Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I love my job! I love my job. I love my job?......

After thirty shows I can safely say that I am over this show. Tired of putting these stupid reindeer antlers on and squeezing my feet into Laducas (yes I bought them hehehehe) with two pairs of tights and socks on. Its so funny that no matter what a person does, if you are banker, doctor, or entertainer in the end its still a JOB and sometimes you REALLY would rather be doing something else. As the curtain goes up 2x a day, 5 days a week I say to myself silently "I love my job, I love my job, I love my job" But its getting less convincing as the days go by.

The show itself has been going well. I have managed to keep both of my shoes on my feet while out on stage, despite the fact that they have broken twice and at this very moment have a safety pin keeping them together. I have made all my costume changes and have not gone on stage missing any item, even though the zipper broke on a costume and I had to be safety pinned into it. Go Me! But there is one thing, one thing that continues to keep me from getting my shine on....

The ridiculously slippery stage. I will reiterate that this is a dinner theater; however, what I failed to mention before is that they serve the food buffet style and guess where the buffets sit? Wait for it...Wait for it... ON THE STAGE! Yes that's right folks. I dance on a stage that minutes before it had hundreds of people on it helping themselves to mashed potatoes, green beans, ham, a multitude of other things and lets not forget...the butter. Now, the management here will tell you that they make sure the stage is clean when they take the buffets down and they will also tell you that they clean the floor regularly. However, as someone who stands front and center during the Candy Cane tap number and feels her feet shooting out from under her unexpectedly almost daily, I will tell you that is a load of crap. Also, there is nothing like the look on an audience member's face as you come spinning towards them, Candy Cane flying, clearly out of control. They fear for their lives I tell you! Therefore, I have modified how hard I dance. I've decided its definitely better to be a little tentative then to face plant on the stage and stab the kid in the front row in the eye.

Outside of the show life has been good. We lost a girl to injury and that was really sad, since we have become our own little family out here in Springboro. We then had to have a replacement come in, which has meant more rehearsals, but no increase in pay. Booo. During down time we crochet and knit, yes apparently we are all secretly 65 year old women. Thus far I have successfully made a hat, a scarf, and a baby blanket. Its obviously not the most happening of places. I miss NYC and my home and the countdown to return is ticking loud and clear!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

And so it begins

The show has begun! Yes that's right, let the Christmas music and images of Santa permeate your very being. Despite the fact that it is barely November, people are coming to see our Christmas Spectacular. We opened the show with a Thursday matinee audience of 300 people. The show is about 90 minutes long and features a host of dancers, singers, and an abbreviated version of the Nutcracker performed in bear and hippo costumes! Yes thats right, people in bear costumes run rampant around here and I am grateful everyday that I am not one of them.

For myself, I felt opening night was pretty good. It was really the first time we had run the show all the way through from start to finish. So the timing of a lot of the costume changes was a bit of a surprise. At the start of the show we are reindeer bringing Santa to little Virginia, Susie, Nelly and Johnny to convince them that he is real AND magical. We have these ridiculously huge head pieces which consist of a brown curly wig, derby hat, and two huge styrofoam antlers that light up! I am beginning to get discoloration on my forehead these hats are so tight.
From there the children in the show begin reading The Night Before Christmas and thats when the Nutcracker scene comes into play. The next number I'm in, however, is soldier. With my ridiculously huge pants and extremely uncomfortable hat that chokes me for the entire dance, I march around keeping my knees perfectly straight and feeling my IT bands lighting on fire for a full 4 minutes, but the audience loves it! We close out the first half with a candy cane number in these lovely red and white, leggy Santa suits. Its my favorite costume!

The second half opens with a welcome to Santa's toy shop and we wear these great big puffy sleeve green velvet numbers....they are huge and awkward and make us look like football players. I almost laugh out loud every time I put it on. Then Santa brings the a little girl named Suzie's doll to life and guess what that's us again! All of these numbers convince the children that he is real and they all live happily ever after. But wait! Santa has one more present for you! Baby Jesus! Guess who gets to be a king and wear a big curly beard? Me!!!! Clearly the highlight of my night as you can imagine. We close out the show with the red Santa costumes and a precision kickline. Blam! Over and done.

