Monday, September 24, 2007


All right, loyal blog readers. I did something tonight I do not think I even mentioned I was thinking about before.

I just got back from auditioning for "Beauty and the Beast" at the Old Opera House.

What an experience that was, let me tell you!

First, I wish to address those of you who might think I have gone insane to try out for a show, when I am already in a show. (two shows, actually, within one festival.) Plus, my new job.

My response is, I may in fact be crazy. But it worked out in my head this way...

Most of the nights I would not be rehearsing for All in the Timing, I will have free to rehearse for Beauty and the Beast.(Forthwith referred to as BB.) My understanding is that there is to be a larger than minimal chorus. I would give it a shot. I figured if I get at least chorus, I will have something to do after All in the Timing finishes up. And when my part time job is done. (Both of which will be concluding at around the same time.)

Then, there is the fact that Timing will have an abbreviated performance Fridays. And once it closes, I will have the better part of November to dedicate totally to BB. (It opens November 30.)

But why else did I try out for this show that, I admit, never exactly set me on fire?

One, it is at Christmas time. The Old Opera House's season closer. Though it's not a holiday oriented production, I do quite enjoy the hustle and bustle of Christmas, mixed with the hustle and bustle of a show. Particularly a very large spectacle as this promises to be.

Second reason I tried out anyway; it is the first show at this theatre to be open for three weekends. I have never been in a show for three weekends. Despite the difficulties, I wanted the experience of a triple weekender.

In fact, with 11 dates, if I got it it may be the show with the most dates I have ever performed in. I will have to research that.

One final reason...alot of my friends were trying out. Not all of them that said they were ended up doing so. And of course there were two night before now, so some of them may have been there. But tonight alone, several of my friends were present. It is very nice to be near my friends, when I am going through a semi-hard time. (As I am now.) It being at Christmas just adds to that. So if I am cast in something, I hope some of my friends are as well.

So, with that out of the way, the audition itself.

It went very well. It took a while, as we were warned, because of the large amount of people. Only Grease auditions at that theatre were comparable in my memory. Luckily, I was among the first 20 people there, so, I did not have to wait as long as some.

It's in three sections. You are called in to sing. Then you wait. Then you and a group are called to the stage for dance auditions, after which you move to a room to do the readings.

Those who read my blog know, I hate musical auditions. I would be twice as comfortable auditioning for a Shakespeare play as I am for any musical. I just hate the singing. And this time, I did not have sheet music.

Loyal blog readers know I cannot read sheet music. And I only have sheet music for one song...Master of the House from Les Mis. This is the song I sing 95% of the time at a musical audition. But this music director has heard me sing that a million times, I wanted to do something different. So a few days ago I thought of some of the Broadway songs I was kind of familiar with, that were easy to learn.

I settled on "Put on a Happy Face." I went to YouTube, found some clips of people singing that, and taught myself the first few bars. I got it pounded into my head over the weekend. I printed off the lyrics and off I went to the audition.

They didn't seem to mind I had no music. Thankfully. I sang, and it went exactly as I would have hoped. Not a challenging piece, but for me, doing anything outside of my routine can be a challenge.

After that, i was more relaxed. I had been keeping to myself before the song, but afterwards, I went to talk up some of my friends that were there. As luck would have it, when they called groups in to dance, we all went in one group.

I can't dance. At least, I cannot learn choreography on the spot. I am so behind the curve on this, that I do not even get nervous during a dance audition. But having my friends in my group made it more fun, and though I was horrible, I actually did understand what I was supposed to be doing for a change. That is not usually how it goes for me, and so I can say with some pride that this was, despite the huge flaws, the best dance audition I have ever given.

I might have actually been having some fun with it. Which, perhaps, is why it went much easier than usual.

Then, the reading.

I have not seen the film in years. And even then, only once all the way through. I had only a rudimentary memory of the parts I was asked to read for. But, as is often the case with me, different readings, facial expressions, and idea came to me as I went along. Creative ideas I have to say I was quite proud of, given the time constraints.

Plus, me and a friend of mine read opposite each other as Gaston, and his little sidekick. If I do say so myself, that familiarity with each other really allowed us to open up during the reading. That was fun to do.

We then switched parts, which was as muscle bound Gaston. Not going to happen, but fun to read, I suppose.

I also read for Cogsworth, and Lumiere. (Both times with the same friend of mine playing the opposite role.) Again, fun to play off of each other.

At the very end, I got, what I think, was a bonus chance to impress. A little.

Normally, the scene would end when the director asked us to stop. But, this time, for whatever reason, he let us keep going, and I had the chance to deliver, as Lumiere, the line which says,

"Oui, mon capitain."

Now, I had not been using a French accent up until that point, but since this was in French, i used one. I do not speak a word of French anymore, but I have retained my near perfect French pronunciation from my school days. So, I said it like a true Frenchman.

Again, not very much, but sometimes that little extra point is all you need.

And that was it.

I almost always feel confident going into an audition. (Music aside.) But this time, I was also enjoying myself quite a bit. I do not know if it was the day,the group, or the material. Or something else. But, it was a very good audition. I really do not think I could have done a whole lot better than what I did.

We will find out on Sunday, if we are cast. I hope me and several friends get in.

If I do get it, this will only be the second time I have ever been in two shows, overlapping. I did it once, in college. But they only overlapped for about a week, when the first show closed. This will have several weeks of overlap. But, I think I can do ok. Sometimes it's a blessing to be this busy, I would say.

So, keep your collective fingers crossed for me, loyal blog readers! And also for my niece, who tried out last night.

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