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 for...now 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 cute...got 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.