Civil War and lost. Still, I grabbed my massive actress bag, got on the train with the suits, and went to experience my daily dose of professional rejection.
Yesterday had been super long, but everyone auditioning had been so nice. It also helps when it's something you've been looked at for before. Making it thru cuts is encouraging. Today was the singers call for the nonunion tour of Beauty and the Beast. Due to actually having a paid job tom during the dance call, I couldn't make the dance call. I figured it couldn't hurt to just go to the singers call. I don't really have a syrupy, poppy Disney voice, but why not?
It was a zoo. They were tons of wide eyed girls from far away thinking that would get cast on their first New York audition. News flash: all brunette girls have been told by their mothers that they would make a good Belle. (I was told by my father I would make a good tavern wench. But I'm a special case.) They looked so wide eyed and hopeful with their high school photos and improperly sized and unstapled resumes. They were blessed with a super sweet and super tiny monitor who kindly showed them where the paper cutter and stapler were.
Amongst this mess, I was number 237 after showing up a little after 9 for a 10 start. But then there was a two list problem, and 60 more people went in front of me.
They wanted 8 bars. Which is about the time it would take to go in the room, moon the auditors, and exit. Being hopefull it would go quickly, I stayed. I should gone and run errands. Or just drunk coffee to pretentiously jazzy selections of music at any of the five hundred nearby coffeeshops. (I like jazz, but it is whiskey drinking music. When will coffee be accompanies by the Clash or other such upbeat musicians? Rock that cappucino!)
So, I sang a little before 3. The protein bar diet was not working for me, and 8 bars was probably a good thing. I sang my standard uptempo quirky belt song. Big belt off your face fun.
The notice had said legitmate theatre, which can have two different conotations: non pop or head voice. Last time I was asked for legitimate musical theatre, I head voiced. "Well, we really just wanted to hear you belt." Ensue debacle with switching from singing very high to hardcore chesting everything. Amazingly, they still wanted to see me dance and then sing again afterwards, and I was able to redeem my belt. They hired Rockette height girls instead of 5'4" little me anyways, but I felt redeemed.
Today's legit was supposed to be head voice. Whoops. The girls in front of me floated on pretty little songs. I Ethel Mermaned that shit. (Apologies to my grandma for the swearing)
The auditor's faces were pretty funny. I am not sure if it was horror or just being awakened after so many hours of sweet Susie sopranos. Either way, they will remember me. Even if they never let me near Beauty and the Beast again. If I am going to make a mistake or fall on my rather large bottom, I would rather they be great big ones than little ones. Today was a big one.
I am not going to let it phase me. I will be up before dawn tom riding public transit with the construction workers (6am is the witching hour for manly workboots in the subway). Once I finally reach CT, I will put in a hard days work as a 60's background vampire, and thank God I don't work in an office. For as Sean Connery knows "you only live twice." Or so they say. :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Jersey Carol

I went to another Christmas Carol call. All ballet companies all do the nutcracker. Theatres are trying to come up with an equivalent. So you have the musical version of A Christmas Carol, White Christmas, the Grinch, A Christmas Story, and God know what else that can make money off the Christmas cheer.
This production is out in Princeton New Jersey. (The dance call was in the city. Thank God.) And they do the same production every year. They had a huge turn out, and no idea how to handle. They were very sweet, but it was a really long call. I was there from 9 to 7. Yeah. They kept me the entire time. Literally the entire time. I was the last person to sing. Going out with a bang!
How I feel after such a long day? See this clip. My hair was actually similar to hers today. :)
I came home to a fun little gift. I got a little check from my Pan Am fitting. It's not a lot, but right now, any check is welcome. I get a huge amount of satisfaction from my acting checks. Getting paid!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Tarts and Widows or My Continuing and Bizzare Relationship with "Big River"

