Tuesday, May 26, 2009

#1. Actors' Shakespeare Project

Actors' Shakespeare Project's upcoming 2009-2010 season: that includes productions of The Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Othello and Timon of Athens.

Boston Playwrights' Theatre. I had been there to see Daughter of Venus. It's a neat space, and not very far from where I live. I should go there more often!

My plan was to rendezvous with my friends - Emerson College BFA Acting graduates Joe Ruscio and Chelsea Scmidt - so that we could all practice our monologues before auditioning.

It was not to be. I woke up with my head full of mucous and fire and my joints not working as well I would've liked them to. And then I realized I had no headshots.

So I called up Dan, and he agreed to meet up with me at Quincy Adams Station. I took the train all the way out there - I had never before had a reason to go so far out on the Red Line.

I got off the platform and went downstairs to the gates, over which Dan handed me my 10 headshots (and my 100 free business cards! I wonder if I should call this blog 10 Headshot and 100 Free Business Cards?). I shook his hand, thanked him, then hopped back on the train and went all the way back to Allston.

Joe and Chelsea met me at Staples, where I was trimming my resume so that it would fit evenly to the back of my 8 x 10 headshot. It took me forever to trim the one resume. It took me forever to figure that thing out!

Boston Playwrights was in walking distance, so we hoofed it over there. Standing at the sign-in table by himself was Sean Garahan. We had taken Performance Perspectives together at Emerson College, and the last time I saw him was when he was in The Random Caruso. He let me know that the auditioners were on lunch break.

So I threw my name and phone number on the waiting list and Joe, Chelsea and I went a door over to grab a burrito. My old boss from Aramark Billy Butts was behind the counter. He gave me a discount. Great fortune!

When we went back over to Playwrights, we found Silas Lohrenz sitting against the wall with his headshot and resume in hand. I had directed Silas in my midterm for Directing II class, along with Joe and Chelsea. We rejoiced briefly at our reunion, and then went on to pace back and forth, mumbling our monologues to ourselves.

The stage manager called my name. "You're from Jersey?" she asked, looking at my phone number.

"Yep," I said. "Bergen County."

"I'm from Monmouth," she said. She opened the door to the theater, where the three auditioners were seated in the house. She introduced me: "Terry Torres from New Jersey."

"From New Jersey?" one asked.

"Yeah," I said. "Sorry."

"That's okay," another said. Then after a moment she laughed. "Oh, I get it. Because you're from New Jersey."

I smirked, shrugged, said, "Yeah, well," then walked in front of the stage which still had some vine-wrapped set pieces on it, wondering if it was okay to use it.

"Go ahead and hop on up there," the last offered. I did, and turned to look at them with my hands on my hips. All three were looking at my headshot. I felt unduly confident, given that I had a fever and never had a chance to perform my monologue before anyone.

As soon as I started, I could feel a twitch. I remembered every word - something I can't boast about my best performances - but it was completely mechanical. I pushed through, even though I was certain I already lost their interest."You dope!" I thought, "You're not acting, you're just saying words!"

Joe made a similar observation about his own audition. I guess we were cocky?

Just as we were leaving, Sasha Castroverde came in for her audition. She and I were in Spiro Veloudos' production of The Philadelphia Story at Emerson College. She was the lead; I was the butler.

She, too, decided to stay in Boston after graduating last year, and she told us that she had taken part in three productions around town since then.

It occurs to me, yet again, that Boston is a small town. In the day of my first post-graduate audition I had met Sean, Silas, Sasha, and even Billy Butts.

I, for one, feel heartened that I was able to recognize so many faces. I hope that this small town can foster a cozy camaraderie rather than compact competition.

9 headshots remain.

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