Monday, June 21, 2010

When it Rains it Pours!

Those of you who read my last blog post, know that I landed the Young Frankenstein tour!  What you don't know is that I emailed Radio City on Friday telling them of my other offer and received a call from them today. 

Extending me an offer for the Nashville cast of the Christmas Spectacular!!!!!!! The Rockettes have finally said yes!

I can't believe I can go from having nothing for months, to having to choose between two amazing gigs!  The question now, is just which one do I do.  The Rockettes would be from mid-october to december, but the tour runs from Sept-May.  Do I want to get a chance to sing?  Be one of a few dancers or one of many?

Sigh. What a dilemma!

Friday, June 18, 2010

One last time for Stro

Last week my voice teacher Mr. David Sabella-Mills gave me a homework assignment.  Like he was a regular h.s. teacher David told me to go out and sing my audition song (Waiting for Life to Begin) at one of the open mics around the city before I went to my final callback.  After a failed trip downtown on Monday night, I finally got up the courage to actually sing at Don't Tell Mama's a piano bar in midtown.  unfortunately it took about four drinks for me to get the job done, which meant it was a little hard to get up on Thursday morning.

Thus, I arrived at my 10am audition at 9:45! Of course they were running behind like last time, so I get some credit for not being all out crazy.  Anyways, I walk into the holding room and there are still 14 girls there!  Umm, what happened?  Did they not eliminate anyone the last call back?  Surprisingly enough there were 4 girls there who had never auditioned before!  How? What?  I have to find a way to get on THAT list.

At about 10:30, they call us into the room and review the tap and ballet combinations from before.  No surprises here, except that the pace is very fast.  After the review we head back out into the holding room, and the boys have arrived.   They head into the room to review and us girls wait for Ms. Stroman to arrive.  After quite possibly the longest 30 minutes ever, Ms Stroman arrives and the audition begins.

We start with tap, reviewing the combination once.  Then Stro (as she will henceforth be referred to) gets up in the front and tells us we will be going two at a time.  I get to be in the second group to go.  That may not seem good, but at the other two auditions I was the very last girl to go and THAT is nerve wracking.   Anyways, I do tap combo well, as does everyone else.  At this point everyone knows it so there is no one that isn't good.  Ballet goes pretty much the same.  Stro was so nice, calling all of us out two at a time herself, and telling each group "nice job ladies".  After everyone was done we went out to wait to sing.

The boys went into the room, auditioned, and came out, and now it was singing time!  I had worked on all the corrections that the casting director had requested, performed in front of the public at the open-mic.  All that was left was to do it when it counts.  I go into the room to sing, and there must have been six people, plus the piano player there.  I reviewed the song with him and there was nothing left to do but sing my little heart and try not to be scared.  It went as well as I thought it could and after I was done, Stro said "you had really good audition today"!  Amazing.

Thats it, after three auditions over the course of a week and a half, it was over and all I had to do was wait.

 Oh and today, June 18, 2010,  Tara Rubin Casting called...and I got the JOB!!!!!  The National Tour of Young Frankenstein ensemble and my equity-card!!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Young Frankenstein cont.

Tuesday morning, was the morning of the callback for Young Frankenstein.  It was set to begin at 10am and me being my early-arriving self got there at 9:30.  There were several new faces that were not there yesterday and only a few people I recognized from the day before.  Apparently, getting called back from a chorus call gets you into the "Invited Dance Call" which is what other people are just invited to in the first place.

The audition starts out with tap again, only this time its the combination all the equity girls learned yesterday.  I practically run to the front of the room, because I know I'm going to need to be able to see if I want to get this right, but it really didn't matter because the assistant choreographer kept making everyone switch around so we all got a chance to see.  He started teaching the combination and it was fast and a little complicated.  One girl left the audition before he even finished teaching it!

