Letters to Holly

Monday, April 27


Your Sister visited Your Parents Saturday, possibly to escape the temptation to sweep into the auditions in a Sunset Boulevard draping evening gown and demanding to be made THE STAR.

Or maybe she couldn't stand the sight of me with a monocle and jodhpurs.

I prepared the script copies with Post-It notes of the "scenes" we could read during auditions. I also read through the play again to make notes and nail down the character types. On Saturday, I arrived half and hour early to set up the audition area: bio sheets, scripts, extra pens, and, of course, the casting couch:

The rehearsal warehouse has five couches , and I wonder just what kind of swinging club I've joined here.

My theatre liaison arrived about ten minutes before our posted start time, and the first actor arrived a few minutes later. She is an experienced actress of local theatres, and I showed her the set-up. She brought her resume of past shows and read the script for about ten minutes. I gave her small notes about the plot and action, and then she asked if we could get started. I had her read for the mom (and later realized I should have read her for the other female roles), and the liaison and I read other parts around her. We did about four scenes, and she was good. Very smooth and connecting with the style quickly. We talked about theatre stuff for a while, and she left half an hour later.

The liasion and I expected a small turnout, and we were right. No one else arrived. He did say two other actresses would drop in Sunday. I mentiond people I had spokien with through Facebook about posible auditoning. The midday performance time is a killer, I'm sure. I suspect we'll have an all-retiree cast because everyone else will be at work. I already arrnaged for teh time off with my boss.

We spent the rest of the alloted time talking about the theatre board of directors (the push to induct me has vanished) and movies and TV. There is much concern about the fundraising campaign, and he worries he'll lose the chance to direct the first fall play. It's Bell Book and Candle, a romantic witchcraft comedy, and he's practically vibrating with impatience.

I inquired about and was given a DVD copy of last year's reading theatre one-act and watched it Sunday. It is bad. It's a bad script. But I see now what they mean by reading theatre. I noticed the weak posture of the actors, and I'll remind my cast to stand straight without burying their faces in their scripts.

On Sunday, three other actresses arrived, and I had them take turns reading all the female roles. I now had to cut someone, and one actress saved me the trouble by admitting she'd be on vacation during the week I wanted to start rehearsals. I told them I didn't care about character accents or the date of the story; we'll focus on lines and delivery. We'll use few props. Everyone left with about 30 minutes left in the audition time. No one else showed up, and I killed time by reading a Neil Simon script.

We had no male actors, and I'm not surprised. I have the number of a theatre regular to ask him if he's available. The scheduled time of the performance -- 1 p.m. -- limits our available pool of performers to retirees or lottery winners. One of my daughter actresses may be older than the actress playing the mother.

+ + +

Have your teachers mentioned swine flu? Are they suggesting y'all follow the news about it?


Anonymous said...

congratulations on casting your first BLT production.

nope. no mentions of swine flu in lectures, not even as jokes. But we do have a lecture scheduled tomorrow for the genus of viruses that normal flu is in (and probably swine flu, too) so tuesday and wednesday we should, hopefully, get a little piggy.

Gregory said...

I look forward to hearing all about it as I cringe in my bunker.

Because we don't have what's considered real-time media in town, there doesn't seem to be any official local reaction. I don't think we have any pig farms in the county. But one of my coworkers did just come back from Mexico.

The mom of the owner of best local Mexican restaurant lives in Mexico City, and he says she's OK for now.