Letters to Holly

Friday, August 31

Second Night Audition

Your Sis is still under the weather, and we may not go anywhere this weekend after all.

I did find ABBA interview clips on YouTube, and here's what I learned about the two guys from the group: They sound like they could hail from Illinois. They have nothing like the stereotypical Nordic sing-song dialect. They extend double-vowels like they're from Canada, and they really hit the hard consonants. But otherwise, they seem to mix Britain and Germany. If we do the cartoony Swedish accent in the play, we'd need to also exaggerate everyone else's accent to keep it fair.

But I may not need to worry about it: I didn't read the part tonight. In fact, only one person did, and he was the lone new person to show up.

We had six people there tonight, not including the director and her crew. I'm one of the first to show up, and it's obvious at 7:15 that it will be a light night. Doc is back, as is a former student of my wife and another of the actresses. The latter is a ball of energy; she clearly knows the folks in charge, and she's joking around with them the whole way. The stage manager is also directing another production somewhere else (maybe the local college), and they discuss casting for that show. It appears that show may take away some people from this production. I can't be sure. I'm busy reading the script pages to remind myself what notes to hit for each character if I'm asked to read.

The two actresses take turns reading for two parts: a socialite and the newlywed wife. I read for both attorneys in one of these readings. I try to be cold for the DA, and sympathetic for the defense attorney. The director suggests we treat the nonparticipating actors as the jury, and it does give us somewhere to look. It gives both the actors and the characters an audience to play to. I don't like to worry about physical acting at this stage. I want to focus on vocal acting. But I do work in a facial gesture here and some lawyer-like posturing there.

And I can't say strongly enough how much fun it is to play a lawyer. The wife and I watch L&O:SVU reruns religiously, and my favorite play is Inherit the Wind, another courtroom drama. You don't read the attorney questions as questions; you read them as buoys for the witnesses. What the attorneys say is irrelevant until they start to build their cases, and that happens only after the various witnesses have their moments in the sun. So they're not as flashy as the PI or the gangster or the stripper or the shady Swede, but they continuously prowl the courtroom.

As the stage manager and actress discuss roles, the latter suggests she call up a guy she worked with before to be the gangster. He has a Long Island accent, which would be perfect. He's worked with the theatres in the area, and he may have his weeknights free. And before she says the name, I know she's talking about Brick from Cat. But would they really bring him in to read for only the one part? Is it possible I could lose one of the good roles to him again? It's too early to think like that, and he's not here. Also, the producer of the show has called dibs on the role of the judge.

Doc gets to read for both attorneys, and I think all three of us guys who showed up get to. The guy who comes in later, like I said, reads for the Swede, and he, well, he kinda mangles it. But he had no preparation that I know of. I do get a few director laughs when I read my parts, especially right at the end of the night. And that comes at about the hour mark, just like last night. We're reminded that the next round is in two weeks, and that wraps up this round.

Doc and I say goodnight. He's not sure if he'll make the commute for both nights of the next auditions. I don't know if he's concerned about role availability, but I don't blame him for wanting to cut out a night of driving. The roundtrip commute is longer than each audition. I did virtually the same drive for the Cat auditions, but those were a few blocks away from my office. Still, I know I'll see him in two weeks. At least for one night.

Picture of the Day
She's optimistic. And fond of Six Flags.

In the News
The WWE is, to be blunt, fucked. When they lost Eddy Guerrero to drug-related heart failure, they instituted a Wellness Policy to control their in-house drug dependency. The concern is two-fold: guys doing illegally prescribed steroids to achieve a marketable size and guys stoned to the gills on illegally prescribed painkillers. The policy states that each infraction earns a cumulatively higher penalty, including firing of the third offense. The first discovered offense gets a monthlong suspension. That means, the wrestler is sent home with no pay.

Yesterday, ten guys were tagged for breaking the policy by shopping for drugs through a disreputable source, and their departures means the WWE has to almost completely rewrite their shows for the next month. They lose three main-event guys for the Monday show alone, including the evil title contender to whom they gave a significant push. The announcement of these names comes on the same day Congress voted to push ahead with investigations into the WWE following the recent deaths of Chris Benoit and Bryan Adams. I don't see how the WWE can dodge a Congressional standoff unless it fires people who significantly break the policy. And those pink slips have to go to people with major profiles. The company has to prove it will put honor health over ticket sales, and that hasn't happened yet.

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