Today I auditioned for the Potomac Playmakers production of "Heaven Can Wait". I am happy to say I got in. In fact in a first for me, I, along with the rest of the group that remained at the end of the night, was told that we had been blanket casted for sure when the evening was over. The director was impressed with all of us, but just didn't know who would be playing what at the time.
Though my phone was off at the time, I got the call telling me I would be playing "Tony" less than halfway into my ride home. Talk about a quick turnaround!
It was the role I thought I would probably get, once I knew for certain I was getting one.
Yet I had no role in mind. This was one of the coldest reads I have ever done, in fact. I have never seen or read the show. Normally I try to be more familiar with a show than that, but this time I just really wanted to introduce myself to this company, and check out the new facility. (The Academy Theatre, in Hagerstown, Maryland.) So I stayed totally open minded about the entire thing. I even agreed on my audition form to accept a non-speaking role if offered. (Something I rarely do.)
Though the company is one of the oldest in the nation, the facility is less than 2 years old. (The company having been in the same location for over 70 years, ending a few years ago. The story is all on their website.)
The facility is very nice. It was previously a long abandoned warehouse of some sort, to which additions were put on. The house and stage are in the original building, and in a choice that I find ascetically pleasing, the walls on the inside of the house were left in their original brick. (Though I imagine there was some replacements in sections.) A catering company and banquet hall are on the second floor, and the Playmakers often work in tandem with the caterers are various events.
I would say the house seats about 220. I didn't see how deep the stage was, as the curtain was drawn tonight. They have the bathrooms in the back of the house. Posters from previous productions, (very nice ones) adorn various parts of the house. I will post pictures once I am there more. (I had thought about posting pictures of other theatres I have been in on the blog, but always forgot, so somebody remind me.)
As for the experience, it was one of the most laid back auditions I have attended, even by community theatre standards. I have a knack for picking up the wavelength of a company, or at least a director, pretty quickly based on the audition atmosphere. Sometimes you can just tell as soon as you walk in that they are looking to cast their favorites, and that it is all a formality.No matter what they claim. Not so with this audition.
Nobody was familiar to me, (though there was a picture of a guy I worked with once, years ago, on the wall.) That has not happened in a while. So I have no notions as to what the people are capable of.
I wasn't the only first timer there, though, judging by what the director said. It was clear she knew most of the assembled people from previous shows, but about four or five, including myself, had not been there before.
The director asked me to read a total of four times in the 90 minute or so audition. Twice for the lead, "Joe", and twice for "Tony" one of the medium sized roles, if I recall correctly. I felt my readings for both characters were solid, if I may say so myself. Ultimately, I was given the role of Tony, and I honestly sensed that would be the one I would get as I was getting in my car.
There were a lot of good readings going on, I have to say. Though I hate to predict, I do have the sense of who at least two of the other characters will be played by. When you have done this as long as I have, you develop a sense of who the director is leaning towards sometimes.
When I got home and checked my voice mail, I learned that the director thought I added a "smarmy" quality to the character that she liked. He is, from what I could gather, the sleaze of the play, so that should serve me well.
Our first read through will be a mere week from today. (I love getting started quickly.) Monday, Wednesday and Friday rehearsals thereafter. I look forward to it, and I hope you will check back here to the blog frequently, so you can follow me on this, my first ever regular performance in my home state of Maryland.
And a play in the spring. I love being in a play in the spring.