Letters to Holly

Monday, November 13

Initiation, Caffeination, Audition

On Friday, I was made an honorary member of the fraternity. It was a short ceremony, involving me and another initiate. I'm now a Friends of the Arts. I got a nice pin to wear. The national officers were there to watch, and we chatted afterward about convention and initiation details. It was very pleasant. We drove into Asheville for the ceremony and bummed around town for the rest of the day. We bought a frame for the certificate so I can hang it in my office. We ate lunch at Mellow Mushroom, stepped inside the comic store, and bought a new phone for the living room at Target. It was a pedestrian afternoon.

I helped Your Sis stamp textbooks on Saturday and read Cat On A Hot Tin Roof a few times. I started to think I could play the lead male even though I initially aimed for the supporting male role. Can't say what triggered that change. That night we caught The Prestige, the Hugh Jackman/Christian Bale magician thriller. It's a nice idea but ultimately a satisfying movie. It drags a bit in the second half. It looks great though, and it doesn't insult the audience. We hit Krispy Kreme, and I wolfed down four doughnuts and a cup of coffee. Sugar rush? Oh, yes. Oh shit, yes.

Sunday night was the audition, and it was by far the most formal I've been in. The previous auditions all had the applicants in the same room, reading with each other and auditioning in front of each other. We could adjust our strategies based on what the other guy did. Not this time. The applicants entered the lobby and filed bio sheets and any resumes and headshots we made. I made a photosheet that afternoon to show them what I looked like with and without the beard. I also listed my shows in Spartanburg and Greenville. There were many more women there for that lead role than men. But this was the first of two days of auditions, and tonight's may be an all-male affair.

We were given short clips of the script to read for each part we wanted. I grabbed copies for the two male roles I thought I could manage. An assistant, Victoria, escorted applicants into a small room where sat the directors and what appeared to be interns reading cues. I went in about half an hour after I arrived. I greeted them shook hands with them, explained where I worked and lived. The house is an hour away, but my office is five minutes up the road. I read the lead role first, and it involved some of the most emotional actions he has. I thought it went just OK; I may have rushed it, and my accent might have slipped. I had dry mouth, and my heartbeat was going nuts. I felt stupid. I had auditioned maybe a dozen times, but it had been two years since my last play, and I had never stepped foot into this building before. I was told I had a "good footing for the character," which was a tidbit they didn't have to share. So I felt pretty good. I asked to read for the supporting part and was asked if I could hang around until they watched the rest of the applicants. I did. And about 90 minutes later, I was escorted back in to read that bit. I was the last person to leave. In the meantime, I chatted with folks, most had worked with this theater before. Victoria checked on me to see if I would wait a little longer each time, I and I assured her I was fine. Of all the places I could be at that moment, I was back in a theater. What was to complain about? We also had a chat about the use of "ma'am," and she made it clear she was not a "ma'am," she was Victoria. But it was friendly conversation, and I appreciated her concern. Many of the others had significant stage experience; some were professional actors. I was surprised by how many people showed up without knowing the play. Parents brought their kids to try out for roles without knowing what kind of situations they may be involved with. The play has some strong language and adult material. I gave one guy a complete rundown of the play right before he walked in and read. I performed my second read better than the first as this was the one I focused on for weeks. I think my accent held better, but I still felt like I rushed it. I thanked Victoria, left the building, and called Your Sis with the details. They don't need me to come back in tonight to read, and now I just wait to hear any news. As I left they said we'll see you Tuesday or Wednesday, which may be what they tell everyone. I can't make assumptions.

I'm content with the experience. I wanted to audition, and I did so. I found a play I wanted to try for, read it, practiced a bit, showed up, read, and didn't embarrass myself. That's all I wanted. Anything more than this is gravy. The rehearsal schedule looks like plenty of time to prepare, and I have no conflicts with it.

Moving Picture of the Day
The trailer for Spider-Man 3. I can't tell you excited I am for this. Sandman may be my favorite Spidey villain, and I can remember reading about him when I was four.

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