I love open calls on Sundays. They are generally not that busy. And they are always entertaining. Today I went out for a non-union production of Big River.
The show performs in Feb at a theatre in Westchester. This theatre, brags about doing the most union shows of any theatre in New York. So, once or twice a year, they do a non-union show through another company. That way they can say they are purely equity. So, while "some pay" is always frightening to see on an audition notice, it is always much more comforting when it could lead to shows with Equity contracts. I wasn't doing anything else today, so of course I went!
Years ago, I did a production of "Big River." It was the least time I did a show at a community theatre. I had done shows there before, but I had been accustomed to dance captaining for them and getting paid. So when I got a desperate call from one of the directors, searching for one more young female that wouldn't be completely intolerable for their production of the show, I said yes. I wasn't doing anything else. (Which is apparently how all my stories about this show go.)
I had fun. I was the alto sister and then had a grand old time playing some crazy character roles in the chorus. My personal favorite, was the awkward, unintelligent tart from Arkansas. So much fun to play! And definitely not getting me any dates. Despite the high kicks. :)
So auditioning today, I figured I was good for the chorus. Woo! I like being in choruses. It's fun. A job is a job after all.
They started with the first few groups singing, reading, and dancing. There were only 70 something of us, but they only had the studio for four hours. So they couldn't keep taking as much time as they had been. I was 64, and they were running out of time. So they typed us in groups and sang us as quickly as possible. I was not in the Mary Jane group. I was not surprised. But I was in the widow Douglas group. Which was surprising. And they had me read after I sang a comedically bawdy little ditty. Apparently, they are playing the widow young. I would be a little bit more of a young, gold digging widow. Less churchey. Especially after the song that I sang.
I wouldn't mind doing the show again. While it is a little slow, the characters are super fun to play. Mark Twain wrote some crazies. I am a good crazy. And it would be a job!
The world is a weird place in a wonderful sort of way. Another entertaining Sunday! :)

Friday, October 21, 2011


I am working again this Wed. Hurrah! Finally have a date and travel plans from the Vampire film. And once again, it's time to catch the 5am Wed train out of South Orange. Woo. Can you tell you who excited I am?
My sleep is all kinds of off from this Wed, so I need to try extra hard to get it back on track for next Wed. As in, lots of early bed times. No more sleeping in on audition free days. And be up and there really early for the Beauty and the Beast call on Tues. :)
Not so long ago, I was a college student who very rarely got up before 9 am. Now I am up before the sun to job hunt on a regular basis. The roomie, who still keeps college-esque hours, stays up til about 2 in the morning on a regular basis and gets up around 9 or ten. Her days don't technically start until 1 in the afternoon. We are have very few hours where we are both at home and awake. Quite often, it feels like I live alone. Which is really weird.
I spend a ton of time trying to get jobs. Very few will pan out. Which really isn't all that different from anyone job hunting. Sometimes I wish I was one of the lucky chosen few with parents who got them a nice, cushy job. But at the same time, each job I have worked, whether in Houston, Tulsa, New York, New Jersey, or Conneticut, is one that I have gotten myself. I went after it. I sold myself. I was successful on my own. Which is an awesome feeling.
Yes. I did not get the most practical college degree, but it is something that I love that I can be successful in. The work I do is for myself. What I earn, I have earned by myself. I can and will stand on my own. Boo yah! Take that world!
And just because it's awesome... Kate Winslet on "Extras "

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pan Am And Organized Meandering

The Pan Am shoot I was booked was today. I found out at 930 last night where my call time and place were. 630 AM in BROOKLYN. (My face upon this news)
I packed my bag, set my alarm for 430 AM, took a shower, and went to bed. It still hurt to get up that early. I caught the 507 train which was both late and slow. I messed up and took the express A instead of the C and had turn around and go three stops back towards Manhattan. And I was about five or ten minutes late and panicking. In the dark. In the subway. In Brooklyn. Yeah.
Turned out I wasn't the last one there and had to wait in a huge line for my voucher. There was no prompt check in or roll call, so hopefully my suck-y use of public transit didn't hurt my possibility of future jobs with them. Traded my voucher for my costume-the famous sexy plaid pants!- got dressed and headed to hair and makeup. Luckily, a hairdresser with little curlers nabbed me out of the line. Her name was Elaina, and my little hair was just what she wanted. So I didn't have to wait in line as much. Got my makeup and the hair finished. I was still among the end of the lines, so I wasn't involved in the shots from the first angle.
Didn't bother me too much. There was coffee, and they were still paying me the same, even if I was taking goofy pictures of my hair in the holding room. Score!
It was a massive operation. More than a hundred of us went thru hair, makeup, and wardrobe in a little over three hours. And there was some intense hair on the ladies! My Peggy Olsen flip was eclipsed by some truly stupendous beehives. But those girls didn't have plaid pants! It's time for the turn around, so up to the set I go. (I had a hard time getting a good picture on my tablet. Forgive the awkward face and instead concentrate on the plaid pants and loafers. They are even more awkward in the best way possible!)