Have you ever studied for an exam and then when you sat down to take it realized it was nothing like you had planned?  You studied straight facts, and suddenly its an essay test?  That's what this was like, but just like when sitting in a surprisingly difficult exam, you have a choice.  Either give up and sit there staring off into space until its over or try to get it together and make sense of what you're looking at.  I literally felt my brain turn on and forced myself to take it all in.  Luckily they let us go over it a couple of times before we had to do it three at a time and I made the cut!

Next we did the same ballet combination from the previous day, so my brain got a break.  They didn't make a cut at this point since there were 13 people left (yes I counted!) .  It was time to sing again,  after doing such an awful job the day before I wanted to practice a bit before I went in but there was no where to do it.  Every time I tried to practice a lovely employee from the studio would tell me not to. Ugh.  I had planned on singing A Little Bit in Love again, but when I got in the room.  I asked the casting director and choreographer what they wanted and they said whatever I was most comfortable with so I completely switched gears and sang Waiting for Life to Begin from Once on This Island.

Surprisingly, the casting director told me how much better this song was than yesterday's!  She also took the time to give me feedback on my performance.  It was the first time anyone had every taken the time to do this and I was extremely grateful.  Still upon leaving I let all hope go out the window.  Its better as a performer to just know you didn't get it when you leave an audition so that its a surprise when you do rather than a disappointment when you don't.

Yet somehow, the next day, I look at my phone and there's a missed call from Tara Rubin casting!  I've been called back again!  This time, the call back is for next week and Susan Stroman is going to be there!  The woman has one FIVE TONYS!! She directed and choreographed The Producers!   This is really quite the opportunity and I'm really excited.  I don't know how many spots there are on the tour..I've heard two females and I don't know how many girls will be there next week.  But this whole experience has been awesome! Wish me luck!

P.S. Please listen to LaChanze sing Waiting for Life to Begin and KNOW that I SOUND NOTHING LIKE THAT.  She sings it a whole step higher than me and she's an icon...that is all.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

My First Equity Call Back

Its been a month since I've posted. The month of May was particularly slow, and coupled with all the mental and physical from Radio City I have pretty much been relaxing since then.

On Monday, however, I finally got my butt up and went to an audition. It took a lot of cajoling from my biggest fan, but I got there. It was a call for Young Frankenstein the musical, created by the famous Mel Brooks, it ran on Broadway and now is touring nationally. It is the story of Frankenstein, but told with a humorous plot.

I just made it to the audition at 2pm, and there was not many people there. Granted the call was for girls 5'6" to 5'10", can you say..advantage? Anyways, there were about 30 equity girls there and about 40 non-equity girls. They tell us we will be doing tap first and take the first group of 15 equity girls in. The group takes about 25 minutes and they are apparently teaching the same combination they always teach...which would be great if I knew it, instead I'll be at a distinct disadvantage. Its no fun to be one of the only people to not already know a combination in an audition. The second group of equity girls get their turn and then it is time for the non-eq girls. Given that I was one of the last people to get there I am put in the 2nd group of non-eqs, so I have one more group to wait. I thought I had 25 minutes but as soon as the girls come in, they are coming right back out. It turns out for the non-equity girls they are just doing buck triple time steps. AWESOME!

I get in the room and they go over the time step and then line us all up and we do four time steps each one at a time all the way down the line. Then they made a cut and I was kept. The bring everyone back in the room equity and non-equity and teach us a ballet combination in character heels. Its fairly simple, balances, developpes (kicks) single turn, jete (leap). Its surprising, but you really can tell a lot about a dancer from such a simple combination. They made us go three at a time across the floor and then it was time for another cut. Yay, they keep me again.

Of course now comes my favorite part...the singing. There are about 18/60 girls left and they ask us for a traditional musical theatre song. So I chose to sing "A Little Bit in Love" from the musical Wonderful Town. (see Audra show how its done) It went awful...or at least it felt awful. All over the place register wise, but I gave it and pretty let the audition go, figuring I had blown it.

But when I got home from the audition, my cell rang and it was Tara Rubin casting calling to invite me back the next day for a call back! These people must be out of their minds!? But I graciously accepted and prepared for the next day...