Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Final Callbacks for Anything Goes

I went in to the final callback of Anything Goes, my 4th audition of that week, a complete mix of emotions.  On one hand I had a great audition for them the week before.  On the other hand, I had blown my Chaplin singing callback the previous day, which had completely shaken my singing confidence.  At the final callback there were twenty-three girls left, only 4 of them tall, and I was the only one of color.  Couldn't get much better odds since there are only 2 tall dancer girl tracks in the show.

We were all led into the room and led through a review of the two combinations we had learned previously.  Plus, we learned a short graboff tap break that we would need to do one at a time for Kathleen and the rest of the creatives.  We had to wait a bit after the review for the creative team to get here, but once they arrived we started right away.  I was in the first group to dance because I had another audition to get to.

I danced the first combination which went well and eventually also danced the 2nd tap combination.  I nailed all the sounds on my graboff break and once all the girls danced it was time to sing.  Because I had to leave so quickly I was the first girl to sing too!  No time to get myself together, but on the other hand no time to start getting in my head either.  I sang my song, "Oh Diogenes", for them and Kathleen Marshall told me it was an "awesome audition song".  Thats some good feedback!  I was expecting to have to sing my second soprano song, but Kathleen looked over at the music director who shook his head no and she said that was all they needed to see.  I was a little thrown off by this, but he had been in the room the week before so maybe he didn't need to hear me sing it again?  There wasn't much time to dwell on it anyways, because I was running off to audition for Into The Woods!

After waiting almost two weeks, I just found out today that I booked it!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

White Christmas National Tour

Last week was the start of what would be my record-breaking seven audition week.  So to start the week off right, I got up early in the morning to attend an invited call for the national tour of White Christmas.  Now, if you happen to remember my last posting on the White Christmas audition, I stated that it was the toughest tap audition I'd ever been to.  Well, I think that award now belongs to the tap audition for Big Fish, but still WC is no joke.

We started the day off by learning a brief 32 tap combination, which had to be done one at a time.  I didn't have too much difficulty with it tap wise, but the nerves of having to tap by yourself can cause anyone to mess up.  Luckily my solo went fine and I made the first cut.  Next, we had to learn an actual tap combination from the opening number of the show.  We only learned a portion of it and the steps themselves weren't difficult.  The real difficulty was the speed at which they taught the combo. They told us they teach it that speed to test if we could learn the entire show in only eight days.  Once we learned it and reviewed it a few times we did the combination three at a time.  Unlike my previous WC audition I did not mess up!  They made another cut and then asked us to come back and dance for Randy Skinner in a couple of hours.

I returned back to White Christmas, after running to another audition, and Randy Skinner was there to watch us dance.  We added on to the tap choreography we learned previously and the second portion of the combination had jumping and more rhythmic difficulty than the first part, but was taught just as fast.  When it was time to do the combination three at a time, I discovered I was in the first group so NO time to practice!  Each group got a chance to do the combination twice in a row and once everyone was done another cut was made!  We are up to three cuts now if you are keeping track!

Those of us that made the third cut, changed into our heels, and started to learn a jazz combination.  It was a beautiful 1950's style jazz number, with fast feet, and a calm upper-body.  I loved dancing it and picked it up pretty quickly which was good since I was now obviously going to be dancing in the first group from here on out.  After everyone performed this combination for Randy he made another cut.  Cut #4!  Then we put our tap shoes back on and learned a completely different but much shorter second tap combination.  After we danced it in groups, we were done!  No more cuts and no singing for the day!  Hooray!

Binder Casting called me the next day to come back in and sing at the end of the week (making it the infamous audition #7).  I decided to dress a little bit the part and wore this adorable vintage dress I bought in Sacramento during the Young Frankenstein tour with black patent leather flats.  Sometimes when I go in to sing for shows that aren't "tall shows" I will try to avoid sky high heels so they don't think I'm a giant.  I sang "Oh Diogenes" for them and was asked if I could sing legato.  I told them "yes", and was going to offer to sing something else but the accompanist was handing me my book so I just let it go.  I felt really good about this audition, but I also know that I most likely won't book the gig.  They usually hire the same people year after year and so unless the track I'm right for opens up, my name will just get filed away for future reference.  Still, a good way to end my record breaking week!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Anything Goes National Tour pt. 2

In January I went to the open call for the national tour of Anything Goes.  If you'd like to read about it please go here.   Four months later, I had the opportunity to go back in for another round of auditions for the tour.  Which is just an example of how unpredictable the casting of shows can be.  You never know if you've been cut or they are just waiting until later to call you in.