Sorry for that ridiculously long description of the show. Now for the drama. You would think that after all that is over and the first show is complete, we would get some sort of congratulations from crazy owner guy....but, no. Instead, we are told that SOME of us are bringing down the quality of the show and that he is thinking of firing some people!! You could feel the morale of our little group just plummet and on top of that we had to rehearse for 1-2 more hours directly after the show was over. So now, everyone is basically dancing for their jobs every night. Because, stress always makes you perform better....oh wait it doesn't? Too bad!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

If you see it in the sun then it is so

I debated a long time about whether or not to update this blog with non-audition news. At the moment I have landed my first paying job in a long time and am out of NYC. Thusly, there can be no more audition updates for awhile. However, several people have asked me to tell them about my time on the job, so I have decided to blog about that for awhile. After all, I can always get rid of these posts later and return it to solely my audition endeavors.

I have been out on a job for the past two weeks for a dinner theater in the midwest. I am doing their Christmas show and it promises to be a crazy adventure. You know you are in for some craziness when the owner of the theater tells you that a Santa Claus type figure is going to pick you up from the airport AND when you are picked up you find that you are catching a ride in a car, that can barely go over 50 on the highway and is smoking and making grinding noises all the way to your destination! Heaven help me!

The theater has housing for its performers right on the property so it is only a 2 min walk to get to rehearsal or shows which is really nice. The set up is pretty much like a dorm room. I have been sharing a room with another girl for these past two weeks, and I will be moving into my own room sometime in the coming days after our show opens. The whole cast shares a kitchen, tv room, and bathroom. Which sounds more inconvenient than it really is. I am looking forward to having my own room, but haven't minded the current living quarters at all. Yet there are some ridiculous rules for the housing facility i.e. we are not allowed to open ANY WINDOWS AT ANYTIME! Not if its blazing hot in your room, the room starts smelling like old socks, or you burnt something in the kitchen and there is smoke so thick you can't see 3 feet in front of you. DO NOT OPEN THE WINDOWS OR YOU WILL BE FIRED. Also, they don't believe in recycling....???

Rehearsals for the show have been long. I rehearse seven hours a day six days a week, with an hour for lunch and my body was not prepared for this AT ALL. The show has been stylized in a similar manner to the Rockette's show so there is a lot of kicking and I'm always wearing heels to dance in, which can do a number on your legs. I really wish that I had splurged on LaDuca's (really expensive dance heels) before I got here, but I definitely plan on shelling out the cash for them as soon as I get back to the city.

One thing I wasn't so much planning on was all the ups and downs that go on behind the scenes. We have a really great choreographer and my castmates are awesome. Yet the owner of the theater has been a bit of a pain. He has spent so much money on these beautiful costumes for our show! I mean they are gorgeous, but they weren't created with dancers in mind. We have some crazily complicated and heavy hats that make it hard to do almost anything, including breath or get oxygen to your brain they are soooo tight! LOL The owner is so hands on, that he is consistently butting heads with the choreographer and director on how the show should be run and ends up saying that he HATES the show multiple times a day. Yet the man has no theater experience so he really has no idea what he is talking about. So anyways, major drama over here!

The show itself is about a little girl who's siblings don't believe in Santa Claus and she asks Santa to come help her convince them that he is real. Santa takes them all on a magical journey to change their hearts and minds about him. In the midst we dancers the "Holiday Bells" appear as flying reindeer, soldiers, candy canes and rag dolls for a total of six numbers. Not to mention my own special appearance as one of the three wise men in the nativity scene! It has been really hard to get the precision dancing down, we are always struggling to keep our lines straight, dance exactly the same, and be super sharp, but the show has slowly been coming together.

These past two weeks have flown by and we are going into tech this week, which promises to be some very long twelve hour days. Our show opens on Thursday evening and will run until New Year's Eve! I'll be sure to keep you all updated!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

OMG OMG You Guys!

So Monday was the chorus call for the tour of Legally Blonde the Musical. As a side note, can I just say how much I love this show?! It seems crazy, but considering my favorite movie is Clueless, at least I'm consistent. Anyways, the call was at 10am and I arrived at 9:15 with my ideal outfit (a teal blue tank top and short white skirt), hair down, ready to look as cute, preppy, and cheerleadery as possible. Again, it was packed, my goodness I think more girls are moving to New York everyday. The musical had reserved two rooms at the audition center just to hold people and you still had to tip-toe around to avoid stepping on people.

