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…