Archive for Audition

How Do You Solve A Problem

Well.. another audition has come and gone.  THIS time, I did say that I definitely was trying out for Captain Von Trapp.  I had forgotten that Max does indeed sing in the stage version. However, since the general public is more familiar with the classic film version, most people may not know this.  I feel that the time has come to stretch myself dramatically.  I have portrayed the lead male in a play before (still my greatest on-stage challenge to date); yet. the dramatic lead of a HUGE musical is something I have never been presented with.  I have always felt that while Uncle Max would be another fun scene-stealer but the Captain would definitely be more of a challenge as he is much more dynamic in that he starts out as a strict disciplinarian to his seven children but his heart begins to soften as Maria reintroduces music and fun into the household.

I felt that the audition went really well. There were a large number of children the first day (of two) try outs.  Some of them were really quite impressive ranging in age from 5-13.  They each sang a bit of “Do-Re-Mi,” and “My Favorite Things.”  Each of them were also asked to yodel as the seven children need to during “The Lonely Goatherd” number (one of the many differences between stage and screen… there is no marionette show).  After singing, the read a bit of the scene in which Maria is introduced to them.

Being the only adult male in attendance who wanted a singing role, it was difficult to judge the competition.  I was asked to sing “Edelweiss.”  The version in the score is a little low for my taste but I thought I performed nicely.  I also brought a selection of my own which must have impressed.  One of my friends in the room even told me that she had never heard me sing before.  WOW!  I then read for the role of Captain Von Trapp in the scene in which he and Maria meet and he insists that the house is run with a discipline.  Later, I did read for Max.  Seriously, I know what kind of character Max is but I was asked to start over as I was “reading the part like you read  the Captain.”

There must have been more adults Sunday as there were a total of 65 auditioners.  However, there is still a need for a Rolf the “seventeen going on eighteen” love interest of Liesl).  The thing that I am apprehensive about is the limited amount of time we have to put this together.  There are callbacks anticipated for this weekend and the first rehearsal is next Tuesday.  The show opens on March 1st.  However, I am sure that the cast and creative hands will pull together nicely.

On The TV Box Again

There are a lot of forms of success.  Yesterday was full of fun although the end may not have been as successful as some might think to me it was a very fun time!  My aunt took me to breakfast for my birthday before I had to go to work.  After work and grabbing a bite to eat, I headed out armed with the GPS to the city for the Millionaire casting call.  I arrived at my hotel in good time (enough to watch a rather depressing All Star Game).  I did manage to get a few hours of sleep before I woke at 4AM.  I arrived at the Hilton about 5AM and was given instructions on where the other auditioners were assembling (the doors did not open until 6).  I was pleasantly surprised in seeing only 25-30 people in front of me.  I was not sure if there would be people with tents and sleeping bags or not.  I also noticed the local tv crew on the scene.  I texted the house to have someone start taping… just in case.  However, for whatever reason, my sister (who drops her daughters at the house before she goes to work at 6) failed to receive the message. Figures since the gentleman right in front of me was interviewed. I will have to keep checking the site to see if the segment pops up.

By 6AM, there was a good number of people in line.  The camera travelled the length of the line along with staff from Millionaire who encouraged us to show some enthusiasm.  Of course, that was not difficult for me.  Some of the people behind me were a bit camera shy wishing for a paper bag to put over their head.  Honestly, what would happen if one of them were selected to be on the show if they could not be on film for a passing camera?

At about 6:15, the first 300 were corralled into a waiting room where t-shirts were thrown out.  Then came the big moment.  We were shown to the the testing site where we were given a 10 minute 30 question multiple choice test.  I thought I was back in grade school with a bubble test with a number 2 pencil.  This made it extremely easy to learn who passed since the cards with our responses were fed into an electronic reader. Although I thought that I had done well, my number was not one of the many of my group who were announced.  However, there were a few from my table who did.  Plus, a friend from the theater who was in a later group successfully completed the test and was to return for an interview at noon.  Good luck, Squirmy!

On my way home, I stopped into Wal-Mart where one of my former co-workers said that she had seen me on the news.  After  grabbing some breakfast at McD’s, I came home and crashed.  So although I will not be advancing to NYC and being asked “Is That Your Final Answer?”, the experience was priceless.  Plus, he newscast at noon reported that the response was so positive that there may be another cattle call in the future.

Who Wants To?

I think I must have been in the right place Friday afternoon.  On my lunch hour, I was watching Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. During the last commercial break, an ad promoting auditions in my neck of the woods came across.  I thought to myself… well maybe I will go.  After prayer and consideration, I made the decision that YES I WILL GO! I remember  back about 13 years ago after the premiere episode hosted by Regis, I dialed the then “900” number to play the fastest finger round and tried to make the cut.  A few years later after trying each time the opportunity arose (eventually, the number became toll-free), I successfully completed round one and waited for a follow up call the next day. Alas, I was unsuccessful in round two.