As I walked onto the scene I notice this huge line coming out into the hallway and I'm wondering what the heck is this for? It turns out that this was the line for non-eq girls to sign the non-eq list. Now, I have never stood in line before to sign the list and was truly perplexed as to how this was going on. It turns out:(long explanation coming) When some non-equity girls arrive at the audition the equity monitor and the official sign-up list weren't there yet, so the girls found a piece of paper and made a non-official sign up list. When the equity monitor arrived, she honored the unofficial list but she made the girls re-sign themselves up. However, some girls had left planning to come back later and were unable to reclaim there spot.

As I got up to the list I noticed that there were names missing..i.e. 63 and 65 had a name by them but not 64. Whoever the original #64 is, I'd like to apologize but you snooze you loose, I put my name right on into that spot and went to find a spot to sit.

The wait was long as usual, at least three hours, and I was still in the second group of non-equity ladies to go. I was so excited to get in there because they had a live drummer to go with the pianist. As we enter they have a lady from Telsey casting and the asst. choreographer greeting us. They both tell us how cute we all look and then we get down to business. We begin learning the number that Elle performs as her substitute admissions essay to Harvard (just the first 30 sec). Its supposed to be sharp, with a little hip-hop feel at times and was really fun! It was only 4:8 counts long and we learned it quickly, did it in a few times in smaller groups and then it was time to do it five at a time.

As each group goes, I notice that the asst. choreographer is writing stuff on people's headshots but he is not separating them into piles. Its my turn to go and I'm having so much fun! Yay cheerleading, how I miss you! I did a clean cute routine and tried to see what the guy would do with my headshot. I think he put a dot on it....what the heck does that mean when I saw him writing words on everyone elses? It didn't matter anyways, because as the last group finishes performing, they informs us that they aren't going to be keeping anyone to sing or to dance again, because they aren't really looking for anyone at the moment but they will be keeping our headshots on file...Booooo to the whackness! Talk about anti-climatic and considering I want to be in this show I was even sadder. Sigh, this is the chorus call scene.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Catch Me if You Can

The new trend on Broadway is turning popular movies into musicals and today's audition was no different. The Leonardo Dicaprio movie Catch Me if You Can is coming to Broadway and has been previewed in Seattle's 5th avenue theater. The audition was held yesterday and it was crazy in there! The call was at 10 am, and the monitor basically shooed all the non-eq girls out into the hallway where we had to wait just to find out if we would even be seen for the day. At ten he announced that we were to all "go away" until 12:30pm. Now, I had gotten there at 9:30 so waiting for three hours was highly unappetizing and I didn't have anywhere to go in midtown anyways. So a friend and I went upstairs to the 2nd floor of the audition studio and just hung out for 2.5 hours. If I'd have been by myself I know I would have taken my little tushie right on back home.

Now I have learned that hanging around no matter what the monitor (guy/girl who is running the waiting room) says is key when you are a non-eq. When he first made his announcement he said that they would probably only see the first twenty non-eqs at 12:30 and I was number 78, but I stuck it out until 12:30 and guess what? They saw all of us! This was so nice of them because they really didn't have to do that and I am grateful that they were willing to go that extra mile. Especially when 136 equity girls alone had shown up for the call! Just proof that if you really want to get seen, you hang in there until they close the door in your face.

Since, we were non-equity there really are no rules for how they hold our auditions. So they bring all 75+ of us into the room at the same time!!!!! And guess who is there?? The one and only Jerry Mitchell (pic)! Mr. Mitchell is an award winning choreographer who worked on Legally Blonde , La Cage Aux Follies, Hairspray, and a multitude of other shows many of which are on Broadway. Anyways, here he is in person teaching us the choreography for his show! The material was really simple, he and his assistants taught us 4:8counts which included the Charleston (Thank you Miss Tauna!) and dancing pretending we had a hat on our head. All 75 girls went through the combination twice, then Mr. Mitchell broke us up into five groups of fifteen and each group got to run the combo once. Then as each group went through it for the second time he hand picked girls to go stand to the side. Surprise!!! This was the audition. I think a lot of people were shocked! Personally, I think that I gave it my all, but I was not hand picked....(frown face). Anyways, the girls the girls that were kept, stayed behind and learned some more of the combination and then a few of them were told about callbacks.

I think there is a twofold lesson to be had in all this. One, stick around no matter what the monitor says if you REALLY want to be seen and Two, when you are learning/practicing a combo in the audition room always remember that its part of the audition too! Not just when its three at a time and they have your headshot in front of them!