The audition started out with the jazz combination we learned in January from the song "Blow Gabriel Blow" and then a cut was made.  I was kept and then we put our tap shoes on to learn a tap combination!  Yay!  Of course the combination was from the shows title number "Anything Goes".  It was a classic style tap number, only 64 counts long and the difficulty was not too bad.  The combination consisted primarily of back essences, grab offs, buck triple time steps and cramp rolls. I'm apologize if you don't know the tap vocabulary.  After learning it as a large group we began to do it three at a time.  I nailed the combination and the grab offs they made each person do alone.  After everyone danced they made another cut and those of us that were left now had to sing.

I actually debuted a new song at this audition called "Oh Diogenes".  It is a classic Rodgers and Hart song and perfectly suited to audition for this type of show.  It is a little longer of a song, at 32 bars, than the usual 16-bar cut I sing most of the time.  The song went pretty well and I was asked to sing a second contrasting song.  I chose to sing "Simple Little Things" which is starting to become my go to second/soprano song.  After I got done singing everyone behind the table looked happy and generally entertained which was nice.  A few days later I received an appointment for final callbacks the following week!

*Unrelated Thought*

Thus far in my auditioning I've noticed three different faces people generally have behind the table.

1. The person who smiles no matter what.  They will keep smiling even if you sing off key, crash and burn with the accompanist, etc.  Of course that can lead them to look a little like a crazy person sometimes. LOL
2.  The person who gives you the dead stare no matter what.  You could be Idina Menzel in the audition room and they will just stare at you like they have heard it all before.  No smiling ever.
3.  The person who actually seems to be reacting to what you are singing.  They are along for the ride with you.  They might not actually be smiling but they are into it.

Obviously, my personal preference is to sing for person #3, followed by #1, and lastly #2.  Person #2 has a tendency to unsettle me when I'm singing, which can make me nervous and thus mess up my audition.

*Unrelated Thought End*

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Pippin pt. 2

Part two of my Pippin adventure occurred last week, when I was called back in to dance and sing again.  The girls were scheduled to begin at 11am but they were running behind so they lumped us into the boys group at 11:45.  Unfortunately there were a massive amount of boys at the call, so it ended up being a fairly large group of us squeezed into the audition room.  Now, I had hoped that we were only coming in to dance the Manson Trio again, but I was not to be so lucky on that Tuesday!  Instead we learned an entirely new Fosse number that was ten times more energetic.  The combo was from a section of the show where the cast is teaching Pippin about "the birds and the bees."

After learning the combination we performed it two at a time and I must admit I had a lot of fun.  I also danced it pretty well and made it past the next cut.  I was feeling pretty happy with myself but I had no idea the catastrophe that was in store later.

We were told to come back at 2pm so that everyone could sing for the creative team, but things got started late and there were still too many people left.  The casting director told us that we would be signing 16 bars of our own music, but then it was decided that we would be singing "Morning Glow", music from the audition sides we got.   Now that would not have been a problem if I had bothered to learn it!  But somehow I didn't think that we needed to know the song and so I spent my entire 90 minute wait freaking out, trying to learn a brand new song, and finally deciding to just sing from my book.  Unfortunately instead of singing "Don Juan", which got me called back the first time, I tried to switch to singing "Come Down From the Tree" because I felt it was more in the style of "Morning Glow".  Well, I walked into the audition room, explained my song to the pianist and then he started playing my ballad as an UPTEMPO song!  Can you say crash and burn!  I actually had to stop in the middle of the song and ask to start over because I was not singing with the music.  I have NEVER had to do that EVER!  Needless to say it was the worst singing audition I've had in a really long time.  I was cut immediately and that was the end of that!  What a very long day.  

