Monday, April 4, 2011

Audition Journal #7: Ensemble Stage Company

Date: April 2, 2011, 2:00 pm
Auditioned For: Gary Lee Smith
Pieces: Eurydice from Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl
Bess from Hunting and Gathering by Brooke Berman
Attire: Dark khaki trousers
Dark purple long-sleeved shirt
Gray sweater
White scarf
Gray oxford heels

I made the wise decision a couple days before the audition to double-check what the requirements were. And surprise! Two one-minute monologues. Not just two monologues. There was a flurry of scripts as I tore through my bookshelf to finally decide on Eurydice and a different piece from the one I had been using out of Hunting and Gathering to meet the time limit. In the long run, I think the new Bess is also a better piece for auditioning. Then began some serious memorizing. I was not really sure how things would go down since my preparation time was shortened. Character work was minimal or else based on what I had already done for Bess. But I went ahead, remembering what I once said concerning my Chautauqua Theatre audition: I don't like to say "unprepared." I like to say "fresh."

I was actually really looking forward to this audition. I had gone to a play reading with some of the folks from Ensemble Stage, and really enjoyed the company of theatre people (having been out of school since November), and theirs in particular. The drive to Blowing Rock was met with snow flurries (in April, mind you) and I was greeted at the theatre by the lovely people I met several weeks ago at the reading. I was scheduled for 2:00 and had arrived early, giving myself time to revisit my warm-up and my monologues and giving them time to take a break. Then I slipped in the theatre, greeted Gary, and hopped up on stage for my pieces.

The monologues were, well, a little "fresh" and I just about lost Bess right at the beginning of hers, but finished up for the most part unscathed. One thing I was pleased with was that I felt like I was speaking to the back of the house, even though it was a small theatre. Gary sent me out to look over a side from a play they are considering for their summer season called Going to See the Elephant while another guy auditioned. He gave me some insight to the character, Etta, and described her in polite terms as being slightly "touched" due to her kidnapping by Cheyenne. Playing cray-cray in the audition room. A little intimidating, but I gave it a good shot, as well as the Cheyenne words in the side. ("Tze?" Really?)

Before I got to give the side my first go, Gary marched up on stage with me and promptly mussed my hair as much as possible. Clearly, the crazier the better. And all the more reason to hang out with these people. Once he went back to his seat, I gave it a go. He gave me the note to be even more detached from the event I was talking about, and I think I took the direction well. I actually had a few moments where the character took me by surprise. But then it was over and thank-yous were said and the side was returned and it was back through the snow to snuggle with my kitty and find another project. So that I can stop thinking about the billion auditions I haven't heard back from. (okay, six. Chautauqua sent me a very nice rejection email. Wompwomp.)

As we march into spring, I'm keeping my fingers crossed to be contacted by at least one company with good news. Until then, I'm staying busy baby-sitting a fabulous two year old, doing some yoga, and reading the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Do you guys know what you're doing this summer? Post it in a comment!

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