It was for Beautiful Thing, a play I performed in college. A role I performed in college, of a mother whose gay son comes out to her, and although I was not age appropriate for that role at the time, I am now! So I kavetched about auditioning, as you may recall, and then I went.
What the h, right?
PART A: INITIAL AUDITION
So the kids had a birthday party to go to which was great because I couldn't linger on my monologue all day. I dropped them home and dashed back out to the city, parked and had 10 minutes to spare.
Waiting in the lobby of the Adrienne Theatre spaces I sign in and try to relax. I pee three times. I text hubby and bestie "Glasses no glasses." Consensus was glasses. When they call my name, on my way through the door I ask the monitor girls "Jacket no jacket." They assure me it's warm down in the lower level, so I leave it behind.
Still memorizing monologue...creating neumonic structures in my mind as I head down the stairs...
There are three people in the room; two men behind a table and one woman in a seat beside them. The "main" guy, whom I later learn to be the head of musical theatre at Temple University, introduces the other two, which goes straight in one of my ears and out the other while I smile and nod and hope I don't choke. Scratch that, it didn't even go in one ear to be lost out the other side. This is all about me, not you, people! I'll meet you when you hire me!
He asks me something to the effect of what monologue will I be performing? And for some reason in this very moment in time I cannot for the life of me remember if the character's name in Pygmalion is the same as it is in My Fair Lady, which is Eliza, of course, but not being too sure I kind of mumble the "Eh" and more clearly articulate the "Liza." And then I say "Pygmalion" and he nods and says,
"Oh for a minute there I thought you meant LIZA as in MINNELI!"to which I respond with a few high kicks with jazz hands and proclaim,
"Well that would probably be much better actually!"Then on with the show. I get my monologue out, hear a few chuckles, don't murder the accent completely, and then he prompts me to chat about the play a little, as I've listed in the info/conflicts sheet that I performed the role of Sandra before. Since I know the character, he asks me to act as her performing the same monologue from Pygmalion, but after a few beers, as Sandra is known to do.
"Have fun with it!" he says.So I improv. The accent is a little worse, the monologue lines are coming to my brain a little slower, but overall, I did have 'fun', so to speak.
He asks me if I'm free the next night at 6 for callbacks, and I say,
"What is tomorrow? Sunday? Ok yes!" and he winks.So I feel great; feel like I showed my knowledge and abilities for the day and yet, still a bit insecure that I did not get an official callback yet...wait and see...get home around 6 and go about mom-ing, feeding kids, putting them to bed as hubby continues bathroom remodel (post to come.) (hopefully.)
|My hot Friday night date: buying a toliet!!|
PART B: THE CALLBACK
Feeling justified in my choice to actually audition, I write a reminder to myself that buzzes on me right as I walk around the corner to the theatre:
"Remember you [as subject of event]- are an actress; be grounded in your professional abilities. [as address of event]"This was a nice little note to myself. I remember this is something that I like to do, that I'm good at it, and that people actually pay me to do it because I'm that.good.
I walk in and see at least three other "Sandra" types in the lobby and the monitor coming down the stairs, upon seeing me, says, "Great! You're all here." She tells me she will be pairing me up with another actor to read through the first scene. I go to pee two times.
I meet him, shake his hand and ask what part he is reading for, thinking he might be playing my boyfriend, and he says, no, he is reading for one of the teenage boy parts.
Because I'm now old and am playing the real mom parts and can't distinguish from teenage boys and men who should be playing my romantic opposite. HARSH.
We read through twice and head upstairs to a different rehearsal room, get ready to do our thing for the director. He is now sitting with another woman and introduces her as a casting director of sorts. I say "of sorts" because he also made some joke about 'they don't trust me to make the decisions alone' and now I really like him. He gives us some insight into the scene and gives us a heads up that we may do it a few times. We read through once and he gives us direction to do it bigger, especially for me. This scene involves a mom reacting to a neighbor boy being hit by his family, and I'm both angry about having to deal with it and the fact that I've just learned my son is gay and may be dating this boy. So I go big or go home. And we are sent out.
I'm paired with another boy to read a second scene. We all found different corners and spaces to rehearse for the first scene, but now for this second round all of the Sandra's and Jaime's and Ste's are all just spewing out Southeast London accents and emotion and rage willy-nilly throughout the space. I can hear the other women and although it is likely they were just marking their emotions and accents during rehearsal, I begin to feel more confident in my knowledge of the character. There is no way Sandra would be toned-down and warm. She's a mess. A bar wench. She only reluctantly gives in to being a mother. And then I chuckle at myself for trying to own this part; I never did before. And here I am holding my actual script instead of photocopied sides...show-off!
The second pairing is reading a much more emotional scene; the one in which Jamie is coming out to his mother. My fellow actor and I discuss it as we are practicing it and we agree to GO BIG. We perform the scene once for the director and I feel like we are all crying by the end of it. No need to do it again. No need to see anything else. We all need a minute. The director tells him "Boy, she sounded like your mom, didn't she?" And he laughs and agrees. Something special did happen in that room. I found a new take on the scene; and I don't know if that actor was actually gay or not, but he was definitely in touch with that emotion of coming out. On our way out the door the actor tells me that the director knows his mom. I smile. Perhaps I am the only actress here who is actually a mom.
And as my friend would say, "Yeah because all the other parents are home with their families, jackass!!"
We got an email saying casting would be completed by Monday. So...I'll let ya know, of course! Follow me on Facebook or Twitter if you'd like the blow-by-blow-up-to-the-minute-surprises!!
Ever been show-boating in a competitive environment?!?!
COME ON, you know you have!
COME ON, you know you have!