Friday, May 18, 2012

I Wanna Be A Producer!

This summer Atlanta's Theater of the Stars (TOTS) is putting on Mel Brook's and Susan Stroman's hit musical The Producers.  As with most summer stock theaters, auditions usually start with an EPA equity principal audition, where people audition for all the shows that a theater is doing for the summer.  I attended the EPA for TOTS about two months ago where I sang "Don Juan" for them and was told that I would be called back when TOTS was casting for The Producers.

Well, two months later I found myself at a callback for the show with several other girls.  Most of whom I knew and a few who had done the show already.  The call started at 2pm and I was unaware that I had a full day of dancing ahead of me!  We started off learning a number called "Springtime for Hitler" which was a musical theater jazz combo from "the show within the show."  The combo was quick and contained some abstract Nazi imagery, presented in a satirical way of course.  After we learned it we performed the combination three at a time, but no cuts were made.  We then got a chance to do a brief showgirl combination, that pretty much consisted of each girl doing her best Las Vegas showgirl walk across the audition room alone, but I discovered that my showgirl walks needed work!

At this point after two jazz combinations, we put on our tap shoes to learn a tap number from the show.  We were supposed to be showgirls at a party, but as the night goes on the showgirls slide down the road to intoxication!  It was fun and funny; especially, getting to see how everyone else in the room interpreted the drunkeness. I love getting to watch people's creativity in auditions.  Once this third combination was learned and done three at a time, I thought for sure we were done dancing, but we had one combination left in store!  We changed into flats and then learned a combination from "Till Him" which is done towards the end of the show.  We all had to pretend to be old ladies who were falling in love for the first time in a long time.  Hilarity ensued as everyone gave their best grandma impression, while still having to remember a tricky combination, and having to improvise a section at the end.  Phew!  A serious day of dancing to say the least.

Those four combos wiped everyone out, but we still had to sing.  I sang....can you guess? Yes, "Don Juan" and then the people behind the table told me I had a "very good audition today".  Always a good sign!  I heard from my agent that I am "on hold" for the show.  Just like with what happened with Nice Work if You Can Get It.  Basically, they have offered the role out to someone else, but they really like me.  So if a spot opens up in the next month, I may find myself in Atlanta!  No complaints here!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Pippin @ American Repertory Theatre

Pippin, the 1970's musical originally directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse, is being revived at Boston's American Repertory Theatre.  I was called in to audition a few weeks ago and arrived just in time to change and run into the audition room.  Given that we were auditioning for a Fosse show, I decided to wear my favorite black unitard that makes me feel like I could be in All That Jazz/Fosse/Chicago.  After a few minutes of waiting for them to finish principal auditions in another room we started learning a combination from a number called the Manson Trio.

The Trio starts at 2:30

Since I had never seen the show before, it was all new material for me, but it was all very stylized.  Lots of very specific hand and hip movements and I was in love!  I wish I could explain how much I love Fosse's work.  It just connects with me.  Anyways, everyone learned the combo and then it was time to do the usual, dancing three at a time for the casting associate and assistant choreographer.  I had a great time doing the combo and I thought I did a pretty good job at it.  There was a cut was made and I was kept!  The other girls who made the cut and I were told to come back at 2pm to dance again and sing for the head casting agent, Duncan Stewart.  This was tough for me as I was supposed to be on a flight that afternoon, so I ran home, packed in a hurry, and dragged all my stuff back to audition again.

Unfortunately, when I got there they were running a bit behind.  When the boys were finally done in the room, we girls got a chance to review the combination and then we danced it again for casting.  After that we all stayed and sang; I had to ask to be put at the front of the group so I could make my flight.  I sang "Don Juan" my go to song and then ran off to the airport where I barely made my plane!

Monday, April 23, 2012

West Side Story International Tour

The past month I was busy working on a project that left very little time for auditioning.  I've only gone to three auditions recently, so there hasn't been much to update on.  Apologies for that.  Now, I did recently go in for my first invited call for a principal role.  It was for the role of Anita in the international tour of West Side Story.  What a fun role!  I was given a song and sides to learn and practice, which was nice because it helped me feel a bit more prepared going into the audition and I had about a week to get everything together.