This Wednesday beginning at 7AM, I will be attending one of the show’s Summer Tour audition calls.  Instead of once again getting up at 4AM, I decided to make a reservation and stay  the night.  Five years ago, I had one of the best experiences in the city when my best friends, our chauffeur, and I made our way to the television studio to promote one of our community theater’s productions.  I think this experience will be very fun.  And I am not thinking about anything but this initial step.

So at this point, I just pray that I am safe in my journey and have as much fun with the experience as possible!

On The Other Side Of The Audition

Since my leg still will not allow me to audition for a full-length show, I had to settle for assisting the audition process for FCF’s production of one of my all-time favorites, The Wizard of Oz.  Although it was fun hanging out, signing the auditioners in, I really REALLY wanted to be one of those who filled out the form, had his headshot taken, and led down the long hallway to face the three rather intimidating ;)judges.  It was so hard to just not throw caution to the wind and say “To heck with it!” and grab “Master of the House” out of the car and deliver my best Lion.  I really don’t think it would have been so hard if it was not THIS musical (ok… who am I fooling?).  But I WILL be back on some stage in some venue soon!  I am confident in that!

In total, we had 22 people sign in.  Most of them were teenage girls.  We had a few young kids and a few adults but no where near enough to choose a cast of this shows magnitude.  We really need more of the same to come in tomorrow from 9am-2pm.  I think we had two guys total.  Squirmy even held back a few minutes after his audition ended and asked how I am doing.  Better… just annoyed, but I’m plowing through it.

So… if anyone in the area is available (Age 8-80+) stop by the Wesley United Methodist Church in Bryan from 9-2.  Kids… be prepared to sing “Happy Birthday”; “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”; or some other like song.  Adults…. have a two minute prepared song and be prepared to read from the script.  To say that I wish I could audition is an understatement, but I know what must come first.

My First Professional Call Back

I could never, ever put the last 10 years down!  I have been in 17 (soon to be 18) stage productions and met the most amazing group of people anyone could hope to meet.  They really are my best, dearest friends!  Today, I went to my first professional call back.  I had absolutely no idea what to expect so I made sure to get a decent night’s rest (after watching the best season premiere of Smallville in its ten years… what a way to start off the final season) and eat something this morning.  I was a little nervous but a LOT MORE excited.

As I entered the call back space, the receptionist acted like I was from outer space. Not far off but after learning that I was the first to arrive (big surprise) she invited me to sit in the sitting room and wait so I had more time to read through my sides.  Only three other perspective actors arrive… two of whom I have had the pleasure of working with before… and one already professional from Indianapolis who has appeared in a commercial with a certain Colt.

After waiting the arrival of the producer (who ran a bit late as his car was attacked by a horde of rampaging wildebeast), we were subjected to horrors too gruesome  to describe on this little, family-friendly blog.  I must tell you that I have never seen such horrors.

Following the torture, we were given “the acting is not all peaches and cream speech”.  Even after the fearful events we were put through, I thought that it could not get any worse.  And I have heard the same speech more than once.

And the outcome of all the horrors!  EXCELLENT!  I am forbidden to say anything more.  But I am just a bit more excited than I was when I left this morning 😀

I wonder if I get to rid myself of the “scruff” after October 17.

Not In The Clinic Anymore

Last night after waiting a week following my call back invitation, I got the details.  Not at all what I was expecting.  The call backs were to be last week and casting decided by Monday.  After Monday, I was becoming a bit concerned.  At this point, I was more curious about the filming then having a part or not.  We had attempted to film The Clinic a year or so ago, but that fell through.  So I emailed the writer of the play to see if he knew anything in his consulting role.

After returning from work last night, I opened up an email titled “Call backs.”  However, this was not for the film I was expecting.  The call backs are now on September 25 (the date we were to begin filming the short film).  The new film sounds like an original feature length film.  I was given a few scenes to memorize and familiarize myself with for the callback.

Not only that but underneath was instructions that all but a working title “Family Movie” was to remain mum.  I do know this much, if I successfully progress beyond the callback, I can expect a lengthy shooting schedule… months in fact.  Plus, a contracted, paid role!  Trying not to think that far ahead.

I am a bit excited.  I have read the scenes for which I will asked to read from and I think they look really good.  The fact that I received this news on September 15 has not been lost on me.  This is the third opportunity I have been presented (a job at Disney World, moving to a large city, and now…).  I think it is more than coincidence and I am at least going in and do my best…. but of course I will.  I would expect nothing less of myself and neither would any of my fellow tangenteers or readers who comment sporadically.  One step at a time.

A Birdie In The Clinic In The Moonlight

Today, I took a huge step (IMHO) in my quest for professional theatrical experience.  I had my first full-fledged, prepare a monologue audition for a paying gig.  Moonlight Productions is a production company in my neck of the woods owned and operated by a friend of mine whom I met a few years ago through the WCCT.  The film he is casting for is a cinematic version of a one act play that was written by a remarkably talented pal of mine in which yours truly had a rather significant part.  This fact in no way guarantees me a role in the movie as I have no idea the experience and calibre of the other auditioners.  BUT I AM REALLLLY EXCITED!

