Letters to Holly

Thursday, September 13

Third Audition Night

First Night
Second Night

It's been two weeks later, and this week's auditions are for the benefit of those performing in Fiddler. They are also open to the public. I stop by the house between work and auditions to dress up in lawyer-ish duds. I show up at the warehouse, and the guy working the sign-up table calls me on the outfit. I say I had to dress up for work anyway (lie) and laugh it off. The Doc from Cat On a Hot Tin Roof is at the table, and he also jokes about me dressing for the role.

I normally don't do something like this, but I also normally don't go through four audition nights for a show. Since I will be seen so often, there's no harm in dressing up at least once for a reading. I'm the only one decked out to this degree, but some of the womenfolk are nattily attired. I can't tell if this is their everyday wear or special for the audition. I haven't witnessed people going to absurd lengths for a period play. No one, say, in the Shakespeare audition strolled in wearing leotards or Elizabethan collars. No one came to the Sound of Music readings in lederhosen.

We have about 15 people auditioning, a big bump from the previous nights. Most of them look younger than me. There is an older gent and three guys, one of whom announces he's 30. A baby-faced 30, I should note. There are equally younger gals, and a few older women. One of them nails a part on her first sit-down. The 30-year-old guy reads the PI role in a top-notch "Nu Yok" accent.

Me, I'm there for the DA role. I've practiced my shady Swede accent and delivery, but the DA is the one that I seem to be the right age for in this group. Luckily, I get to read for it more than five times. The director tells all of us to read the DA with an edge, combative, and aggressive. About halfway through my chances, she stops me to say she needs a louder volume and more animation for me. No problem. I imagine myself heavier and older, almost angry and read the lines. It's comfortable and fun. I also read for the defense attorney once, and I add a bit more charm to that. The other people reading the roles have soft voices and high pitches which seem to work better for the defense attorney. When the director asks if anyone wants to try the Swede, even though I've practiced the dialect, I don't volunteer. I don't want to lose focus on the DA.

As the night progresses, the director is clearly reading certain applicants for certain roles. One kid reads for the rookie cop twice. Doc reads for the defense attorney twice. There are two women presumably reading for the same role, and at one point the director has them stand side-by-side to compare heights and builds. They know each other, and they joke through the slow removal of shows and the jostling. Lynn, a former student of Your Sis, blushes as everyone jokes about her reading for the "stripper" role. We learn through whispers that some roles are already cast, but I can't find out which ones. They sound like random, smaller roles though.

Most of this crowd seems to know each other. Doc knows some of them from previous plays. I know him and Lynn, and that's it. I sit toward the back next to Doc, who offered a chair, and watch the group pre-read the Xeroxed pages and share war stories. I'm clearly not a part of the group, and I'm aware of group dynamics each time I'm asked to read the DA. I admit to feeling a mix of sheepishness and pride that I''m trying this role so much. I avoid consciously admitting that I want a role, even to Your Sis; it's jinxed me in the past.

But I really want this role. Especially after thumbing through a Xeroxed copy of the whole script and seeing the DA's opening and closing arguments. Lordy, it's the good lawyer speak. It's the meat of a courtroom drama, and it's pages of monologue. We wants it.

After we're dismissed, some applicants introduce themselves to me, and it feels like being welcomed into the group. One woman, I learn, works at the college I attended, and we trade notes on Homecoming and theatre. It's great ending to what felt like a successful audition.

There's one more audition tonight, and I'll dress down a tad (read: no tie), and polish up on my giddy attempt to get this very desirable role with a theatre group I've consistently shunned since I moved here. I didn't think I've be so invested in this effort a few weeks ago. And I continue to imagine myself performing the lines in my Sunday best in a real, live courtroom.

I try not to giggle.

Picture of the Day
Some assembly required.


Anonymous said...

my fingers are crossed for you... which makes it wee bit harder to type.

Gregory said...

Cross your toes instead. It's good training for lazily picking laundry off the floor.