We were shooting  at 1 Hanson Place. It's a beautiful old bank building that largely gets used for shooting bus and train station scenes in and around NYC. Penn and Grand Central stop for no film crew! The architecture of the building is a fabulous hodgepodge. When bored, the building gave you plenty to look at.  I started off in line for tickets. Then I was coupled with Wayne. We came in from the back and bought tickets multiple times as we planned our elopement to niagra falls, wandered around, and checked out the maps. Which were purple. And of Michigan. I should have nabbed one as I was leaving. Then I was pulled by one of the crowd control people to be a part of another couple. If any of the takes make the cut, I am the crazy one behind the really pretty black lead actor (I think the character 's name was Joe) as he buys his ticket to Mississippi. My partner in this couple was a guy named Chris. He's 23 and from Houston. Small world. He was also wearing a paisley button up and mustard sweater combo that was almost as stylin' as my pants and loafers. :-)  More crowd meandering after that. One last shot meandering with Chris, and it was time to wrap. We were done at 330. It was painless and just the right amount of time. Checked everything back in, got my voucher, and headed back home. With my 60s hair. Trying to brush it out would just make it Ka-razy, so I decided to just work the hair. All in all, not a bad days work. I had a good time. I got paid to have my hair and makeup done and then walk back and forth. Sweet! :-) 

Sunday, October 16, 2011


This past summer I did one last show in Houston, Jesus Christ Superstar with a new company in Houston. It was their second show, and they had a lot to learn. Not my best experience in theatre. Nor my most professional.
I blocked it from my mind until the saga of my paycheck began. They were to wait three weeks to pay us. I got my check six weeks later. My email of inquiry about the yet to appear check at five weks was never answered. As soon as I got it, I sent it right back to my military brat bank. I found out today that it bounced and I was charged fees.
I wasn't the only one to have my check bounce. I prepared my email with help from legal aid's website and sent it off. I kept it professional and to the point.
I had hoped I would never have to deal with bounced checks. Actors have notice boards all across the web about the dreaded bounced check. It's an extra slap after being paid poorly for good work to have a check bounce.
Now I have a template email for any future bounced checks. We are all take jobs just to be working at times, whether we are actors, tax accountants, or delivery guys. But there is a certain amount of respect we all deserve that we won't always get. It's a delicate balance between our pride and our survival. So as much as I would like to be able to work for peanuts and still live reasonably well, I know I can't. If I sign a contract, I stick to it. And an employer should do the same. If you can't do it, don't include it in the contract you wrote.
I might be small and cute, but I am learning more and more to stand up for myself. I am not a carpet to be walked on by anyone. If I don't respect and look out for myself, who else will? R-E-S-P-E-C-T!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Plaid Cigarette Pants Are SEXY!!!!!

So I had my fitting for Pan Am today. It was out at the Steiner Studios in Brooklyn, and getting there was an adventure!
We've had days of rain and steaming haze. (Much too hot and much too humid for October!) Often when there is lots of rain, you get power outages. When you get power outages in the right spots, electric trains don't run.
That's what happened this morning.
They re routed us to Hoboken to take the PATH trains. Which I've never taken. I had two options-33rd St bound train which I knew was right next to Penn or the World Trade Center bound train. Ok.
I knew exactly where I would be getting off the 33rd St train, but not only was it round about, it was also comedically full. In addition to the abundance of suits spilling over, there was also an abundance of comic Con-esque dressed young men. Not who I wanted to be squashed in with.
So I took the other train. It ended up being the shorter and less crowded way. I didn't get lost, and I was there 25 minutes early! Boo yah New Jersey Transit! I was taking care of business.
My fitting went well. I din't have much in my own closet that fit what they were looking for, so I am only wearing my litle black cardi and gold button earrings. From their awesome stock of clothes, I am wearing a white sleeveless turtleneckish sweater, brown flats, brown purse, and the peice de resistance-navy blue and yellow plaid, wool, high waisted, cigarette pants. I was a little bit worried at first, but the pants grew on me. They're really awesome in a crazy 60's sort of way. I can't wait to wear them again!
There are twenty odd shows filming in New York right now. Which is a whole lot compared to the recent past. Walking to the rooms for Pan Am, I passed the stages, work rooms, offices, and cast rooms for Boardwalk Empire and Damages. I felt like such a sad litle fan girl, in awe of so much awesomeness. Boardwalk Empire.....sigh.
I then met my mom's bud Patty and her daughter for lunch in Manhattan. Small world, their other lunch guest was a girl I had danced with in high school. Crazy!
I left with a big "care package" from my mom. Lots of coffee and other important goodies (halloween candy!) were in the bag. I treked it all back home before the constant haze of the past few days became rain again. The roomie is making cheesecake spice cupcakes and watching Bones obsessively. I am quite content. Happy fall to all! :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Prather, Chezzam, and Pan Am: A Most Eventful Day!

