1.19.2008

On the chopping block

I've just returned from an audition for a new show to be produced by the American Repertory Theatre, Cardenio. (Could it be related to the recently found Shakespearean manuscript?) Last week, the artistic director offered to pencil me into today's auditions and asked that I prepare for a specific part which requires both acting (as it is a play) and singing (as the character and her husband are singers). So, I tracked down the art song that is part of the show and began to learn it earlier this week. I also read the entire manuscript, which was provided.

My plan for today involved leaving two hours early to allow for travel time, rehearsal time, and an early arrival. So, I left 30 minutes late, immediately eating into my two-hour block. Nonetheless, I was able to squeeze in a warm-up and review of my character's lines, and still arrive ten minutes prior to my scheduled audition. As I walked past the door to the audition room, I checked out the audition scheduled and noticed that I was last. Moreover, I was the only person in the waiting area. I hadn't been there 60 seconds before the person scheduled before me exited the room, followed by the artistic director who greeted me warmly and by name, and indicated they would be ready for me in a moment. And, literally, it was just a moment before I was called in. I had no time to focus, take a few deep breaths, or blot my nose (for it was running). Instead, I smiled, handed over my headshots/resumes and entered.

There were four people in the room: one reader and an adjudicating panel that included the artistic director and the playwright. I set my pitch pipe and music on the chair that was available, expecting to read first and sing second, which is what happened, but only after what seemed an eternity of awkward silence in which one looked me up and down, another perused my resume, and the artistic director introduced the reader to me. I felt a bit as though I was up for auction, being judged wholly on my appearance. I couldn't tell if they were waiting for me to take the reins or if I should wait for direction. One of them said, "Okay," so I inquired, "What would you like for me to start with?" One of the two selections was requested, so I performed that with the reader and then I was asked to "sing something", which I did, performing the song I'd been preparing all week.

How did it go? I have no idea. I did the best could, reading the loudest I could, and with good declamation; singing the most musically I could a cappella, as there was no accompanist provided; being polite and personable without being aggressive or egocentric. The decision is clearly up to them, but I'd like it if they'd select me for the part.

I did find a penny while walking home. Do you think that's a sign of good luck?

2 comments:

Rhea said...

I'm rooting for you!

alecia said...

Thanks, rhea! I really appreciate your support. :)