Overall, it was a long day (3.5 hours waiting) for 15 mins of time in front of Jerry Mitchell, but no complaints. Hopefully I can impress him on Monday at the Legally Blonde auditions!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I'm dreaming of White Christmas!

Of the Broadway tap auditions I've done, today was by far the most challenging audition thus far. You see today was the audition for White Christmas an Irving Berlin musical that is put on during the Christmas season in NYC and on a national tour. The chorus call said that they needed good tappers so I went out to see what it was about. I woke up about an hour after planned and had to get ready in a hurry. I figured I would try to look the part for once and gave a good attempt at making myself a cute little updo!

I get to Ripley-Grier and the place is packed with girls. There were about 87 equity girls and another 77 non-equity girls there. While waiting until the non-equity time the equity girls were going in 35 at a time and others were watching through the window to pre-learn the combination. Unfortunately for them, as each group went in the choreographer taught a completely new routine so no one could be prepared! Completely ingenious on her part and absolutely horrific for us girls. Nonetheless, I head into the audition room in the last group of non-equity girls and she starts off with the combination. It was only four counts of eight, but she taught it faster than I had ever learned anything before. Holy Crap! and it had the gall to have very intricate rhythms going on. To top it all off after only going through it about three times, she announces that we will be doing it ONE AT A TIME. Awesome...luckily for me when it gets time for me to go, I nail it and make the first cut.

After this first round there were still about half the girls left and we went in, in two groups to learn another tap combination. It was about ten eight counts and we got the chance to really learn it this time and more time to practice as we were excused and groups of six were called to do the combo. I was in the twelfth group of six and in the first group of three girls to go. I did it beautifully the first time, but of course they made us repeat it and the second time through...well I always get this feeling about half way through a combo, its a feeling of running on autopilot and not knowing really whats coming next and it almost always means I'm going to screw up...and guess what I did! Boooooo! On the second to last eight count it all went up in flames and though I made my way back for the last eight count...I pretty much knew it was over for me.

Now, the casting director had told us previously that they would not be keeping anyone out of the 80+ of us for the rest of the day, instead they would be giving people calls to let them know if they should come back in. I find this highly annoying because although I "know" I'm cut...I don't KNOW KNOW I'm cut. But I know better than to expect a call after that. Anyways, it was a great time and a great combination and next time I'll know that um...this musical is not some simpleton tap combo....ahem Rockettes but they want the real thing.

Also, I notice that some girls were hanging around after they went. I have an inkling that they were asked to hang around to find out info on call backs. If this is true I'm even more annoyed because I'd much rather just be told "NO" than the infamous "Don't call us, We'll call you!"

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Why an audition filled week is auditionless

Two entries in a day...I must be feeling guilty. Truth be told I haven't gone to any auditions other than the Elf audition this week. Not that there haven't been any, I just have chosen not to go and I will tell you why. I am not the "type" they are looking whats the harm in going anyways? Nothing except maybe that casting directors will be annoyed that you didn't read the description of the show, but I don't that happens much. Lets review the week.

Elf the musical: Although I didnt' get seen, my vocal teacher aptly pointed out..Would I really want to be in that musical? Of course, I wouldn't I think its ridiculous, but you have to start somewhere and considering I worked at Citigroup for two years I think I can do anything I hate for at least a year and not die.

Billy Elliot: Yes this audition was on Wed...lets review the plot: coal miners town? check...students to play ballet school attendees with Billy? check..... tall, leggy, black girls....anyone, anyone? Nope... I really didn't see a spot in there for me. No biggie, but I'm not a fan of going and waiting around hours to be typed out.

Rock of Ages: Wednesday afternoon. They specifically wanted to hear an eighties power ballad, and I did not have an eighties rock song to sing. But more importantly...they didn't see any non-equity at this audition either, so my instinct paid off.

In the Heights: Now this show, I am definitely the type for! But there was one drawback that I just couldn't get around as much as I tried to rationalize going in and faking it. The chorus call wanted dancers proficient in Hip-Hop and Latin styles....and unfortunately thats not me. I might have taken 3 hip hop classes in my whole life and no Latin style classes. So after much youtube perusing and seeing that really all the dancing is hip-hop based or Latin, I decided not to go. Ideally, I'll get it together and start going to some hip hop classes so that next time I'll be ready!

