I've spoken with a few people about the curious case of the open call last week (see 3/12/09) and continue to feel the way I felt about it at first blush. And believe you me: I did blush.
This morning I awoke later, though still ahead of my alarm, and unhurriedly got myself bundled to stand in line for a time slot in an open call again. This time the call was at The Public, for their summer production of Twelfth Night. There is very little reason to believe that I will be cast from an open call for such a thing and, besides that, I have committed to other adventures this summer that would interfere something fierce. The agency with which I freelance claims to be looking into the barest possibility of maybe potentially setting up a scheduled audition for the exact same show, perhaps. So why attend at all? Well, that's exactly the sort of question one asks oneself whilst waiting outside for one's fingers and/or toes to drop off. Add to that the fact that I was potentially losing precious paid hours at el day jobo, and it seems downright foolhardy to stand around for a couple of hours with March's lions raging about you. But Running Girl (where-so-ever she may now be) had an interesting effect on me. In addition to putting open calls into a more sensible perspective, she got me wondering how much I still have to learn.
Intellectual curiosity is a wonderful gift.
I've had every intention of continuing to audition, open call or no, beyond my experience with Shakespeare on the Sound. Somehow, though, embarrassing as it was, receiving a specific response to my experience of auditioning that day made the whole effort seem far more rational, more attainable to me. More human, to put a finer point on it. I had proof that auditions were not just about a monologue, however uneventful they may seem, but a dialogue. It was a weird experience to hear back from someone I mercilessly critiqued -- reminiscent of reading my own reviews for productions, especially when they're written by total strangers. I suppose casting directors don't often hear such direct critique one way or another, and it's probably owing at least in part to Running Girl's acting background that she could have such a grounded response to my ignorant assessment of her state of being. Of course I was embarrassed. I was also inspired. So, if you're reading this, I'm sorry, Running Girl -- and also: Thanks.
More after the audition . . .
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Now was that so bad? (Answer: No, it wasn't.) I've figured out very specifically what my misconception about auditions is. While I know it not to be true from my intellectual side, my emotional side still insists on every instance of minute-and-a-half audition time being my chance to change things for myself. This is a common ailment amongst those who want something so bad they can just taste it. It is a little less common to have made as little progress as I in abandoning this fantasy by my age, but I'll not dwell on that. I've always been a bit of a slow learner when it comes to certain bits of common sense. I live day by day, but I thrive on my dreams, and it can be a simple matter to dwell in one's thriving.
I just made registration for the audition slot, speeding from work at the last possible minute and getting directly on the 6 for Astor Place. The Public was a'sprawl with young actors, and a few older ones, and the proctor was glad to see I made it in time. It wasn't too long before we lined up outside the rehearsal studio, and I was third in line. It was another popular call, and another in which they were fitting in as many people as they possibly could. They had so many alternates, though, that they were turning away non-Equity performers just as I headed inside. Within there was just one of the three casting associates from the billing, but with an assistant. I did the same monologue, and tried to enjoy it. I think I was lacking in my "living in the moment," but that may be my own comparison to dozens of other times doing the balcony monologue. Either way, I was thanked and I left with very little response from the pair one way or another, and I felt . . . like I accomplished something significant. Small, but significant.
Then again, you need a little dreaming, even if you just aim to live. When I auditioned for Spider-Man (see 7/28/08) I had NO hope of getting the part, and I had a fairly terrible audition, but just acting on the dream was fuel for some good work thereafter. I can't say for certain where we find the right balance between the dream and the life, but I can say that I'm pretty happy with what progress I've made thus far toward finding the one in the other. And for that, I actually owe thanks to everyone who has participated in the dialogue.
Thanks, everyone. Luck 'o the Irish to you in your thriving.