Today’s lesson in auditioning is called “How to totally ace an audition for a job you weren’t sure you wanted.”
Not that getting a chorus role in HAIRSPRAY at the Engeman Theatre would be a totally bad thing, but I was completely unprepared for this audition.
This was an audition I was trying to avoid in a way, just simply because I wasn’t in the space for it. But my lovely theatre dance teacher, who works at the Engeman, asked me earlier that week if I would be at the open calls. Apparently the director who saw me earlier this year in his class was asking for me by name. Wow! I couldn’t make either call because of work. He emails me the day before – “I got you into the ensemble callback!” Well then, I have to go.
I show up and everyone already knows the combination. They all did it earlier that week at said open calls. I find a friend in the group and she starts to teach it to me in the hallway before we go in. This really didn’t matter though because they crammed all of us in a room at Nola Studios and proceeded to go over the combination roughly 5,389 times. No problem getting a chance to learn it.
Now I’m very grateful for this because I wish more auditors cared about us being confident with the combination! But it was exhausting! We all burnt an insane amount of calories during this audition. They finally take us in groups of five and we do the combination twice. I get some direction from the director, which is good. It means he is paying attention to me!
They make their first cuts and I’m sure I’m going to be done for the day. Well, I’m asked to stay which means F%@K I HAVE TO SING!
They asked for a pop song but “Thoroughly Modern Millie” is all I’ve got. I’m nervous as hell and I see the assistant choreographer mouthing the words to my song and suggesting choreography to me out of the corner of my eye. But the accompanist is great and I can’t believe the notes coming out of my mouth. I didn’t act it the best but by some miracle it seems I didn’t totally suck at singing.
Am I done now? NO! They ask me to read a side for Amber!
So let me get this straight – I come in to the chorus callback unprepared completely and ready to fall on my face for a job I don’t want half as bad as every other girl in my demographic standing outside the room, and I’m asked to read for a lead role? Awesome.
I read it cold. Got to look at it once before reading it in the room on the spot. It was ok, but I ended up not getting the job. I’m a little out of shape with my acting chops, and I’m sure they already had someone in mind for that role.
No HAIRSPRAY in my near future. It’s ok. It would take about 5 bump-its to give my hair that kind of volume.