Monday, April 26, 2010
Today was the audition for the national tour of A Chorus Line. The national tour has been running equity for the past couple of years, but will soon be turning non-eq, presumably to save money. So today Binder Casting held an open non-equity call for female dancers.
With the call scheduled to start at 10:30, I arrived at 9:15 and had the pleasure of being #159. Joy. Luckily they started early and they decided to type. Now, typing is when a large group of guys/girls go into the room at the same time, and the casting director or choreographer, will have them do something simple (like turns) and then make a cut. Often times they are just looking for basic technique and more importantly the "look" of the characters they are casting.
Anyways, they took groups of 35 girls in at a time, and after waiting about an hour my group went in the room. Of course who should be in the room running the audition? The one and only Baayork Lee (see photo)! She is THE ORIGINAL Connie in A Chorus Line and she is just ridiculously amazing. As soon as we got in the room she just started walking up to people saying "Don't wear shorts to an audition!" "You need more lipstick" "You need more makeup!" It was hilarious and not done in a mean way at all, just very matter of fact. I could tell at that moment that this was going to be very interesting. So Ms. Baayork lines all of us up and then one by one we do double pirouettes(turns) on both the right and left side and that was it! The first cut was made and Ms. Lee tells all of us on the way out, "If you got cut, get to ballet class!"
I was kept to the next round and had to wait around for another 90 min to two hours to dance again. This time we learned the combination that Chorus Line was known for, I Hope I get It (Full Combo Starts at 1:03) It was a shortened version, but it was fast, sharp, and had to be very precise. Ms. Lee wanted hands in an exact spot and stated that she wanted the combination done exactly as she showed it, no variations. Several times while going through it, she would say "I'm teaching this too fast, you all are not getting it!" It was never intimidating though, it just made you want to work harder. After finally getting the combination we had to do the combination two at a time across the floor, just to tire you out and then you had to do it two at a time for the actual audition. There was so much energy in the room it was just amazing! When it was my turn to dance across the floor I tried to make sure that I hit every count and really perform it with the intensity it needed and I made the next cut.
Crazily enough the day was still not over, we were all told to come back at 4pm to sing. Oh singing, my arch nemesis, why must you rear your ugly head ALL the time? Now I had picked a song to sing with my voice teacher because I had been intending to go for Sheila. Now Sheila is an older Broadway vet auditioning for the Chorus and she has quite a bit of attitude. She is the first singer in At the Ballet. So I sang a song with more "gravitas" as my teacher would say and after all that prepping and planning the casting director asks me if I can sing something else!..."something a little lighter" So I pick my go to Waiting for Life and all I get is a "Thank you, have a good day". Crap. I've been cut. Really? Really? For once I thought I didn't do too bad and still nothing.
Ah well, despite being there from 9:15am to 5:30pm, and receiving nothing, I did get to spend the day with an awesome lady AND I obviously didn't sing too bad since they wanted to hear me sing some more. So I'll keep going back to the drawing board until I find something that works.