The day of the audition, I was in the middle of doing a full run through for the show that I was rehearsing and had to run out during lunch just to be able to get to the audition.  I arrived there about fifteen minutes late, which my agent had already cleared with the casting folks beforehand and unfortunately, during my hasty exit from rehearsal I left my shoes behind!  I had to do the entire audition barefoot!  When I finally entered the audition room, ridiculously flustered, there were six other girls already in the middle of learning a combination from "America".  I had to jump in and learn the combo the best I could; however, the director, Joey McKneely, was gracious enough to go back and quickly reteach the beginning of the combination for me.  After reviewing it a few times and giving us corrections we then did the combination two at a time.  After that he had us do grande jetes (leaps) on each side and then everyone went outside to wait to sing.

I asked to sing as soon as possible so that I could get back to rehearsal, but still had to wait for  two girls to go in front of me.  Once it was my turn in the room I sang the excerpt they gave me from "A Boy Like That".  The song happens when Anita discovers that Maria is still seeing Tony, a Jet, who has just killed Bernardo, the leader of the Sharks and the boyfriend of Anita.  I sang it once and then Joey came over to me and said that while he liked my voice he wanted my acting to have less outward anger and suggested I turn the emotion more inward.  So I sang it again, and then he wanted to hear the last note again!  So I sang the last half of the song again!  I think that some people might get discouraged by corrections in an audition, but I love it because to me it means that they are interested in you and they want to see how well you take direction.

After the singing, I read the sides I was given.  Again, there were a lot of corrections and suggestions from Joey.  He even cajoled me into doing an improv dialogue with him where he was a little kid who wanted a cookie and I had to tell him no over and over again!  Now in my head I don't yet consider myself an actor so this was all incredibly foreign to me, but I gave it my best and tried to apply what I do when singing a song to reading the lines.  I definitely see a straight acting class in my future though! In total, I probably read the sides about three times and then they sent me outside to have my measurements taken!  Of course, that didn't mean I got the job.  The Rockettes do the same thing to their final round girls so that if they are selected they can start costuming right away.  They didn't take everyone's measurements though so I at least made it past the next cut!

Overall, it was a very new audition experience for me.  I haven't heard back from them yet, and the tour leaves in less than a month so I assume they gave the role to someone else.  But I was very happy how the audition turned out, especially since it started out so crazy!  Here's to more principal auditions in the future!

*This is the one and only Debbie Allen playing Anita during America at the Tony Awards.  Her dancing is just ridiculous!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Amazing Grace @ Goodspeed Auditions

Goodspeed Opera House is putting on a new musical called Amazing Grace, which is about the song's author, John Newton.  The audition notice specifically said that they were looking for performer's who played instruments; which meant almost everyone decided NOT to go the the call.  I wasn't going to go either, but then decided that I since I do technically know how to play the violin I should give it a try.  When I arrived at the call there was barely anyone there.  I came exactly on time and was put in the first group!  Thats how few people were there.  I had to hurry and get dressed so I could go into the room.

The choreographer of the show is Benoit-Swan Pouffer the artistic director of Cedar Lake Ballet and while he wasn't there that day his assistant was to teach us the combination.  Hello, contemporary concert dance! It was a combination of contemporary and African dance, fun to do, but pretty sure I looked like a nut!  We danced the combination in groups of three and after each group went they asked if anyone wanted to tumble.  After I danced in my small group I volunteered to tumble.  I swear this winter I have tumbled at almost every audition, its insane.  Anyways, I was kept after the first cut and had some down time while the non-equity girls went into the room to dance.

During the wait, I rented a room so I could warm up and practice my song.  I have started doing this recently at auditions and it really helps!  I decided to sing Come Down From the Tree from Once On This Island and prepared about a 32 bar cut despite the fact they had asked for 16 bars.  When it was time for me to go in and sing the accompanist told me my cut was too long!  Whaaaat??!  So he suggested we start from a different location, which I agreed to do, but wasn't exactly thrilled that I had been caught!  Lesson learned.  The song went awesome!  Yes I used the word awesome because its the first time I felt like that after singing at an audition.  The casting director then asked me if I could bring in an instrument if they called me back and I agreed.

