Because you may wake up of a morning and discover that the audition you thought was tomorrow is actually today, and now you have two hours to learn all those lines instead of the whole day!
Oh boy, what a morning. I woke up to my alarm (which was already going off at a lovely, late, “I am an artiste” hour), reset said alarm for an hour later, and promptly hit the pillow again. Shortly after, my phone rang, but as I didn’t recognize the number, I ignored the call. But my sleepy brain started to pull a memory of another missed call out of the ether, and I realized that I did, in fact, recognize the number: it was that of the casting agency that heard me a couple of weeks ago for an off-Broadway audition! (Remember the Irish accent? That audition. And, no, it’s not Brigadoon…) He was calling to see where I was, since I was 20 minutes late for my scheduled callback.
I quickly called back, apologized for the mix-up, and asked if they could see me later today. Sure enough, we rescheduled for just about two hours from that moment, so I jumped into action! Shower, warm-up, get dressed*, eat something, print out my newly fashioned Broadway-style resume (which, thank god, I worked up last night with MP’s help!), all while reciting dialogue with myself. It was crazy! Fortunately, the audition was only about ten blocks away, so I didn’t have to factor in a huge chunk of time for travel.
The audition itself seemed so short (they always do!), but it went very well. This time I was singing for the whole creative team – director, music director, choreographer, and two other folks – in addition to the folks from the casting agency. Wonderfully warm and inviting, they made me feel totally at home, even though the Broadway audition is a completely different animal from what I’m used to. More casual, for one; line-readings, two (fun!); and immediate feedback.
* One of the subjects in my moleskine (yes, Marc, I keep a notebook; it’s not cheating, it’s practical! And the fact that I refer to it as “my moleskine” instead of just “my notebook” is especially snobby and writer-y, don’t you think?) is the difference between opera and Broadway audition attire. When first called for this audition, the casting agent said, “Now, you opera folks always dress up for auditions, but this will be really casual; so no cocktail dresses or diamonds.” Ok, so what do I wear to make it look like I didn’t think about what I was wearing?! I settled on my favorite black jeans and a white t-shirt with a light pink corduroy jacket and black boots. It felt strange not to be in a dress, but this was definitely a “me everyday” kind of outfit. I was coming straight from a Figaro matinee, however, so my hair was done up in the fanciest up-do! (I use my own hair, not a wig.) It was kind of silly, but they knew what was up.
At the end of that first audition, when talking about the callback, the director told me to “dress a little younger: wear flats, wear your hair down…” We laughed about the up-do, and I mentioned that, yes, I am “a bit tall.” He said that tall is good (!!), but flats will make me look younger. “You are young,” he said, so I should play that up, especially since this character is in her early-20’s. So, today it was my favorite purple audition dress (simple, flattering) and black flats, minimal jewelry and makeup, and my hair just pulled back a bit with clips.
We played the scene that led into my song (a selection taken from the show), me interacting with a member of the agency who was standing in as my character’s mother. Both in the first audition and today, I was struck by the eye contact we were able to make – and hold! It was real human contact; “acting,” of course, but in a sense, not acting at all. It was awesome.
A round of thank-you’s, and then back into the day! I hadn’t been home for twenty minutes when the agency called – and asked if I could come back tomorrow! Of course, it’s already on my calendar!