Quite a process.  This is the first time in 8 years that I have needed to prepare a monologue.  In my years in community theatre, most of the auditions have been cold readings from the script or singing a song from the musical (if that is the case).  I chose to perform a monologue given by Mr. Harry Macafee from Bye Bye Birdie.  Hey, it worked 8 years ago when I was cast as Motel in Fiddler on the Roof!  Note to self:  time to search out monologue books!

Over the last few weeks while memorizing lines for the staged production of The Hound of the Baskervilles in which I am playing Barrymore, I have been polishing the dust off the old monologue I first encountered while assisting the director of a high school production of Birdie.  Happily enough, it came back rather smoothly.

The last few days, I have been trying to figure out what to wear.  I could have gone with the costume I wore in the stage version of The Clinic.  It might have worked since the monologue takes place at the breakfast table after Harry has had a rather sleepless night after (among other things) outside his window three harpies shrieked “We Love You Conrad” 4,732 times.  However, I decided on a nice dress shirt, slacks, and my Looney Tunes necktie.

I arrived at the audition site my normal 15-20 minutes early and signed in at 9:11 AM.  At about 9:25, the producer came into the lounge and told me (I was the first to arrive) that they would soon be ready.  The space was really small.  After having my mug shot taken, I announced to the video camera my name and monologue I had chosen.  For my first time auditioning for a camera, I thought it went exceptionally well.  I did notice one teeny-weeney mistake but I plowed right along as if nothing had gone amiss.

When I got home before I had to report to my day job, I had a message on my Facebook page:

First audition was very good, waiting on other actors to arrive! Good luck today everyone!

Thanks Jay!  I hope this film makes your company grow and move forward!

And not to worry, Mare… my involvement (when it is made known) will in no way impede upon my performance in October 😉

A New Old Look

In preparation for what I hope is my next stage performance, I was informed that the role had to have a full beard…. the “handsome” part?  Well… the say beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  More than a few summers ago, I was cast as Motel in Fiddler on the Roof.  Of course, the tailor had to grow facial hair as well.  Nothing new, it will just be a bit warm under there once again.  Of course, a Holmes play requires the cast to have English accents, or no go.  It would be very odd having a cast with American accents.  Maybe I could give a Liswathistani interpretation of the character.  A non-Jewish Fiddler would be strange for that matter.

Today, my mother had had enough.  I previously had an electric trimmer but after 8-10 years, it seemed to have died out.  So, she took me to the beauty shop to help it along.  She was worried that she would make a booboo, but I thought there is plenty of time to grow it back.  I think it only took a little over a month for the beard to develop on my last attempt; it has only been about a month since I started this one. I started the day after Miracles wrapped.  Nothing like preparing for future parts. Plus, I got a hair cut, such as it is. 😉  The script says nothing about a full head of hair. 😀

There’s Always OKLAHOMA!

For someone else 😉  Honestly, I don’t have anything against the show.  I still say that not for Rodgers & Hammerstein’s first collaboration, the modern musical would be far different.  But the wait is over.  I received a message in my facebook inbox from the director of Miracles that told me that she had some news regarding casting!  Not to worry… it’s not bad.  I immediately grabbed my phone and was ecstatic after receiving the news.  I was the only one she and the producer of the show had firmly had in place.  Does this mean that I was the only guy to audition?  Tom is the only male role in a cast of three. Oh, well who cares if I was?

After getting off the phone, I struck up an online conversation with one of a few people I had to tell first.  I even had him thinking it was another JS (Jerry Seinfeld, Jerry Springer… forgot about him somehow).  He was about to phone the police to arrest the director for slander until I came clean.

This role is going to be memorable for several reasons.  Not only is it a serious drama (with some bits here and there of lightheartedness), but it is the smallest cast I have ever been part of.  I am really excited to see how well I am able to pull it off.  I have also been informed that the director is going to have her way with me (ok… so she definitely did not phrase it quite that way).  The subject of the show is very close to her and it is going to be done her way.  I totally agree!  Plus, my limited experience in such shows can only benefit greatly by a director who knows what she wants.  But I’m not worried: It will be work but it will be fun!

So… let the fun work begin! Does this mean that I need to add a new category?

Killing Time

I know that continuing to think about something does not make it approach faster, but if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a zillion times!  I HATE WAItINg!  I think the audition went fine… better than fine since I did get to read the script twice.  There were only three of us at the audition (enough for a cast but there was another round today and one tomorrow… UGH!) After the very quick table read-through audition, I did get to sit in a rehearsal for Curious Savage which goes up next weekend.  Break a leg Mare, Trav, and the rest of the cast!  I was pleased to see Mr. Potter’s secretary on stage again with a meatier role.  I will be in the audience either a week from tonight or next Sunday… depending upon when we get back from the cathedral on Saturday.

Last night’s evening wrapped with a long overdue game night.  Overdue because I was sick for the last one.  And I got to assist in moving a television… not a huge undertaking but big enough.  C and I got both the tv and stand back in their proper spot and a picture with sound came on so…

Now, I think I will read a bit of The Goblet of Fire before Taylhis catches up with me.  I forgot to ask how many pages “plowing through it” means. 😉  Of course, with any luck, she will catch up with me before I get to Order of the Phoenix.

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