Thursday, May 28, 2009

#2. Fort Point Theatre Channel

Six short plays by Harold Pinter. Three men and three women play parts in all six plays. At the time, I did not know which plays where being put up. If I were smarter, I probably could've looked it up and read them.

Midway Studios, a space owned by the Fort Point Development Collaborative. Really nice. I almost want to say... swank?

As I write this, I can't remember how I found out about this audition. It must've been through Stagesource, but I don't remember actually SEEING the listing. Likely I forgot about it because I made the appointment while I still had my fever. I don't remember a lot of the things that did during that time.

For whatever reason, my friends had no interest in going out for this audition. So I set out for Fort Point on my own, with no one to catch me if I fainted. I was mostly over my fever, but the soreness endured in my joints and my head. I made a point to keep my chin up and my breathing even and continuous.

It was a really ugly day - the kind of ugly that could only be beautiful in a place like Fort Point. All of the big old factory buildings provided a comforting groundedness to counter the throbbing grayness.

Still, walking into Midway Studios was a welcome reprieve from even the most beautiful ugliness. It was so shiny and new, it was like an exit portal out of Southie.

I signed in with the stage manager, and then bugged her to unlock the bathroom for me.

An older gentleman came out from the studio and checked with the stage manager to see who was next.

"Hi, Terry," he said extending his hand - not for a handshake, but for the audition sheet with my information. "How are you?"

"I'm great," I said, handing it to him.

"Uh. Do you have your resume, too?"

"Oh, of course. Duh," I said, going to my backpack.

I handed him my headshot and resume. I was unable to staple them together because the stapler at Stapler was out of staples - go figure. Instead I used a paper clip, which he picked off like lint.

I followed him in, and said Hello to the two directors sitting behind the table within. Once my eyes adjusted to the lousy lighting, I was struck by how young the two seemed - attractive, barely older than me.

The gentleman handed my materials to them, which they looked over quietly. I looked at them, waiting for some kind of acknowledgment.

Then I looked at the door, which was still closing, ever-so slowly. I wondered if I should go over and close it myself so I wouldn't have to worry about anyone judging me from outside as well. Judging from its speed, I figured it would fully close in about twenty seconds. Hopefully - if the auditioners for Actors' Shakespeare Project were any indication - the two in front of me would be able to fill the time with banter.

"So what do you have for us?" one asked.

"Uh!" I whipped my head forward again. "I have a monologue from Red Light Winter by Adam Rapp."

I began. Two lines into my monologue, I felt the sudden, distinctly fuzzy sensation of oncoming sleep.

When I was a freshman in college, I played Leonato in Much Ado About Nothing. Now, Leonato is an old man. I am not an old man. But with the help of skillful direction and makeup, both the audience and I were able to pretend that I was an old man.

The thing is, in the real world - outside of college - people cast old men to play old men. I knew this, but the reality of this fact is more obvious with every audition.

For this audition, I wasn't sharing the waiting room with just college kids anymore. There were mature men and women sitting beside me - men and women who have auditioned for many more productions many more times than I have. Somehow being near them made me feel more... professional.

But when I entered the audition room to find that the directors were so young - I don't know what it did. It threw me for a loop for sure, but I'm not exactly sure why.

It was a similar feeling to when I stopped going to my 50 year-old pediatrician and started patronizing a doctor who was only three years older than myself.

It makes me twitch, is all.

No two auditions are alike. However, on going into an audition, it's imperative that you act as though you know exactly what is going to happen.

Now that I spent so much time and energy learning to be truthful, it's gotten so much harder to fake it. Thanks a lot, education!

8 headshots remain.

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