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.