So, no auditions this week, and next week looks pretty dead too, but we'll see.

Sometimes it doesn't work out.

Tuesday, was the day of auditions for Elf the musical. Never heard of it before??? Well thats because somewhere, someone decided that this movie, yes the one starring Will Ferrell would be great to bring to Broadway. Now, don't shoot me, but I don't like Will Ferrell movies and I didn't really care for the movie, but I was interested to see what kind of dancing they would actually need for this show since the chorus call was for "comedic" dancers.

The call was at 10am, words can't express how much I hate 10am calls since I have to get there hideously early as a non-eq. But Tuesday of course I get out of the apartment late and don't get down to the audition until about 9:45. The place is packed! Whoever was running the audition had reserved the smallest holding room ever and dancers were spilled out of the room, lining both sides of the hallways all the way down the corridor. Utter ridiculousness. Expecting to be #100+ on the non-equity list I fight my way through the hoards and get to the list to find multiple blanks spots at the top of the list even though the rest of the list was filled in past 100. Apparently when the official list was created from the unofficial list (hard to explain) some people weren't there to transpose their own name so the spots were left open...and since they never returned the monitor (who runs the audition) said anyone could put their name down so I was #21!!! Awesome.

I head down the hallway to find somewhere to sit and put on my makeup (I hate makeup...) and about 20 min later the monitor comes out and announces....??? They're not going to see any non-equity girls!!!!!!!!!!! Sigh....I had been having so much luck getting seen at auditions that this was a possibility, but alas I wouldn't even get a chance.

At first, I wasn't even going to write about this because I felt people wanted to hear about my experiences at auditions dancewise. But then I decided that getting turned away is part of it too sometimes and I have just been lucky so far that this hasn't really happened to me yet, but I'm sure this will be the first of many to come until I get that equity card.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Oh I Just Can't Wait To Be King!

Just getting home from the Lion King auditions, and I can feel the soreness creeping in. Although that could also be because I took my first Graham class since Ailey let out in May. Ok, moving on.

The audition for the Lion King was the only audition besides Radio City to be held at the show's actual home theater. When I arrived at 10am, I headed up to the third floor and was shown to the room where the other girls were waiting, I signed up on the non-equity list as number 41 which was not too bad. At around 10:30am the equity list was called and only 16 equity ladies showed up!!! That is just crazy but I believe it is because the Lion King is very specific technique wise and a lot of people know that they are not the right "type" for it. On top of the equity girls there were about 70 odd non-eq. girls there.

They took in two groups of about 45. I was in the second group and had no idea what to expect. I knew it would be Horton (a modern technique created by Lester Horton/class taught by the fierce Ms. Ana Marie Forsythe), but the level of difficulty was up in the air. I was pleasantly surprised with what I discovered. The combination was all basic Horton stuff, but man did they love a left leg tilt!! (see pic) Mine is not quite as pretty... Any way the combination was long, it was 7 or 8 counts of eight, but you had to repeat it twice, and we had to hold that lovely tilt for four counts each time around. Boo to the whackness.... overall I would say the combo went pretty well for me but on that last tilt hold, I was not on my leg and had to fight for it.....not cut. But they only kept 8 girls over all from the 85 or so that came. I will definitely be back and I know what to expect now.

Off topic, since I mentioned Graham above see this for a little sampling of Ms. Grahams Night Journey (my fav. the chorus starts around 1:15).

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Being tall has its advantages....

So today was the much awaited Wicked audition, but I wasn't there. What the heck could I have been doing instead? I was at a much smaller, non-union audition for a Christmas Spectacular. It is a small dinner theatre in the midwest, the pay is nothing, but I figure I have to start somewhere and the odds of landing this gig would be much higher than Wicked so I weighed my odds and delayed my big Broadway plans.

This show is basically in a "Rockette" style and they were looking for 5'7-5'9 girls which definitely worked in my favor. They had already auditioned in New York twice before and hadn't found what they were looking for, so off I went to dazzle them on their third go round. There were only 18 girls at the audition and one of them was a friend of mine from home! It was looking like a great decision to come on my part.

The choreographer began teaching a tap routine which, I must say, was more difficult than the combo the Rockettes had taught this season and I was totally unprepared. There were several turns and jumps, it was very fast, and at the end there was a kickline where we had to lineup with the other girls. He took a good amount of time to teach it, which was nice because I was really struggling. I finally felt like I had it down, and of course I mess it up big time when it is my turn to perform it....yikes. Each group does it two times and I get it right the second time but at that point I figured it was all over for me.

