Opening night party of the New York Music Theatre Festival
Monday, September 15, 2008
This is where I end up Monday night.
Maybe I'll get to it in another post.
More of Monday Sept 15th (same day as Drowsy audition)
I forgot what I did between 1pm and 4pm after the Drowsy Chaperone call, but I do know I didn't go to the Disney Cruise Line call or the Cinderella EPA cuz (a) I heard people saying they cut the line at DCL at 300 and (b) you can't sign up on the EMC list at an EPA after the lunch break. So whatever I did, it's lost.
My Favorite Christmas
I do know what I did at 4:40pm: I arrived early for my 5pm audition slot for "My Favorite Christmas," a small xmas show at a small theatre. The call was held in THE smallest room at 939 8th Ave (I forget the name of those studios). The assistant outside the door was an actor. She perused my resume and informed me we had a mutual friend. I'd worked with her on "I Love a Piano" and she'd worked with her on "Oliver" in Arizona (the show I turned down to do Improv Cabaret at the Chicago Improv Festival).
So I go into the room after maybe a 15 minute wait (enough time to go downstairs to the bodega for a coffee) and enter THE smallest audition room I've ever been inside. It's the size of an apartment. I sing a standard ballad and then sing another ballad. As I'm talking to the pianist about the second ballad, I leak out that I dislike the song. He laughs and says he has to play it for a show that night. Ha!
So I do my attempt at legit singing, and they ask me if I have a monologue. I don't and quickly tell them I will improvise one. I ask for a suggestion (which I hate doing, but it proves to them that it's improv) and I end up doing a monologue about being a wealthy adult child who reminisces about Xmases past. They laughed, cut me off and asked if I could do scripted material. ??? I said yes, then, here's my favorite part, they offered me a Hersey kiss "since I auditioned so well." I thought this was so cute and sweet (and weird). But more cute and personality-ish. But still weird, especially after just having sung in a room the size of an apartment and being asked if I can do scripted material.
Extra: Doo Wop What?
So I walk down the two flights of stairs and get on the phone with my friend (and longtime NYC resident) Stephen to ask if I should get a coach to help me prep for this "Drowsy" callback Wednesday. He says yes. We have a long talk catching up, then a friend from my Disney Cruise Line days pops up on the sidewalk (in a very cute 1950s dress) and tells me I should go sing for a "doo wop" audition on the second floor of the same audition studio I was at.
I thank her and keep talking to my friend on the phone. I hang up and wonder how to kill time before my 7pm rehearsal (for that NYMF reading) and I remember this doo-wop thing.
So I clonk upstairs in my dress shoes (not too big this time) and hit that doo wop audition. It's 10 minutes till 6pm. I'm informed by the person handling the headshot/resume collecting and appointment taking that they might not be able to see me. She goes in after a singer comes out, asks if I can be seen and they say yes. A guy singer goes in to do his thing and I wait, making small talk with the assistant. Apparently, 25 of her 60 appointmentswere no-shows. She did not like this. I told her people sign up for every audition they can then go to the nes they can. She said people should have called to cancel. I agree, to a degree, but when you're rushing from audition to audition and a lot of times, from building to subway to building, you forget to make that call. Or you don't bring the phone number with you.
It's my turn. I go in. They don't want to hear my audition songs and instead ask me to sing "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You." I sing the Lauren Hill version of course, with piano accompaniment of the original version playing behind me. I realize I am doing Lauren Hill, then ease off the melisma and hand waving (kidding). The thing I LOVED about this experience (singing a straight song) was one of the three behind the table said "Don't think about what you look like. We're listening for sound. WOW! That totally relaxed me. Seriously. So I sang like I wasn't being looked at.
Then they asked me to sing the falsetto part of "Walk Like a Man." The part that goes: "Ooh OOOOOOH!!!! ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh OOOOOOH!" You know what I'm talking about? High as hell. I doubt myself and all three of the folks at the table are encouraging me to do it. So I take their positivity and sing it. I crack at that high note, but they all are like "You got it! You got it" egging me on. And I do it! I sing the full thing, and even give the little flourish at the end.
They ask me to sing one of my songs. I choose "My Romance." It's a traditional ballad not in the right style they need to hear. However!!! The amazing pianist, turns this boring song (that I said earlier in the day I disliked, remember?) into a FIERCE jazz bluesy song. I quickly pick up on the vibe and go with it.
This time they want to see me sing it and perform it. So I do. And it feels so natural. They were smiling, nodding their heads. And when I got to any high or falsetto part (which I amped up cuz clearly they were looking for that) I extended those notes and let them float (I never talk like this. Do not judge.) I am focused on making these light whispy, almost, dare I say, romantic sounds, and I can still see them nodding their heads at each other out of the corner of my eye.
They ask me if I am available for work. I do a frigging cheer that went something like this, with choreography:
Yes! I am unemployed! Hire me! Hire me! Hire me!"
And hit a cheerleader pose.
It was the end of the day, they were clearly nice people, and I am, um yeah, in need of some work. Not gonna lie!
They tell me the male project won't start until February, but they give me their card and tell me to keep in touch. (I emailed them that night cuz the assistant outside had earlier said one of them books acts. So, I emailed her when I got home and sent her links to some Improv Cabaret stuff).
So let's recap. I started the day (1) wailing my crazy/wacky song, then (2) bellowing out manly-man Broadway ballads, and (3) ended the day crooning jazzy! Three completely different vocal sounds. What a challenge and at the end of it all, how fulfilling.
I still have to get to the reading rehearsal at 7pm and then opening night party of the New York Music Theatre Festival. Yes, all this audition and rehearsal and partying happened on the same day.