Prather went really well. They called back more singers than dancers, so I felt like a shark! The combo was fun. I partied it out, and they asked me to come back at 530 for 9 to 5. I had no earthly idea what they would want me to do, but I had time to kill. I called one of my college girlfriends Stacey, and we met up to get lunch.
She wanted Thai coffee. We had no earthly idea where a Thai place would be, but we were in New York. One of the wonderful things about NYC is if you walk half dozen blocks, you can usually find what you were hankering for. And we did!
We ate at this little Thai place on the corner of 23rd and 7th Ave. It was super tastey and decently priced. We had an awesome time stuffing our faces and chatting. Panang curry! My kryptonite! YUM! Then I headed back to Prather.
They had us read several sides with the guys. It went all right. I feel like I have a decent chance of getting an ensemble job with them. Lord only knows when I will hear from them. They were looking for spring shows and had over five hundred auditionees. And they danced about three hundred of them. We shall see!
I got several awesome emails today. One was from the event company I auditioned for the other day. (Chezzam-where you get paid to dance with Granny at bar mitzvahs!) I'm on their roster and possibly have a gig on Nov 6.
The other email was AWESOME! I have kept submitting myself to be an extra on Pan Am. I finally booked it! I'm a bus station passenger. Fittings are Fri. The shoot is Tues. I am so excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I read the email on my train home and totally Singing in the Rained several lamp posts walking home. And it's not raining anymore.)
Hopefully I can keep getting extra and corporate work. Much better than waiting tables. (Which I can't get. College degrees do not matter when trying to get a waitressing job!)
PAN AM!!!!!!!!!! I am so excited! I am going to be a part of the cheese!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Cattle call auditions have a tendency to occur on Mondays. I don't know why. For the non theatrical, cattle calls may seem like one of the more inhumane bits of the industry. Theatres host these open calls for multiple shows with a huge lack of specifications. So most everybody comes. Male, female, fat, skinny, short, tall, or green. You name it, there is probably someone there like it. Hundreds of people crammed into a holding room waiting for their thirty seconds of glory.
There were two open cattle calls yesterday- Cohoes Music Hall in Rochester (It's A Wonderful Life and Pirates) and Prather Entertainment who run a dinner theatre circuit (an insane variety of shows). There was no way you could sell yourself for their entire call in 16 bars without looking like a psychopath. So you sing something that shows both your strong suits and your personality. Sell yourself- artist are prostitutes or whatever some famous schmuck said.
I wanted to make both calls. The more I audition, the better I will get and the easier it will be. (hahaha) Luckily, both were on the same floor in the same studio.
I didn't get up as early as planned (the warmish weather and my lack of AC weren't helping me sleep), so I got there at 10 when both calls were supposed to begin. At Cohoes, I was number 195. At Prather, I was 284. Hahaha. Don't you love Mondays?
I stuck around. Hopped from room to room. Made new friends. And recurled the right side of my hair every few hours. It had decided it was anti curly, and I was determined to get it to match the perfect pin curls on the other side of my head. The heels and dress came on about 1, and I settled down to wait for the post lunch calls for Cohoes and made some awesome new holding room friends.
We were the audition clothes police. It is amazing to me, that in such an image conscious industry, how horribly and inappropriately people can dress. Simple things, like flattering your silhouette or your coloring, just don't always happen. Don't dress like a hooker for It's a Wonderful Life and Pirates. Last time I checked, neither of these classic, you-should-really-know-it show involved prostitutes. So don't wear something that would have place in a Sweet Charity audition! I also learned all about where there are Targets in the city (New York City is never referred to by name. It is just "the city".) I live in Jersey. Not a problem I have. And how to use food stamps. Also, not a problem I have. (Fingers crossed).
Anyways, the laughter and fun with my new pals lead me to be super loose in the room. I didn't really feel like I fit what they wanted (except for the loud bit. They don't mike. They asked for loud, and I can be loud. Just ask my mother.), but I went in and had a blast. Against the wall (it was a small studio. Standing three feet further back did not tell them how loud I could or couldn't be), belting my face off, and having a good time. I consider that a success!
Back across the hall to Prather to wait another 2 hours. Once again, new holding room friends. They were less chill (nervous more than anything), but still quite nice. I didn't rock it out as much as I had next door, but I got a dance callback for Wed. Once again, I will call that a success.
Cattle calls are pretty much an exercise in futility. They saw over 500 people in 2 days at both auditions. We have maybe 30 seconds to intrigue several tired, and usually gay, men who have been sitting behind a table in a small studio for hours. I am amazed by how friendly so many if these people can be after watching the human cow-valcade all day. But still, I feel worse not booking a job I was on a select list for. Not booking something or not even getting a callback at a cattle call is no biggie. As long as I am friendly and personable, I could be on the short list next time they roll around. Plus, you didn't know if you fit what they were looking for. The harsh reality of it is that I will have to deal with these calls for a long while. I just have to stay positive and keep giving it my all. Most of all, I have to have fun doing these crazy things. I always have to enjoy my 16 bar moo that I have waited 6 hours to give.
MOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! :-)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sometimes It Pays to be Pale...