A couple of weeks later I got a callback for the show.  We came in to dance again and I realized that I was in a room filled with former Alvin Ailey & Philadanco company members.  I had to wonder why I was there, but I stuck it out and learned the combintion.  By the time we were finished learning the combination we were all exhausted and sweaty and then we learned that the choreographer wouldn't be coming in!  Instead he watched the auditions on Skype!  Very interesting this new fangled technology.  We danced two at a time and then a few of us were asked to read sides, sides are small parts of the script actors get to perform at auditions.  When I went in to read, I was awkward and terrible, but it was my first time doing sides at an audition!  The director thanked me and I knew I had just taken myself out of the running for the job.  Learning something new everyday.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Annie the Musical Auditions

Annie the musical is coming back to Broadway in the Fall of 2012.  They have already started having auditions for it and I originally went in to the Equity Chorus Call (ECC) for dancers last month.  I unfortunately did not get to the audition in time to hear my name called from "the list" so I was given some ridiculously high number like 157!  Which meant I would be waiting around FOREVER!  Now, luckily for me being equity means that as long as I get to an audition on time I will be seen, but having such a high number does have its downsides.

1.  I have to wait around for hours, because they only take in 30 people or so at a time, and each group takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.

2.  Just like any other job the people in casting can get bored after watching people audition all day and may stop paying attention.

But apparently these are risks I'm willing to take, since I can't seem to get there on time!

After waiting around for a couple of hours, I finally get to go into the room.  The choreographer of the show Andy Blankenbuehler is there with his assistant and he is teaching the combination himself!  He has previously done: In The Heights, 9 to 5, and Bring It On the Musical and I have never auditioned for him before so I was pretty excited.  We learned a quick combination from the section NYC in the musical.  It was very stylized and had some intricate footwork to it; which took me and everyone else in the room a little time to get.

After learning it, we went in small groups for casting which each group having to dance twice.  After my group went the first time Andy asked me if I could dance the combo "smaller."  I gave it a go and saw my headshot go into the "yes" pile! Yes I watch But then, there was no cut! We were all excused and confused because the previous groups were asked to do a quick tap combo after the first cut.  Welp, they ran out of time and thats what happens when you come late and go in the last group!!

Fast forward to a few weeks later, I was asked to come in and sing at Telsey.  I sang "Where Am I Going" from Sweet Charity and it went horribly.  Just not my best job at all.  I was pretty upset about it, but I learned some things from my Big Fish experience, so I didn't give up on getting seen for this show and we will see what happens!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Nice Work If You Can Get It

About 2.5 weeks ago, I was called in to audition for Nice Work If You Can Get It.  It was a emergency replacement call and they were specifically looking for a sexy black dancer girl.  I was super excited to be going in and very hopeful about the opportunity.  The call was late in the afternoon on Friday and rehearsal for the show was expected to start a week later!  So I knew that this would be the only audition and they were going to cast someone today!  Pressure!

Anyways, I get to the audition, change, and check in.  Then its time to head into the room.   There are nineteen other girls there and I recognize most of them from other auditions.  We learn a short cutesy combination from Kathleen Marshall herself and then its time to go three at a time.  I was front and center in my group and danced the combination well.  After everyone went, they asked us to all go outside and prepare to sing.  I went in and sang my first song, "Always True to You in My Fashion" from Kiss Me Kate and it was pretty good.  They then asked me to sing a second song!  Hooray for an in the room callback!  They wanted a ballad and I decided to sing "Simple Little Things" from 110 In the Shade.  The second song also went well.  Kathleen told me I did a very good job, made sure she had my name right, and that was it!

I was hopeful to get a call that evening saying I booked it, but as you can guess I did not.  I later found out from my agent that I at least did get put on hold for it, so they definitely liked me!  I'm definitely wondering if my second song choice could have been better, but its too easy to monday morning quarterback yourself.   Anyways, the girl who got the job had a couple of Broadway credits under her belt already and was a great dancer too, so Yay for her! 

