Tuesday, November 18, 2014

And The Oscar Goes To...

I know all one of you are waiting with baited breath to see how my audition went.  Well, I almost didn’t go.  I was sitting at home and had turned on a movie.  I had just finished vacuuming and washing the floor, when I thought to myself “Why bother?”  It wasn’t like me and a group of friends were going to try out.  I wasn’t letting anyone down by not being there – except myself.  Plus, I don’t think I could make myself do another thing if I did not do this, so I threw on my Emerald Isle sweatshirt and pulled on my Osiris sneakers (my confident “I am me” outfit) and grabbed my keys. 

I got to the audition with a few minutes to spare and walked in looking to see if there was anyone I knew.  There was!  One of the ladies I was in Fiddler with was there as well as the rabbi from Fiddler.  That kind of loosened me up a little.  Plus the piano player from several of the plays I’ve been in was there.  That was comforting because she introduced me to the director as my character from Fiddler.  As you can probably tell, I loved doing “Fiddler on the Roof”.  I really did.

They had us fill out forms with our information on it and what parts we wanted – character, chorus, or both?  I hemmed and hawed because I went for chorus but since I was there I decided to read for a part too.  What could it hurt?  I picked up one of the character’s lines and started reading through so I would be able to read it coherently on stage.  It’s really weird reading a small part of a play that you know nothing about because you have no idea where they are coming from or what they are trying to impart to their audience.  After I read someone else read another character that referenced the one I read and I was like “Ohhhhh, that’s why she sounds the way she does!” 

After I read I had to sing my “go to” song – which is “If I Only Had a Brain” from the Wizard of Oz”.  I think it was pretty good and I belted it out there – which is a big thing in the theatre, since they don’t normally use microphones.  At least in the plays I’ve been in they don’t.  When I finished I went back to my seat and curled myself into the smallest ball I possibly could.  Don’t ask me why.  I know I sang well, and everyone clapped, but for some reason I just get all self-conscious and collapse into myself.

We read a couple more times, trying different characters and then we were done.  Then the waiting began.  I kept checking my email but there was nothing.  All sorts of things went through my head – was the next day’s auditions better?  Was my singing that bad?  What if they don’t get in touch with me at all to even let me know I wasn’t picked?  What if I do get a part? What will I do then?  How can I memorize all that?

A week later, almost to the day, I get a phone call from the director.  She asks me if I would like to be in the chorus.  I tell her yes.  She tells me that practice will probably begin in December sometime.  I tell her ok.  She says she is looking forward to working with me.  I tell her I’m looking forward to being in this play.  We hang up.  I’m super glad that I got in, but a little disappointed I didn’t get a speaking role.  Even if I was offered one I could turn it down, but I didn’t get the chance. I think that’s part of my neurosis, because like I said, I only wanted a chorus part.  I read for a role as a lark.  But part of me…  Well, I guess part of me wants to be a star.  A supporting star, but a star nonetheless.

All in all, it went well and I’m happy to be part of this group.  I’m looking forward to making new friends and working with old ones, and singing and being part of something bigger than the little world I’ve carved out for myself.




Thursday, November 6, 2014

Longing to Play...

I’m auditioning for a play on Saturday.  It has some musical parts, but I don’t think it’s a “true” musical.  I’ve been in my share of musicals – not a lot, but a couple.  Starting in grade school I was a flying monkey in “The Wizard of Oz” and the train conductor in “The Music Man”.  I was a nun in “The Sound of Music”.  I loved being in plays, dressing up, putting on makeup, but most of all, being part of a group.  I wish I had tried out for “Oliver” in 7th grade.  At that point in my short career I realized I was drifting away from my friends, and I just couldn’t face it at the time.

Once I graduated from High School I thought plays were behind me.  My life was my boyfriend and college, then my job and my baby.  I tried writing, and I actually wrote a play.  I sent it out (to several publishers) and received one reply.  I can’t remember the wording but all I read was “not good enough”.  When my daughter was old enough to hang out with my best friend I tried out for “Where’s Charley?” through a community group.  To my surprise I got a bit part with a bit of almost solo singing!  It was so much fun to be part of the group again.  No one needed to know me, they just needed to know that I would be there and play my part.  I could be whoever I wanted to be on and off the stage.  After the final curtain fell so did the tears.  I would miss these people, these times.

Several years after that I auditioned for “Colorplay”.  It was a play with actors ranging from small child to elder adult.  I don’t remember much from that experience except this – my daughter was in it with me.  She had a good time but it was because there were other kids there with her to goof off with.  I did not have a good time because I was constantly monitoring my child as well as the other kids whose parents just dropped them off.  I decided that I would never work with children again. 

The last play I was in was “Fiddler on the Roof”.  I loved this play.  Besides the music the actors were great!  The story line was beautiful, annndddddd I had a real role!  I was grandma Tzeitel!  I had a solo!  I was a dead grandma in a dream sequence but I stole the stage for a brief moment and it was awesome!  All eyes were on me and they loved me!

              That was over ten years ago.  I tried out for a regular play this past spring.  I didn’t get a call back.  They had their regular players.  Once in the room with them I could tell they had previous relationships.  I tried, I read with the emotion and precision the character needed, but I knew walking out that I wasn’t getting a call back.  I’m hoping that when I audition this weekend that I’ll see some new faces as well as some familiar ones. 

All I want is a chorus part.  I want to be part of the cast.  I want the feeling of creating something bigger than all of us.  I want the grueling practices, the grumbling about the director.  I want the feeling of elation when we finally harmonize and keep going and finish with amazing clarity.  I want the butterflies and the dry mouth that comes before the show, the comradery where we look out for each other.  And then when we hear the opening score, and the audience settles in their seats and the lights go down and the curtain goes up and all of a sudden you are there.  You are just there.  I want that feeling in my chest at the end of the show where I feel like I love the world and it will never end.  I want that.  I miss that.  I need that.

The song I’ve chosen to sing a Capella for my audition is “If I Only Had a Brain” from The Wizard of Oz.  I was trying to find something more modern, from a more recent play, but this one has been rolling around in my brain for days and it needs to be sung, so sing it I will.  Now I’m going to try to break a leg…

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Novel November - continued

I'm keeping these short but I feel like sharing.  First of all, one of the ladies on google+ shared this postcard the other day and it's given me the nudge to get moving on my novel:

Last night I cracked open my thumb drive and got reacquainted with my characters.  It was a reunion!  I forgot how much I liked them, and I recalled some of the plans that I had for them, and I was horrified by the amount of time that I had kept them locked up!  Over a year has passed since I started working with them.  I can't believe I was so neglectful! 

I have decided I am going to try to visit with them every day - whether it is to continue writing the novel or to flesh out the characters a little more - I am going to make room for them in my life. 

Yes I want to write a novel!
I have three thousand words today.
I am committing me to write
A few words most every night
and maybe some dur-ring the day...

That's all I have for now! 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Novel November

Why did I just hear about this, this year?  Well, I'm dusting off the novel and continuing.  I thought I could write it to 90's alternative because I feel good and creative but it's not working, so I'm going to go to my trusted and true Wallflowers cd if I can find it.  Wish me luck brothers and sisters, I really need to get this novel up and running.  So many ideas and now I have to get them to work!