Several auditions have come and gone. They weren't anything exciting. I went to bed early and didn't write anything.
Saturday, I met Stacey in Colombus Circle. We walked around Central Park. It was a beautiful day. Plus the beauty of buff men shirtlessly jogging by. It seemed like at least half the dogs in Manhattan were being walked. (We both want a dog and know we can neither afford or even always take care of one. So we gaze longingly after other people's dogs. We also gaze longingly at attractive and possibly wealthy men.)
We treked to the Lincoln Center. Ate cupcakes for lunch. Saw a fellow TU alum's show at the Ensemble. It was not only quite solid, but it was also funny. Which is awesome. More coffee, and I headed back home.
It had been a very good day. It needed nothing else to make it better. But something else did come along!
Among the five thousand projects I seem to submit myself for, there was a casting call for extras for a short horror film. Vampire bar patrons in the 1960s. I admit to being a little confused by this, but they paid, so I submitted myself. Guess who's on the director's short list? Moi! Hopefully if all works out, I will be paid to sit at a bar in CT looking pale. Baby steps. It's a good start and I am super excited! I haven't had a paycheck in a while. It will be nice to see even a tiny one! Sometimes, it pays to be pale. :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hello Courtney!

"Oh what a beautiful morning! Oh what a beautiful day!" But it didn't really start out that way.
I hadn't done everything I meant to last night (cupcake baking and wine drinking led me to my bed super early), so I caught a later train than I normally catch. I was just carrying my contacts instead of wearing them. In the juggling act between contacts, glasses, and hot coffee, I lost a lense. I couldn't find it. Anywhere. So I started digging thru my bags. I should have a spare pair somewhere...but I didn't. Trying not to panic, I got up early when we were nearing Penn, surriptiously looking for lenses for little blind girls around my seat and there it was. In the middle of aisle. Miraculously, it was still intact and wearable. Thank the lord!
Off to Pearl Studios for "HelloDolly." I love thisshow. Its cheesey and hokey and soooo wonderful. Plus it always leaves you humming. Jerry Herman makes me so happy! I was an hour early, and number 73 on the list. Woo!
Somehow, I almost always end up being called in the first set in my audition group. Today was no different. The combo was to "Dancing," and it was fun! Balletic but enough movement bounce that my curls (you bet I curled my hair!). I looked like an excited foofoo dog. Which is awesome.
And they asked me to sing!!!!!!!!! It wasmyfirst time to get asked to sing in New York and I was super giddy. I sang "Heather on the Hill." They wanted quirkey, but I didn't have anything in the style of the show that was quirkey. I was still giddy and bounced about a bit as I sang. I probably looked half witted, but in a cute sort of way. Don't expect to book it but it is still a success in my world. Baby steps! "1, 2, 3. 1, 2, 3. Look! I'm dancing!" :-)
P.S. For Katie and Lisa. Michael Crawford: PIMP! (We stayed up late watching "Hello Dolly" too many times. Silliness ensued and we all have shirts with this slogan and his confused face upon them!)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Costume (Stripper) Party!

