(This story takes place this past Tuesday…)
I graduated college one year ago today.
It is a universal phenomenon of how fast time flies, so I do not think I need to comment more on the wild feeling of trying to comprehend that a year has gone by already.
So it was kind of neat that this day was worthy of an entire blog post dedicated to it.
Ok, here is the tale of this sunny Tuesday, the 10th of May…
It began at 5:06 a.m., when my alarm went off. TRX fitness class at 6:30 at Goldman Sachs downtown, then up and over and through the World Trade construction to the Path train to go to Goldman Sachs Jersey City and train a client at 7:30.
Then the real fun began!
I got to Shetler/Nola Studios on 54th St (right by infamous Studio 54, if you need a visual) about 9 a.m. Rented a practice room for a half hour for a well-spent $6. Great warm up, singing through my whole book (terminology of auditions: ‘book’ means your book of music, what you have prepared to sing at any moment).
A bit before 10 began the final callbacks for Sleeping Beauty, a new musical being performed by La Comedia Dinner Theatre inOhio. Yesterday were the main auditions. I sang “If I Were A Bell,” received a callback to dance, then received another callback after that for this morning!
Today there were only five girls and four guys called back for the lead roles of Sunny (aka Sleeping Beauty) and Maxwell (the ‘prince’…just a bit different in this version). We each sang first, then were partnered up to read sides (terminology of audition #2: ‘read sides’ means you are given copies of a few pages of a scene from the show, told to look it over, then perform it for the people behind the table….terminology of auditions #3: ‘people behind the table’: those in the audition room, sitting behind a table, who decide your fate…haha…aka often the director, producer, casting director, etc.).
I was the first of the morning to go in and sing. I owe the Lord SO many thanks for today, and how the singing went is most certainly one of them.
The director looked at my book and decided he would like me to sing “It Might As Well Be Spring.” He had a smile on his face while I sang, and then after asked about my range (terminology of auditions #4: ‘range’ means what notes you can comfortably sing, i.e. F3-G6 if you are looking at a piano/read music). He then asked if I might sing scales as the pianist played a sort of Do-Re-Mi-Fa-So-Fa-Mi-Re-Do, if you think in terms of Sound of Music… I have never had to do this in an audition before. God was with me and gave me beautiful, pure notes, all the way to the top. The director asked me to hold out the top note, and it went very well. I told him we could keep going, but he said that was the top of the range of the character—That is when I found out for sure that I had been called back for Sunny. He handed me sides, told me to look over them with a boy named Sam, and then everyone would come back in after everyone had sang.
Sam was a fun co-person, and the nine of us were called in en mass. This was a bit different, too, as you don’t usually audition in front of others who are also auditioning. We were called to go first, and it went great. After all the pairs had gone, the director mixed and matched, then told us we were set to go. We will know within ten days.
It could not have gone better, and I could see four out of the five females being hired—This will come down to type, especially, as I was the only ‘tall girl’ (and I’m not ever that tall!). The others were all about 5’ 3” and shorter. Interesting, isn’t it? Oh! Terminology #5: ‘type.’ There is a lot of talk about type, and one would be surprised how often roles can be decided with this as a large factor. For instance, often one may find herself at a callback with other girls who look just like her. For me that might be, medium height, smiley and sweet-seeming, 20s. Sometimes casting directors are not sure what they want in a role, and you see a variety of types- short, tall, older, younger, etc. Here, the difference was height. They were all great. However, they kept the two tallest boys to then read more for the lead man…so there’s hope there at least…haha. We shall see! I just know that if I don’t book this show, I feel so great about how this audition went and feel confident I will be able to audition for this theatre again in the future with positive results.
Song break: Grateful, Brian Stokes Mitchell
Okay, so we are at 11 a.m. now. Brigadoon national non-equity tour was holding auditions one floor up from Sleeping Beauty. I had signed up on the list when I arrived at the building at 9 a.m. and was number 90. Terminology of auditions #6: ‘non-equity tour’: for actors not a part of the Actors Equity Association union. (Aka, better chances for people like me!)
