I was working at the time, so when I called, they were DONE working. So I sent an email, accepting.
They got back to me to tell me
1. it was for Absurd Person Singular by Alyn Ayckbourn.
2. sides were available at the Stagesource office (which was closed for the weekend at the time of the email)
3. they wanted a read for Sidney, who has a working class British dialect.
Haaaa, man. Here's the thing. I was a redcoat for a bit.
We mostly just hung out by Faneuil Hall Marketplace, doing cool stuff with our guns, being friendly to people. I could do a pretty rubbish, yet still somewhat believable British accent - somewhere between Ringo Starr and Dick Van Dyke.
In fact, once some girls came up to us while we were still doing the accents who believed it was how we actually talked. When we switched to how we normally spoke, they were super delighted, thinking I was putting on an American accent.
Of course, I've gotten Brits telling me it wasn't GREAT either... They couldn't tell where I was from. I suppose it's a lot like someone talking like a cowboy portrayed by John Wayne and calling it an American accent.
The thing is, the only way I could do even that shitty accent was while I was dressed as a redcoat in the company of others dressed the same way.
Accents have always kind of terrified me, and I regret not studying dialects in school.
I remember the first summer after going to college, someone asked me to do an impersonation of Harry Potter - I had round glasses and longer hair at the time.
It didn't matter that I made a distinction between acting and impersonating. It was still a blow to my confidence when I didn't know what to do.
Still... I accepted the audition invitation. You can only learn if you do, right?
What sucked is that I couldn't even read the audition sides until an hour and a half before the audition.
The whole day I listened to a British dialect CD I had borrowed from my old roommate. A track on the CD suggests that
you should be comfortable with the accent before you begin rehearsal.Thanks, CD, but I gotta land the audition before I get to that point.
Then I rushed right to the audition at the Central Square Theatre. I had auditioned there just once before.
David, the gentleman who was my contact, handed me the sides in question. There was a scene and a monologue.
There were others in the room, already, auditioning. Two voices. I realized then, to my horror, that I would have to audition with someone else.
I just looked at the sides, wishing I had a pen, 30 more minutes, and more knowledge of the phonetic alphabet.
Bridgette Hayes then showed up, the fantastic Ophelia in From Denmark With Love. It did take a moment for either of us to realize how we recognized the other.
Then we settled down and looked at the sides.
And then Bridgette said, aloud,
The USS Confidence crashed right into that.
I did not read with Bridgette, though. I read with the next to enter, Anna Waldron, whom I respect greatly.
I really wished it were anyone else. I didn't need Anna to hear me tell the auditioneers that I did not have my headshot or resume. I spent so much time making sure the dialect CD was on my iPod, I completely forgot. (I did not ask, "What did you do with the copy you got from my Stagesource audition?" though I did want to.)
I also didn't want Anna to hear me fumble through the entire scene with an accent that wasn't from anywhere in the United Kingdom.
Fortunately, no one had to hear anything else, because I wasn't asked to read the other side.
I ran home in the rain.