25 October 2004

Safe and sound returneth she

Maine is a very, very beautiful state. Especially when it's being visited by people I like to sing Gilbert & Sullivan with. Linda kicked some musical butt with her Katisha. I'm going back up to Connecticut (flying again!) in three weeks to see her do the role in a fully staged production and I'm looking forward to it.

And tonight is the callbacks for two shows for which I have high hopes. (Not for me, mind you, I've already been cast in The Arlington Players' The Man Who Came to Dinner. I'm reprising Maggie, my favorite role and my pal Jeff is playing Whiteside, so I'm dead chuffed.) No, the shows in question are Henry V and The Mikado. David has a call-back for Henry (although he wasn't told for which specific roles) along with several other good folks and Ali is casting Mikado. I'm focusing on sending good karma to all the folks I know who spent the evening sitting in audition rooms thinking "please pick me!" Sure, lives don't hang in the balance and yeah, it's just theater, but we all want what we want.

Julie is auditioning at callbacks for Mikado. She probably doesn't think so, but Julie is a brave and lovely person. Auditioning isn't easy, but she gets up there and does it and hopes for the best and takes the outcome (good or bad) with such grace. Put her in your cast and she'll do anything for you. I love having her in my casts. There's a non-solo singing role she's trying for in this show and I really hope she gets it. Fingers are crossed, as are toes.

The worst thing about auditions is how few actors (or singers) can get out of their heads the idea that they personally are being judged. They will say that they know that's not true, but they say it with the same lack of genuine belief with which I say that I believe that flying is a safe way to travel. Every actor should have to cast a show and every director should have to audition. It's the only way to understand the process.

I'd much rather have to audition (which I actually really enjoy, but I'm weird) than have to cast a show because when I audition I'm only responsible for me. With every casting choice you make, you get something and you give something up and you spend a fair amount of time wondering if you made the right choice. But directors are really and truly only interested in casting their best show, in filling the slots, solving the problems, balancing the equation.

I don't know about the Henry phone calls, but the Mikado ones will probably happen tomorrow morning and early afternoon. If you listen closely, you can hear the breath being held.

Break some legs, guys!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hooray for you and getting the role you wanted!! (And hooray to the prospect of dinners in Arlington! :) )

And I think, sadly, that the sense of getting personally judged by the casting committee is not always inaccurate. Especially in a company where the auditionees and the auditioners know each other very well. (Um, not that I am thinking of any company in PARTICULAR of course... :) ) It's often a case of "hey, look how much she's improved since last time" or "Geez, WHEN is he going to get those voice lessons that he needs?" ...while any actual casting decision has been made, essentially, ahead of time since they know the performer already.

On the other hand, maybe it's just that GOOD directors/MDs don't make personal judgements and the real problem in certain companies is the dearth of such directors. They're pretty hard to find, after all.

-Deb (who is, of course, going to be less than three feet away from her telephone at all times today. I did try that breath-holding thing you mentioned but found it impractical for long periods of time. So I replaced it with a sort of generalized jumpiness and a tendency to sprint phone-wards with very little provocation at all, really.)