Friday, April 22, 2011

Number 9: Audition For A Musical

(I thought I should fill you in on the goals I accomplished before I started this blog. I am going to begin with Number 9)...

I am a theater geek. Well in high school I was. I was a member of our Thespian troupe. In order to be inducted you need 100 hours of theater service both on and off stage. I worked very hard painting sets months before our shows opened and backstage during performances. Wait, did I say worked really hard? I think I might have meant goofed off for 92 hours with about 8 hours of actual hard work. Yup, I am pretty sure that is what I meant. I am sure Audrey Miller, the set painting club supervisor and awesome-est art teacher I never actually had as a teacher, would agree. Ahhhh, high school theater. The glory days. I was stage manager for “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying”, co-directed “Free To Be You And Me” with my friend Tracy, and all around had a blast. Some of us would go every weekend to get rush tickets for the Rocky Horror Show on Broadway (Oh yeah I am from New York for anyone who doesn’t know me reading this). These were some of the best times I’ve had in my life and I knew it then.

What I really wanted was to be in the musicals. I auditioned for one musical and didn’t make it. Just one. My dream was, and is to this day, to be in a musical. But just because high school is long over doesn’t mean I can’t still make this happen right? And just because I am not really a strong singer or dancer or actress doesn’t mean I couldn’t be, right?

My friend, Monica, is really involved in the Columbia Entertainment Company (our local theater group). She let me know back in November that she would be directing “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” and that I should audition. I immediately agreed.

Suddenly I got this image in my head of myself on stage with the lights shining in my eyes and the silhouettes of my family in the audience. I had a vision of typing up the Facebook status, “I’m in a musical!” and all the congratulatory comments that would follow. And so goal number 9: Audition For A Musical (and the idea for this entire list) was born.

Then I came down from my cloud and remembered how I kinda suck at singing and dancing. Well, I’m not that bad. I have just never had any kind of training in either. Kindergarten ballet and those three months I was in chorus in sixth grade do not count. So I downloaded part of the soundtrack from Spelling Bee off of iTunes. I did some research on the internet and read (and memorized) some of the audition sides. I watched some Youtube videos of the characters. I decided I would be best for the role of Logaine SchwartzandGrubeniere. I learned her song “Woe Is Me” and decided, even though it is not traditional to sing a song from the show you are auditioning for, to do just that. I practiced from about January to April about 1-2 times per week for about an hour each time.

Ok, I sound crazy, right? But you can tell just how badly I wanted this. A few days before the audition I began having second thoughts, but I pushed them out of my head. I was going to do this no matter what.

The day of the audition came and I was pretty nervous. Then I arrived at the Church where the audition was to be held and my nervousness turned to excitement. I am really going to do this!” I thought. I was so happy when I was called up third, because I don’t think I could have sat still much longer.

I got up there and I ROCKED it! I had little moves that went along with it and I belted it out, which I have NEVER been able to do before when singing in front of people. The character I auditioned for has a lisp and I had that lisp down PERFECTLY. Judging by the other auditions I could tell that I shouldn’t count myself out yet. They weren’t bad, I just meant I was just as good as they were. And I wasn’t delusional this time either!

I got a callback! I could not believe it. I had never in my life gotten called back for anything. I continued to practice. When I arrived back at the church, I knew I was out of my league. Way out of my league. This other girl there, Jordan, was up for the same part I was. She was AMAZING. I had seen her in a production of Jesus Christ Superstar just a couple of months earlier so I already knew she was going to be good. She had experience and charisma and I’d like to say moxy. I’m probably right about that, but I have no idea what moxy is. I guess I should have just Googled it instead of letting you all think I’m an idiot.  Anyway when I saw her I knew I didn’t have this part. As if my inability to sing along with accompaniment and my completely moronic dance audition weren’t already tell tale signs. When it was all over and I found out the next day that I didn’t have the part, I didn’t feel at all disappointed. Monica obviously saw something in me that was enough to put me up against these other girls with experience and amazing natural talent. I didn’t feel like I belonged there, but I felt honored that I was good enough to be up against those girls.

I really feel like I accomplished something. I will audition for musicals in the future. I think I might find a pianist to help me work on singing with accompaniment and maybe take an aerobics class or two at the gym to help me to learn how to catch on to dance moves quickly and keep up with everyone. For now I will concentrate on some of my other goals. I will be revisiting this one, however.

By the way, Monica asked me to be the props mistress for the show and I am beyond thrilled. I am so excited to be involved and to meet all these new people! I’d like to thank everyone in that audition and especially at the callback for not laughing at me. Thanks guys!

Above: Some us Thespians being Thespians
Below: Me with one of my besties, Mary Orzano, when I stage managed How To Succeed... and she was the leading lady, Rosemary.

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