They kept me past the first cut, and I thought they had totally lost their minds, but I wasn't going to complain. From there we learned a VERY simple jazz combo. I mean it was ridiculous, we did it four at a time again, but they made no cuts. They then lined us up by height and we did the kick line all of us together and that was it! The director of the show gave us a really long talk after that about all that would be expected if we got the job and where we would be staying and how many days off we would have and then told us they would let us know by Monday. There were still 13 girls left at this point and they needed 16 for the show. Now I don't know how many they had chosen from their other auditions, but these are still odds you can't beat.

Now the question becomes, if I were to get this job, would it be worth being away from home for 2.5 months for basically nothing. At least I'd be getting paid right? Which is something I haven't experienced in a year now......everyone has to start somewhere.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Welcom to get out!

Yesterday I went to the equity chorus call for the Broadway musical Shrek and I got there an hour early! Go Me! But I was still number #86 on the non-equity list. I take my seat in the waiting area and the boys, who auditioned earlier in the day, begin filtering in all sweaty from their audition and it quickly becomes known that they are not keeping anyone after the first round and that means they are not really looking for anyone as they have no openings.

How is it that they are having auditions when they don't need any dancers? Well, being an equity employer all Broadway shows are required to hold auditions twice a year, regardless of whether they have any openings or not. AWESOME......its like going through interviews for a new job, several of them, only to be told at the end that they like you but they don't have the headcount to hire you.

Now after hearing this news, I began to contemplate leaving as there were 150+ girls there and since I get seen last I'd be waiting for hours. However, I had nothing to do anyways so I decided to wait. After waiting four hours....thats right FOUR hours, I finally get to go in and learn the combination which is a little snippet of the Duloc Number starring Lord Farquaad himself. The number was very character specific. Given that Lord Farquaad is an ego maniac, we the citizens of his town were expected to perform in these great musical numbers he wanted, however, we were terrified of being dismembered if we messed up. So we were supposed to have forced smiles with a look of fear in our eyes. It was ridiculously hard to do.

Now on the opposite side of things the dancing itself was....eehh. Insanely easy and definitely not for a dancer dancer. I could tell immediately that this was not the kind of show I would want to be doing 6 days a week. Nonetheless I put on my best forced smile and go out and perform for the choreographers. But like I thought, they don't make any cuts they just thank everyone for their time and we are free to go.

So am I glad that I wasted a whole day for nothing? Yes and no. On one hand I'm sure there was something more productive I could have been doing, but the other side of it is that I now know for sure, that I would not want to be in Shrek ever! Yay for revelations!

Over and out.....National Tour of Hairspray on Friday!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Lesson Learned

So I've been slacking at arriving to auditions early and yesterday I showed up to an audition at 9:15 when it started at 9:30. Now keep in mind that you usually sign your name on a list and then wait forever for it to be called, so I was in no real rush. However, what I did not know was that this was an audition where we would be singing first and thus they were filling in time slots, also it was non-union which meant everyone and there mom was there, and on top of that they were doing boys and girls at the same time. So by the time I signed up I was #186, and they were only seeing 10 people per half hour. So guess what? I didn't get a time slot and did not get to be seen. Booooooo! Ok, what did I learn? Show up to non-equity auditions early.....

Friday, August 21, 2009

Just a Spoonfull of Sugar

So I figure this week has been dead audition wise, so I'm speaking about past auditions before I forget.

In June, I went to the equity Mary Poppins audition. Now, I don't know if you know how equity works, but basically equity cards are giving to dancers in the union and they get preference in auditions. Since I am a non-equity dancer when I go to equity chorus calls, I am always seen last and may not even get seen depending on time constraints. Anyways, I get to the Mary Poppins audition and there are of course massive amounts of girls there. They had seen the boys earlier in the day and some of them stuck around to teach us the combination they had learned! So kind of them! It was just a quick time step break. Great I can do this!

When the non-equity girls are let into audition room we learn the break and then we are lined up to go one at a time! We do the break and a pirouette, it literally takes 30 seconds a person, and a cut is made! I'm in!