I'm getting closer, I'm claiming it.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

One last time for Stro...again

I had my callback for the Big Fish workshop this past Tuesday.  I had been given the music I learned on Friday to practice, so I knew I had to sing that again and I was also told to bring my book.  When I arrived, it had the feel of final callbacks and there were 15 girls there in total.  All of the girls had been in before, except for one and she was a notable Broadway veteran who had me very nervous.  The girls who were in for the same part as me, there were four of us, had to get to the audition early to go over the music.  So just the four of us went into a room with the accompanist to sing through the music.  Just a bit intimidating.  After the singing finished I had to go sit by myself to get my mind together, because I was letting myself get a little intimidated and freaking out.  YES I can be freaked out at auditions.  I'm still waiting to get my Broadway credit and when you are competing with girls who are constantly working on Bway it can get the best of you.

So after a quick pep talk from a friend and taking some time to get it together, it was time to go audition.  We first reviewed the tap combination very quickly and then we performed it three at a time.  Then five girls, including myself, were taken in to do the ballet combo for the featured part.  We reviewed it and then we each got to go one at a time for Stro!  After that it was time to sing.  Apparently I missed the memo about bringing an audition dress to sing in!  Now, yes it is standard to sing in a dress, but a lot of times dancers won't change to sing after dancing because:

1. You want casting to remember who you are.  i.e. the girl in the pink leotard etc. and if you change into something different they might get confused if the girl dancing in pink and the girl singing in green are the same person.

2.  A lot of times you go right from dancing to singing and there is not enough time to change.

So I didn't bring a dress to sing in, because it honestly just didn't cross my mind.  Oh well.  When it was finally my time to sing, and I was the LAST girl to sing.  I went into the room and sang the given music first with Andrew Lippa.  After the first time through, I received a correction on the acting/music and then was told to sing it again.  I implemented the change he asked for and he told me I did a good job on the correction!  Then I sang my own song Don Juan.  Stro told me "well done" and that was it!  The whole audition went really well, and I don't think I could have done any better.  Which, is really the best way to end the day, that way even if you don't get it you know that you couldn't have done anything else.  No Regrets!

I think the lessons that can be learned in all this is that:

1.  Sometimes getting cut at an audition has NOTHING to do with your dancing.  You go in a bad group, you are standing too far to the left to be seen, casting had to sneeze while you were dancing and thats all they could thing about..etc.

2.  There is nothing wrong with going in for the same thing over and over.

3.  If you feel something is awry, ask to be seen again.  The worst they can do is say "No".

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Be Aggressive Be Be Aggressive.....Big Fish pt. deux

We last saw our heroine...

No really, after the Big Fish audition fiasco, I got angry...and then I got a bit aggressive.  Hence the title.  I emailed my agent, yes I have an agent now, and asked him if he could get me into the invited call for Big Fish.  He told me that he had submitted me but that they were not giving out that many appointments and that I hadn't received one, but he told me he would push for me.  However, about a week later I got a call from the agency saying that I had an appointment to be seen!  Hooray!

So on Friday of last week, I went to Pearl studios to audition for Big Fish again.  Given that this was one of many callbacks they were having I didn't know what to expect.  What I found was that they were doing a callback for some character actors/singers as well as looking ethnic female dancers for the chorus.  Oh and Stro was in the room!  We learned a short character combo first, which was primarily a chance to see if the actor/singers could move.  They then excused everyone but four dancer girls and we had to learn a tap combination.  Luckily it was a shorter version of the combo I had already learned the day I got cut!  I performed the combination really well and they asked me and one other girl to stay and sing.  Now I was told that I should be prepared to do acrobatics at the audition, so when casting came out to tell us to get ready to sing I asked them if Stro wanted to see me tumble.  be aggressive be be aggressive The casting director went in and asked her and she said sure, so I went in and tumbled for her.  A few aerial cartwheels and a round off back handspring.  Then went out to get ready to sing.

