Tuesday, March 29, 2011

#5. Company One: 1001

It's always rather exciting when Company One announces auditions. They always pick interesting shows - like this one, an interpretation of the Arabian Nights - they usually have roles in my age range, and they usually conduct mostly organized auditions with good managers, the kind of auditions that school teaches you to expect all auditions to be like; predictable, if slightly crowded.

This one was located in the artist studios at the BCA. I had some familiarity with the building while interning with SpeakEasy. I'm used to a ton of people coming and going at C1 auditions, but this one was a little more contained. I wasn't sure whether they had gotten better at scheduling or if they were more discerning about assigning audition slots this time around.

I was pretty nervous for this one, because I was using a new monologue that I had some reservations about. I believed in Lir, but I wasn't sure what everyone else would think.

I performed it along with the Candy Factory monologue - which was risky, because even though they had very different motivations their peaks were surprisingly similar when I practiced them. I played Lir with a lot of sentimentality. But the director asked me to bring out the pride hidden in him, to be more like the hero he tries to be. I gave it a shot, and she stopped me before I got too far.

I was genuinely amazed when I was called back, my first time with C1. Each of the roles in the play portray multiple characters, and they asked me to read for the role loaded with the oldest characters - the fathers, the viziers, designated as 30 to 40 years old. I thought it might have been a mistake, but I rolled with it. Maybe I had given off a mature vibe because I was unshaven, and spoke in a lower octave because of an oncoming cold? Maybe they were taking the characters in a different direction than the script suggested.

The callbacks were more crowded, it had been a while since I had to be in a room with so many people and not talk to anyone, aside from Chris, the guy who I read my side with. He thought he recognized me from Boston Casting, which is possible. He was a good partner. We read three times together, then both agreed to leave it till we were called in.

The director remembered me, which felt good. Chris stepped up his energy from our reading, a welcome surprise. I did not step up my energy, afraid I might look like I was trying too hard. Instead, I think my choices came off as weak.

As I was reading, I wondered again if my being assigned this role was a mistake, a clerical error. What if there was another role I was perfect for that the director would never see? I felt a little like I was pretending rather than acting.

Chris was given another side and another partner to read with. I waited just in view of the stage manager so that I would be ready to take a new side when it was offered to me. She stapled a copy of my headshot to my information sheet, and I wondered what happened to the print that I had given them. Then she thanked me and bid me adieu.

The script is really good, a lot of fun to read. I bet it'll be a really good show.

5 headshots remain.

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