In the next round we learn the first half of a tap combination which is seen in the number Step in Time. It was a super fun combination where we pretend to be chimney sweeps dancing on the roof tops and scared to fall off! We perform for the important peeps four or five at a time and the make another cut. I made it in again, yes!

They ask us to change our shoes into heels and explain that we are going to be doing a portion of the Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious dance in the show. Not only that but SURPRISE! we have to sing and dance at the same time, oh and not just sing, but sing in an English accent. I'm standing there thinking how crazy this is going to be but start focusing on learning the combination which directly corresponds to the words in the song and its fast! Lots of arm motions. At the end of learning it they pair us with a partner tell us that we have to perform the dance facing each other, circling each other on certain parts, and at the end of the whole thing we have to make up a pretend pantomime conversation to have with our partner. Seriously?? I'd never been to such a crazy audition before. Anyways, me and my partner perform and I mess up. Poo, sure its over I wait to be cut, but surprisingly they keep me again!

To make this short....after that we learned the rest of Step in Time. It was so much fun, super fast, but getting all caught up in being a death defying chimney sweep role was easy and awesome. They cut again, then we redid the singing dancing Supercal number, another cut and finally it was time to sing! Dun dun dun.... I sing my song, and the director?? asks if I have another song to sing and I don't, crap. He thanks me and I'm out. I was mildly consoled by the fact that they only kept two girls after the singing round, which included my Supercal partner, and they did ballet after that.

Overall this was another very encouraging audition; however, it lasted FOREVER! I must have been there for 4-5 hours and they made SIX cuts! Talk about brutal. But I loved the material and had a lot of fun and I will be back to Mary Poppins again!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Rockette Auditions

Why is it that the more you want something the more it seems to slip through your fingers? Last week I had the pleasure of attending my 3rd Rockette audition of the year. It seems I never tire of standing outside in line with hundreds of girls all going after the same thing. I have been having a lot of luck in Rockette auditions this year, so I figure I'm going to keep going back until they make me one of those high kicking, Christmas beauties!

After getting to the line at around 9:30am (#176 yay!) and standing in the beating hot sun for at least an hour, I and seventy other girls had a chance to show our stuff. The director, taught us four counts of eight, the same four counts of eight from earlier this year I might add. Therefore if you were one of the unlucky girls not to have attended in May you were at an extreme disadvantage of not already knowing the combo. After learning the combo we went three at a time to perform the combo....this is incredibly nerve racking as you wait, never knowing when your name will be called and then finally when everyone is done the audition manager called the girls they wanted to stay and the rest would wait again until next year.

After making the first cut we went into the red room, where we get our heights taken and I met up with a friend of mine who I met at auditions earlier this year. We were led back into the room and learned another six counts of eight. While the first four eight counts were confusing because of the little hand details, the second half of the combo brought the famous eye high kicks into play and suddenly all the girls in the room were sweating...Finally after learning the rest of the combo we added it all together for a total of ten eight counts, practiced it a few times and then performed it three at a time. Another cut was made and then it was time for tap!

Now I personally love tap and am fairly good at it so to me the tap combination was not difficult. An intricate little time step, some tricky rhythms, again more very specific arm and head details. It was the same combination as May so we went through it quickly and then went three at a time and auditioned again. After the cut was made there were probably around thirty girls left and we were all invited back for callbacks on day number two!

When I showed up the next day imagine my surprise at seeing thirty new faces in the audition ready room! Turns out that several veteran Rockettes were coming to day two to audition for their jobs back. Joy..... As we went into the room that morning I was expecting to do the second jazz combo I had already learned from May so imagine my surprise when we were learning a new combo! I gave it my best, didn't mess up, but got put in the "maybe" pile after I went. Yes I keep track of where my headshot goes, so that I can know what to keeps my blood pressure down. Anyways, they took forever at this cut and I guess that was when my "maybe" turned to "no" and cut I was.

Nevertheless I will describe the rest of the process since I made it to the end earlier this year. After this they make you do the combo from the first day, the tap, and the new combo all again, because they videotape you. You are also given a kickline combo to do with the others in traditional Rockette fashion. Afterwards they take all your measurements and tell you they will call you and let you know.

Clearly after my successful May audition I didn't get the call and I didn't make it all the way to the end in August, but they recognized me by the end and I keep making it far enough that I know they think that I have a what it takes. So I'll be back! and by the way, my friend got the job!! She auditioned and auditioned and never gave up! Hard work and persistence always pays off!