I sang first out of the two of us, and sang "Don Juan" from Smokey Joe's Cafe.  It went really well. After I finished the song I stood there while the people at the table kind of looked at each other and then Stro told me that they had kind of changed there mind about what track they were considering me for!  That's when Andrew Lippa himself, stood up walked over to the piano and had me learn a song with him!  Whaaaaaaaaaaaat??  I learned a cut of a song, for the role of the mermaid.  It was all sung on La La's so at least there were no words to remember.  After I learned it sufficiently, I then had a solo/duet with Andrew Lippa in front of the entire creative team.  Insane, especially after only learning the music three minutes beforehand.  I thought it went alright, I had a little trouble finding the tricky last note in the duet, but overall not bad.  Casting then asked me to go wait outside.

The other girl went in to sing and they told her she was done for the day.  At this point I am now the last girl standing!  They asked me to come back into the room to learn a ballet combination. BY MYSELF.  So its just me learning a combination with the entire creative team watching me.  Its a fairly short combo, but there are a few turns and a final developpe turn sequence to work around.  After I learned it, I performed the combination alone in the room with Stro and the creative team watching.  A la Cassie in A Chorus Line "Music and the Mirror" style and that was it.  Stro told me I did a great job as did everyone else and I went home for the day.  A few hours later I got a call saying I was coming in for a callback!  Hooray!

Callback pt. 3 coming soon...

THE Donna McKechnie performing Music and the Mirror.  1. listen to the opening lines of her monologue..fantastic! 2. The legendary dance starts at 2:00


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Big Fish Comes to Broadway

Ever since I saw this notice in Playbill I've been excited about this new show Susan Stroman is doing.  Primarily for the fact that if she cast me once, I have a better shot at being cast again!  Well two weeks ago was the audition for the latest workshop of Big Fish.  If you don't know, it takes years for new musicals to get produced.  Usually the creative teams spends a very long time just writing the book and music, then they will have readings of the show, next workshops, and then an out of town tryout.  IF all of that goes well then the show, if it has enough funding, gets to go to Broadway.  Its a very long and arduous process to say the least.  So this most recent audition was not for Broadway, but for a workshop; however, often times the cast gets to stick around and be on Broadway.  Therefore, being in a workshop is a good way to become an original company member of a new Broadway show.

Whew, after all that explanation lets talk about the audition!  First off, Stro likes her tall girls so the call was only for girls 5'6-5'10". however she actually doesn't mind if you are above that height requirement  This is always nice because it means the audition won't be nearly as crowded as they usually are.  Still, 90 equity girls showed up to audition that day.  I got to the audition in time to hear my name called on the list, and I was going to be in the first group.  The audition started with a tap combination in which we were supposed to be USO girls.  As we learned the choreography it was really cute, but hard AND it was the combination that would NEVER end!  I could feel my brain fighting itself to prevent a freak out.  There were so many points when I thought we had finished, we would take it from the top and get to "the end" only to have the asst. choreographer say "and the next step.." Ahhh!  It was quite honestly the longest tap combo I have ever learned in an audition! sixteen counts of eight to be exact

After finally learning the combination it is time to do it in groups of three.  I was number four so I was in the 2nd group to go.  When combos are long and difficult going in the beginning can be a risk.  My group started the combination but the downfall of tapping in a group is if one person gets off it can bring down everyone and that's what happened.  At some point things went awry and, though I personally didn't mess up, the taps became unclear and off the beat at some point.  We got it back together and finished fine, but I immediately had a bad feeling.  After all had danced my bad feeling was confirmed.  I was cut!  In the first round!  I  gagged! (mortified) After spending an hour and fifteen minutes in the room it was a major let down to not go on.  They didn't keep many of the girls in my audition group maybe 7-10 out of the thirst, but darnit I felt like I should be in that group!  After that round they did ballet and sang afterwards. *sadface*

P.S. I don't usually make a big fuss about getting cut at auditions.  I believe it is best to have a laissez faire attitude about it all, so that you don't take rejection personally.  I failed after this audition.  I was a little too personally invested, so shoot me.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Anything Goes!

