Letters to Holly

Monday, October 20


Because we were grabbing lunch and coffee right before the audition, I took Your Sis along to the theatre warehouse. She hadn't seen the rehearsal space before. When we arrived, the script committee director said he had just left a message for me at home asking me to come by. It was clear within fifteen minutes of the audition's scheduled opening that turnout would be light. Again.

This apparently wasn't an issue before, and if I had to assign accountability based on specious personal information, I'd blame the director of the courtroom drama from last fall. That audition brought in a large number of people, and many of them were disqualified for bad reasons. Some later quit the show because of her behavior. Perhaps the two auditions aren't related. Or perhaps people really are just showing up for the big-name shows. This version of Christmas Carol has a different title and scenario, and it may have no allure for casual volunteers. When the murder play I did last year held auditions, four people showed up -- the same number of actors as roles.

But back to Saturday. At this show's audition -- wherein Scrooge sues the ghosts for intimidation -- I met the director, and the committee director bragged on me a while. I read a few parts: Fred the nephew, Marley, Christmas Yet To Come. The script calls for doubling of roles, and the Fred/Christmas Future parts are written to be played by one person. Because she liked what I did for Future, she said I'd probably be Fred. They're not big roles.

I was split about that. Future is a comedy role (or rather, a broad role in a comedy script), while Fred is minuscule. I had hoped to be trusted with a big part. Then again I just had two large, large roles. A small part in a play might be a nice change of pace. It's practicality vs. ego, as usual.

A young gal came to read. She may have been in high school. She read quickly and left. The discussions leaned toward not giving her a role, and I think it's this kind of attitude that discourages turnout. She doesn't have to get a large part. When you need warm bodies, you can't afford to turn them away for reasons that can be covered by makeup and wigs.

With about an hour to go in the allotted Saturday time, Doc showed up. We were in Cat on A Hot Tin Roof together, and he was the opposing attorney in the courtroom show. We caught up, and he read for the defense attorney, and I think he won the role. I was glad to not get that part, but he'll do great at it. Because there was so little attendance, Your Sis read opposite Doc for a few pages. She enjoyed it. She was offered a part, but she's terrified the school work will be unmanageable with a play on the side. I think she's right, and I suggested a summer play next year. It's Rainmaker. Maybe we can be the leads.

When I returned Sunday, at the director's request, another young girl was sitting outside. She apparently arrived on time, read, and was waiting for a ride. Inside, she was already disqualified because of age. That's two youngbloods shrugged off. The backseat director was there, and he just won the role of Marley. That role is written to be split with Cratchitt, but the director said she could change that, and then asked me to read for that role. I did, and I had to be told to slow it down a tad. That's my weakness; I read and sometimes talk too fast. Also, I did all my readings with varying English accents with equally varying degrees of credibility.

I might have won the role anyway. She asked later if I'd rather have Bob or Fred, and I said Bob. The majority of audition time Saturday and Sunday were spent compiling names to call and ask for readings. A total of seven people read for ten roles. Two of them are out of consideration; another may drop out because of other commitments. This is our county theatre, and you can count the eligible actors who attend an audition on one hand.

The read-through is next Saturday, right before the 5k race. Who knows if we'll have the play cast by then. At dinner Sunday night, we saw another actor who had worked with the company this spring, and we asked him to call the director for consideration. I don't know what luck he'll have. He was rejected for the courtroom play last year because he's black. I hope they don't make that mistake twice.

+ + +

I put up the Halloween decorations, and we're hoping to host a pumpkin party next weekend.

Picture of the Day
I know my English accents are bad. Don't be mean.


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