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!