After the Flashdance failure, I headed uptown to the chorus call for Anything Goes.  The musical, currently on Broadway starring Sutton Foster, is going on tour in the fall of 2012.  Now, I'm not sure if I'm even remotely interested in going on tour again, but there is always a voice in my head saying "beggars can't be choosers" so I went anyways.  I made it to the call in time to hear my name called from the list and was given number twenty-five.  Which just so happens to be my lucky number!  Once again there were 80+ equity women there and they refused to see any non-equity dancers.  Since we were in a smaller studio than earlier that day, I was in the second group and had to sit and wait.  The wait wasn't bad though and I was soon headed into the audition room.

Once inside the room, there are a couple of things I always try to do.  First, obviously, is to stand in the front or at least somewhere I can see whoever is teaching the combination.  Second, I always try to determine who all the non-auditioning people are in the room.  A lot of times you can figure out how serious they are about hiring people just by seeing who's in the room.  If you have the casting director, music director, and choreographer all in the room, then they are probably trying to cast a show quickly.  However, if you walk in and its the assistant dance captain and a random assistant from casting you know they are either: a) in the very beginning of looking and there are many rounds of auditions left or b) they are not looking for anyone at all.  The later usually happens at required calls.

Anyways,  I get into the room and go stand in the front.  The dance captain (d.c) and someone from casting are there but no one else.  Oh well.  We begin to learn a combination the "angels" in the show do during "Blow, Gabriel, Blow".  It was a sultry combination complete with hip thrusts and fan kicks.  While not difficult, we were told multiple times by the d.c. not to make the hip thrusts "vulgar" and that the combination was all about focus.  I love stuff like that, so I had a good time.  We performed it four at a time and I was in the very first group of dancers to go.  After I finished I noticed they were separating headshots into separate piles to make a cut, but after everyone had danced they just thanked us and told us we were done! Booo!  No cuts, only one dance combo, and no singing!  Who knows when they are planning to get serious about casting.  I feel good about my performance though so we will just have to see what happens next.

For your viewing pleasure:

Thursday, January 12, 2012

What a Feeling! Flashdance Comes to Broadway

Yes ladies and gentleman, you read that right.  The movie Flashdance has been made into a musical and will soon be making its debut on a Broadway stage near you.  The musical already had a debut in London (see here) and is making the big puddle jump over to the USA.  It is choreographed by Sergio Trujillo the wonderful choreographer of Memphis, so I was excited to go audition and see what he planned on doing with the show.  Getting back on the audition scene was a little bit of a shock to the system, there were just sooo many girls there.  They refused to see any non-equity dancers and the even closed the call to equity girls promptly at 10am.

I signed up on the chorus call list at the Actor's Equity building before hand, and made it to the audition in time to here the list called *see note if you need further explanation* I was number twenty-six and made it into the first group of dancers to be seen.  When we get into the room Sergio wasn't there but two of his assistants were.  They began teaching us a contemporary ballet combination!  What a surprise!   The combo was not at all what I was expecting for Flashdance and I immediately had to lose my shoes because it was so slippery in there.  The routine was fairly short and was a mixture of ballet, body rolls, and off the leg kicks to the side.  So much fun, but a little hard for me to do since I am NO concert dancer.

After we all learned the combo we went in groups of five  and I was in the last group to perform.  We did the combination twice and it went fine, but I had a hop on my double pirouette which is never good and felt a little awkward all around.  They made a cut and I was not asked to stay, boo!  They kept a lot of shorter girls, but there were a few taller girls in the mix.  I know that afterwards they did a second combination which was a mix of hip-hop and jazz and that no one sang that day.  While I was bummed not to continue on I am excited about what Sergio Trujillo is going to do with the show.  It looks awesome so far!

*side note: For every equity chorus call, both singers and dancers, there is a list that is put up at the Actor's Equity building about a week before the audition.  Anyone who wants to audition can sign up on the list.  Then 30 minutes before the start of every audition the names on the list are read and those people are given numbers in the order in which they are called.  Anyone who does not sign up on the list, must wait until all the names have been read and then they will get a number.  Signing up gets you a lower number and better odds at being in the first group, thus less waiting around time.  But you must get there in time to hear the list read or you miss your spot and have to wait until the end like everyone else.