Every so often, Broadway shows have to do chorus calls. With the way that Equity works, they don't have to hire. They just have to have them. It is the same with regional theatres.
These can be handled two ways. We don't want to waster your time- non union members go home. Quickly see the union members. Most of them won't even show up if the word is out. Or, what happened today, "Hey bitches! (Excuse my not so French.) Come party with us!"
Rock of Ages had their required dance call this morning, and that's what they did. They saw everybody dance. They heard no one sing, and they will not hire anyone. But they invited us to party. And we did.
It was a new level of trashy audition dress. And it was tons of fun.
Class is not something to be found in Rock of Ages. You have Poison, some White Snake, crude jokes, and hot girls. It's oddly straight and dudely for a musical. Everybody skanked it out. (I miscalculated the skank level and looked more Blitz Club than White Snake. If only Rosie hadn't killed Taboo!) My favorite slut-tacular peice of clothing in the room-black fishnet thigh highs with hot pink lace tops. There was a costume (stripper) store by my apartment in Tulsa. They were going out of business, so I went to go get cheap stockings. (Back seams and fishnets are super expensive.) Rummaging thru their bins of clearance, I never saw anything that awesomely trashy. Maybe Tulsa strippers just were not so inventive.
It was a party. They weren't really hiring, so it was like free class. (albeit, free class in all sorts of trashy clothes.) We all just had a good time. Which rocks.
The combo was fun. We were told to be "the hottest girl in the room." That odd sort of female empowerment thru sexuality sort of a thing. It was like being an 80's hair metal music video. I totally skinned my knees to peices going down to my knees out of a piroutte. Floor work in dance fishnets. Ow. Next time I will bring knee pads.
Ok. It wasn't very classy. Or tasteful. Or erudite. In fact, it was pretty trashy and not tasteful at all. But it was fun!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Paws and Passion Paw-t Deux!

Hahahaha. I went back to another CATS call ready to be entertained. And I was! :-)
My first audition in New York was actually for this same tour. I was scared beyond belief. There were hundreds of girls. Some of them looked crazy but others looked really intimidating. There was a girl in a tie-dyed unitard. What had I gotten myself into?
I was in the first group because I'd been there before 7 (am. Gross.). The director/choreographer and his assistant were teaching the combo. Two tall, thin, super gay men in black tees and v necks. (They were both supernice though. And that makes them being unknowingly funny even better!)We got a huge lecture as they taught the combo about how our fingers must disappear. They must become paws! As we started dancing it, he asked for our "passion." "Paws and passion. Remember, this is CATS!" (I'm convinced that whenever you refer to this show, it must be un all caps with an exclamation point.) So of course paws and passion became my favorite new saying. And the cat paw gesture must always come with it!
I wasn't asked to stay, but I had a fresh confidence in myself. I could dance as well (if not better) than most of the girls in the room. I could do this for a living. New York wasn't all that scary. It's just a city full of paws and passion!
So, when I saw a fresh call for replacements, I was psyched. I don't expect to ever get a job in the show that never dies. I'm simply too average in height. They use short and tall. I'm firmly in the middle. Plus I always manage to look too weighted when I dance it. I don't fit it, but the auditions are so much fun!I was still loose from the crazy afternoon audition yesterday. (It was awesome. No one had any idea what was going on, so we just had fun. There were maybe a dozen of us, and we were all clueless. I spent two hours with these auditors, and I still don't know what I was auditio ning for! None of us did.)
In the CATS holding room, I ran into a girl I knew from church back in Houston. It was her first pro audition in the city. She's going to school at Fordam. I also met a girl named Rachel that looked like Rachel McAdams. She was super sweet, and I hope to see her again around the audition circuit! Then it was time to dance. My paws were ready! It was the director/choreographer again! No v neck and no assistant, but were Latin lady cats this time. When he started to talk about the importance of paws, I almost chuckled aloud. There was no talk of passion, but there was talk of animality and flair. Hahahaha!
I rocked it, had fun, and didn't get asked to sing. Holding room rumours were that they only needed one girl. They had over a hundred to pick from! Oh well. I was royally entertained and got a free dance class. Who needs cable TV when there are CATS auditions? Paws and passion y'all!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