I was not sure I would have a chance of being seen (terminology #7: ‘being seen’ refers to the opportunity to audition) before I had to leave to go to Pearl Studios on 8th Ave. and 35th St. for an audition appointment at 12:30 for Arizona Broadway Theatre, but I stuck it out just in case…
At 11:50, my name was indeed called. However, over 20 people were still ahead of me Will I make it in time? Well, 12:10 came, and I had to decide to leave, therefore leaving my chance of 1., auditioning for Brigadoon, and, 2., auditioning in front of Bob Cline again, a casting director who casts a whole lot of things, including many non-eq tours.
Well, I stayed.
I would go toPearlas soon as I was done, explain in truth, and see if they would still let me audition. (This was a rare wonderful audition where they had us submit beforehand and get offered an audition appointment time…as opposed to waiting and waiting.)
I auditioned at about 12:26. Taking my chance at singing a soprano song for an audition, I sang ‘Moonfall’ from The Mystery of Edwin Drood. I say taking a chance because even though I have a large soprano (high voice) range, when I would get in an audition situation or just a new space, I would often lost my breath support and power behind my voice. Does that make sense? If not, come visit, and I’ll sing both ways for you…haha…
Once again, God was with me. Even though it was not as strong as it had been in practice and voice lessons, I was able to fully push through it. At the end, as the woman next to Bob looked own once more at my resume, it was crossing my mind how it went fine, though not as strong….BUT, then the woman asked how my ballet was…so it did indeed go well!
Ballet is, of course, my weakest dance discipline, however, I am working on it! (And that dance callback yesterday included ballet and went very well!) So, I just told her my background: began about 6th grade, did not do much in high school, studied it quite a bit atButler, taking now at Steps with Robert Atwood and Kathy Sullivan.
“That’s all I need for now. Thank you!”, she said.
Now run toPearl! E train, elevator, find the room, find the monitor—and he was great. I explained what happened and that I understand if I am too late, but I had to check. He said it was no problem at all! I’d be in the second of the two next groups…Ok, here is my next problem…I am supposed to teach a Pilates class at Hearst at 1pm, and it is 12:45pm right now. Obviously, I will be late no matter what, but this is the difference between getting there at 1:15 or not really getting there at all…
At my wits end, I finally just let it out, telling him my predicament but how I truly want to audition for them, so much.
He puts me first in the very next group. God bless this boy.
By the way, in doing my research on this theatre the night before, I came across a Youtube video of their production of 42nd St. (It was great, so I’ve posted it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUrv0ilJUis ) I noticed that this monitor (oh, ‘monitor,’ terminology #8: the sort-of audition manager, making sure all goes well, liaison between holding room and audition room) was in this video—yes! A talking point! I told him I recognized him and how great it was!
Five minutes later, I was in the audition room. Ironically, I knew the pianist from a workshop I had done. He is a bit ‘much,’ but an excellent pianist. Now, the monitor never mentioned doing two songs, but apparently it was expected, as the pianist flipped to the song following the song I was going to sing, “Double Dare You,” and said, “Then this one?” Well, apparently I was singing that one, then! Ha! Thankfully, it was one of my strongest songs, “Shy.”
Such a whirlwind to that point, I can hardly remember the faces of the people in the room, however, the audition went great—Thank you, Lord! The next comment: “Would you come back to dance tomorrow?”
Another call back, thank you, Lord.
Ok, run outside, hail a taxi, because $7 lost from what I would make in the Pilates class was worth it. I had called Hearst, and I told them I would be there by 1:15. Someone else, bless her, began the class for me. Exasperated, as I got in the taxi, I said, “57th and 8th please…As fast as possible!” Well he certainly delivered on that….whoosh I was there.
The class went great, and, at 2pm, I was back outside, and grateful that I could go collapse for a bit before work. Of course, I picked up my phone and called Mom to tell her about this whirlwind. It took me the entire walk back to my apartment and then some…..
And let us end with a song that stays with me always: