Saturday, June 25, 2011

Ain't nothing gonna break my stride....

"Nobody's gonna slow me down, oh no, I got to keep on movin!"

Yeah yeah, last week was one of those kind of weeks.  Lots of auditions, lots of rejection.  Not the most fun I've ever had in my life.  On Monday, I went over to an audition for Fame, which will be touring through China for a couple of weeks in August.  At 5'8", I'm a little tall to play a high schooler in the theater world, but I'm not THAT tall so I decided to give it a whirl.  Now in comparison to the previous calls I've been to this summer.  There were a surprising number of girls at the call.  I showed up right when the audition started and was in the second group of equity girls to be seen.  The combination was to the title song "Fame" and was a very high energy number.  The choreographer was very specific that energy was the most important factor when doing the combo.  So I had a lot of fun just rocking out to the iconic song.  I made the first cut, and then went to the holding room to wait for them to finish with everyone else.

When we got back into the room, there were not many people left.  There were maybe 20 people in the room, but as I looked around I saw I was the tallest girl there.  Never a good sign!  So we learned a bit more of the combination, performed it, and I was cut.  No biggie, if your too tall, your too tall.  What can you do about it?  I certainly don't wish I was shorter!

Taking that in stride, I then, on Tuesday, had a callback for Becoming Chaplin.  It was just a singing callback and I chose to sing something pretty traditional, "Mister Snow" from the musical Carousel.
I've been working on this silly song for awhile now and really felt pretty prepared to sing it.  I headed over to Pearl, and arrived slightly before my appointment time.  As I sit there I get to hear what goes on in the audition room and listen to people talk about whats happening in there.  Not always a good thing.  Anyways, people are going in and having to sing two songs! And they are asking for a joke!  What the hay?  As I sit frantically searching for a joke on my phone and thinking of what the secondary song I could sing is.  I think I may have gotten a bit of distracted from the task at hand.

Its my turn to go into the audition room, and I tell the accompanist about my song and how I'd like it played.  But it was all for not, because in the middle of my 16 bars I have a royal screw up.  I came in two measures early in part of the song and had to repeat myself to get back on track with the accompaniment.  Crap!  They smiled and thanked me, no second song, no joke.  How embarassing... Honestly, I never mind being cut when I do my best, because I know there's nothing else I could have done.  But when stuff like the above happens I get frustrated to the high heavens.  I am over it now, but it took me a week before I could blog about that one.  At least what I was singing sounded pretty.   Ish happens.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Becoming Chaplin Audition

After finishing with the Northern Stage audition I hopped on the train to head to another audition for a workshop for the new musical Becoming Chaplin.  The Northern Stage audition had started at 9:30 and Becoming Chaplin was scheduled to start at 10.  So heading downtown at 10:30 I was in a bit of a hurry to make sure I got there in time to be seen.  Lucky for me when I arrived the first group of equity girls was still in the room and I was only #65!  Again, where is everyone!?

Now, originally the monitor, the person who runs the audition room, told me I would have to go with the non-equity girls because I had arrived so late.  But I quickly filled out my card and changed, just in case he tried to switch things up on me and surprise! that's exactly what he did.  As the second group was heading in he told me that I could go in with them.  So I rushed to put my shoes on and was the last person to get into the room.

Now, if you've ever seen a Charlie Chaplin film you know it has a lot of physical comedy in it.  So at the audition choreographer, Warren Carlyle tried to recreate this.  The first third of the combination was counted in sevens and sixes and was filled with acting, we were basically trying to portray someone waking up and stretching.  Then the combination broke into a little soft shoe number! Fun.  However, at the end it got very difficult.  The combination finished with a million chaine turns into a triple pirouette, into twelve fouettes, finished with a double pirouette and drop to a split! this real life?

Now the combination was super long, but I managed to keep my brain on long enough to pick it up. Plus, I was in the very last group to audition so I had plenty of time to run through it in my head.  Watching 30 plus girls go before you is always helpful, but it also made me realize just how impossible that turn combination was.  You simply can't turn that much on a wood floor, with rubber soles, IN HEELS!!!  Luckily for me I have been too lazy to get my shoes rubbered so I had suede on my LaDucas.  Anyways, when it was finally my turn, I had a lot of fun with the acting and then when we got to the turn combination, I managed to get through the entire thing without stopping.  By the end I wasn't spotting and the entire room was just spinning by in a blur.  I'm also sure that they were the ugliest, most turned in, hiked up shoulder fouettes ever seen in an audition room.  But I dropped to my split and was finished!  Hooray!

Then choreographer told us that we could all be excused, but once in the hallway my name and one other girls name were called back into the room to dance some more!  But when we got in there he explained to us that we didn't need to dance again, that he simply wanted to let us know they would be calling us at some point to come in and sing again!  Awesome.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Where is Everyone???

I think once about two years ago I talked about going against the grain and heading to a smaller audition on a day when there is a bigger call going on at the same time.  Well yesterday that is exactly what I did.  Northern Stage Theatre is a smaller equity house in Vermont that was holding a call for the musical Annie.  As a child I always dreamed of being Annie but given that I probably couldn't pull off the red hair, it was a dream never to come true.  (My mom and dad weren't Will and Jada..shout out to Willow!)  But I headed over to audition for it as an adult on the same day that auditions for a new upcoming musical called Becoming Chaplin was coming out.

Now, I expected fewer dancers to be there, but I walked in and there were only six equity girls there! Six!  And when all was said and done only twelve non-equity girls showed up!  So we all got to go in as one rather small group and learned a combination to the number "I Think I'm Gonna Like it Here".  The combination was very ballet influenced and right up my alley!  Nothing makes you feel more joyous in an audition than being in your comfort zone, let me tell you.  So I got to have a lot of fun, which is not always the case. 

We get to go three at a time for the casting folk and I am in the 2nd group of three since there were only six equity girls total.  I had a lot of fun and felt good about my performance and I could tell that a cut was being made, but they never announced it to us.   Instead they had all eighteen of us come back and sing.  I sang a fairly traditional song entitled A Little Bit in Love from the musical Wonderful Town, which went OK, but I pretty much decided at that moment that I cannot wait another week without taking my tush to voice lessons.  After singing that was it! We were all free to go and I headed down to that other audition for Becoming Chaplin.  Two auditions in one day? You bet, but more on that later!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Minor Redemption @ Rocky Horror

After my championship performance at Wicked the week before, I decided to sign up to audition for the Rocky Horror Picture show this past Thursday Jun, 2.  A brief aside, you have the opportunity as an equity member to sign up for chorus calls a week in advance.  That way if you do it early enough you can guarantee you'll be seen in the first group and usually get the most time to learn the combination.  The only catch is that you have to be at the audition 30 min ahead of time or else you lose your spot and have to sign up in the order in which you arrived.  Of course although I signed up ahead of time, I missed my name being called from this list.  So to the end of the line I went.  Lucky for me there was barely anyone there, so I was still only #35.

I assumed I was in the second group.  So I went to go change.  If you've ever seen Rocky Horror, you know that they wear some crazy little outfit.  Emphasis on little!  I don't have anything to crazy, so I tried my best to look cute and then went to the holding room to wait for about 45 min until it was time to go in.  The combination was something I can only describe as odd.  It was all about the drama, actings, and the character you could get into.. and it was quick.  There was this one really quick hand part, that no one seemed to be catching onto.  I've included a clip from the movie of the song we danced to for your enjoyment:

We performed the combination six at a time, and lucky for me by the time my name was called I had pretty much figured out the one section I was struggling with.  They then made a cut and I was asked to stay and sing.  Hooray! My good friend who was also asked to stay and sing had this great idea that we should rent a room to warm up in for the second part of the audition.   What an awesome concept!  Just a quick 15min to warm up and hear yourself sing your 16 bars really helps you feel prepared.  Especially this time when I was singing a song I had not yet done at an audition.
Anyways, they maybe kept a third of the girls to sing.  We lined up and one at a time went in to sing.  I sang this:

And that was it.  I think that it went pretty well.  But nerves always make you sound a little different than you do when you are not in the audition room.  But honestly I have no complaints.  Haven't heard from them, but don't much care as I really just needed a chance to prove my brain had not turned to much and to debut my new 60s/70s pop song!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Something Wicked this way comes!

It is unfortunately time to jump head first back into the audition circuit here in the city!  So Thursday, after returning from my dear friend's wedding (a seriously awesome, beautiful, never been so happy for someone ever wedding)...what?  Oh right this is an audition blog.  Anyways, Thursday I went over to the Wicked dancer chorus call.  I really love the musical, but its been on Broadway forever and they are rarely ever looking for people.  But I went anyways, because I had never been and wanted to see what the combination was like.

I was the 26th equity lady to get an audition card and they decided to take us in, in groups of 30, so I was in the first group to go.  Hooray for no waiting!  Well, can I just say that this may have been one of the worst auditions I have ever had!  Simply put, the combination was very contemporary ballet and well after about a year of straight jazz and tap, you could say I was woefully unprepared.

Here's a video that gives an example of choreo, but its not the combo they used.  Starts at 1:25 or so.

The combination instead of being taught in eights, was counted in fours, fives, and a seven.  Add to that movement that just refused to feel comfortable in my body and you have a recipe for disaster.  After just struggling to pick up the material, I finally got it at least well enough to not completely embarrass myself, but it was still terrible.  I can't sit here and pretend it was anything else.  However of our group of 30 they only kept 2 and I'm not even sure if they were asked to sing.  So I'm no too upset.  At least now I know what to expect and also if I'm serious about Wicked I should take my butt to some contemporary classes!  So it wasn't a totally useless or demoralizing experience.

On to the next one!