I'm Sitting in Starbucks Right Now :-)

In some ways, shows like "So You Think Dance?" a great for dance. It's exposure for both dancers and choreographers to a huge audience. But it's also become a bit of monster. Styles got smooshed over and turned into a SYTYCD?/dance team mush. Different styles should be danced differently. You should try and fit both the choreographer and the character. I firmly believe this as both a chroeographer and dancer, and this smooshing of styles into one boring clumo is not cool.
I auditioned for a theatre in New Hampshire bright and early this morning. We were Hotboxing it up long before actual Hotbox girls would actually be up. Everyone from the theatre was super nice. The director/choreographer taught a combo to "Bushel and a Peck."
He kept telling us showgirls, but it was very "So You Think You Can Dance?"esque. If there is one thing in my being, my teeny 5 foot 4 self is a showgirl at heart. A tall, leggy lady that would totally rock Vegas. So here was the question, SYTYCD it, or keep it showgirl and period.
I'm anal retentive. I went period and had a grand old time. They kept dance team. It makes me wonder if I should change what I am doing, but at the same time, I have something those girls don't have. And when it comes down to it, I am selling myself. I might fit someone else's production of "Guys and Dolls." I know who I am, and SYTYCD and dance team is not my fit. (Though I could totally choreograph it.) But I can rock some Jack Cole and Micheal Kidd. So, for now, I'm going to keep refining me and trying to find that core that will appeal to someone. (Puppet people liked me? Some theatre people will find me soon enough if I just keep auditioning.)
I'm totally killing time in a Starbucks uptown of Times Square waiting for the next audition. This has become my audition diary of sorts. While it is awesome to share with my friends and family, writing it out helps me find peace with things. I'm weird but awesome! Time to rock it out! :)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Ninja Puppeteers

At Kids On Stage, we would have Puppet Pizzaz Fridays. Mr. Greg, or as most of the teaching staff fondly called him "the creepy puppet man," would come and put on a puppet show. He was a bald white man. He drove a large, unmarked, white van. Made funny voices. And carried trunks that could totally carry children. We had tons of fun listing the ways he was a child predator. It made Fridays awesome! (Plus we got Chinese takeout from down the street for lunch. Score!)
So, I'm not a huge fan of puppets. While I admit they take skill to work, they creep me out. Except for Muppets. Muppets are cool. I don't know why, but they do.
This morning, I had an audition for a puppet troupe. They do puppet ballets to classical music with narration. Recorded tracks, puppets, and dancers. Well, work is work, so when I heard from this company I went.
I get off to meet Edward (our contact and auditor) in the Bronx. I am not happy to be looking for a fifteen passenger van. It brings thoughts of Mr. Greg back. Mr. Greg was not who I wanted to work for. Plus, it just in general creepy. And makes me glad I have mace. Edward gets there, and he is a bald, white guy, along the lines of Mr. Greg. And he refers to us as ninja puppeteers. I got up at 6:30 this morning and traveled over an hour to get here. Shoot.
The audition was a small group of green dancers. I did not feel the greenest person there even though it was very different from what I was used to. We danced a little bit and played with puppets. Edward turned out to be much less crazy than Greg (thank God), and offered me the possibility of work in Feb. As of now, he is going to call me back in to sing in January. If I don't have a theatre gig and he offers it to me, I'll take it. I would be the only non puppet in a dinosaur vaudeville. Sort of a narrator or placard girl. Who gets to sing a cheesy song at the end of the show. We'll see. It's better than nothing. While I don't like not having a concrete offer, at the same time, it leaves free to accept a musical theatre job if one rolls along. Which would be awesome! High hopes and more auditions to come! :) Tom: Guys and Dolls and Rock and Roll at the Palace plus a "cabaret style musical." (Whatever that means)