Actor life is getting a bit …how shall I say it… it is getting to be a bit of a struggle.
I just left an audition at this beautiful theatre within walking distance to my apartment. And when I pushed open the heavy mahogany doors I knew in my heart’s heart that I would land this part.
Problem was, I wasn’t quite sure which part I was reading for.
So I pull instead of push the door until someone helps me and clumsily stumble inside. The casting assistant asks which role I’m reading for. Well, funny story, I’m not really even quite sure – a friend who was working at the theatre just happen to extend an invitation to a casting and I thought well, no opportunity is a bad one unless you miss it!
There were four other women (let me reiterate women. because I keep booking 19-20) all dressed, head to toe, in Marilyn Monroe outfits.
So I reply, “I’m reading for Marilyn!” I’m wearing black leggings, little booties, a white tank top and an oversized zebra sweater (stop judging me. it was cold out).
“Great have a seat”.
As I start reading over the Marilyn sides my nervousness subsides and I feel elated with confidence. I AM Marilyn, I WILL get this part. I’m perfect for it. I rehearse how I’ll say each word, how I’ll command the stage, how I’ll pile on the sex appeal. Well, I rehearse this all in my head anyways.
I can faintly hear the audition before me, and I hear a bunch of applause. How many casting people are in there I wonder? Oh well. All the more people to impress.
And now it’s my turn. So I waltz in with my zebra grandma sweater and I take front and center stage on the most beautiful and regal stage I have ever stepped foot on. There is even a balcony!
I pucker my lips, sashay my hips and get ready to deliver my lines with conviction.
“Alright dear can you just do your song first then we’ll get to the lines”
“what? a song? was I supposed to prepare something?!”
“no no. anything will do. just give your normal audition song. You’re a singer right?”
“yes, I can sing”
“whats your range”
“um well. I sing low. like baritone” (i cringe immediately. baritone is the guys range).
“alright well just sing happy birthday for us”
here it goes. I walk up to the microphone and I caress it, and slide down singing my sexiest “Missstah pressssident” and when it’s all through I wait for my applause.
someone shuffles their feet.
“hah. hah. that was like a show tune version.” the casting directors exchange looks “alright well go ahead with your lines”
And so I performed. I paced back and forth, I delivered each line, didn’t miss a beat. But the Marilyn had faded. The character was gone. She died in the Happy Birthday song, and now it was just some too thin blonde shuffling her feet in the middle of this grand stage.
It ended. There was still no applause.
So I gathered my things and breathed a sigh of release. Lesson learned, now pack up your humility and hightail it home for a glass (or 3) of wine.
“Hey, can you do a french accent?”
They like me! they like me!
“Good. go read the sides for Lila, we’ll call you back in after a few minutes”
Hooray! I knew my performance was good. I brought so much life to the character. I just didnt get it because I’m too young!!
I take the new sides in my hand and read them (in my head) with my best French accent. The only basis I have is Sebastian the crab from Little Mermaid, but I feel like I’ve still got a pretty good grip on this. Instead of stripper I’ll say streepah. Instead of mister, meestah. Piece of cake. I search “french for dummies” and look up a few more vowel tricks. Down pact. I knew I was always great at accents! Hah! the way everyone will be so impressed when I nail this! And then I can put it on my resume! No one will ever even know I was born here! I’ll book every french role there is!
“Alright we’re ready for you”
Back on stage. Another pucker of the lips.
And I deliver my lines. In a perfect French accent. beautiful even.
but.. there’s still no applause. At this point I’ve hear applause from every other audition. And there’s likely been a dozen.
“well thank for trying”
And with that. I left. And picked up another bottle of wine on my way home, in case 3 glasses wouldn’t cut it.
So what is the lesson learned?
Be prepared. Know your strengths …AND your weaknesses. Dress the part. And when all else fails, keep a full wine bar stocked.
“I don’t mind making jokes. But I don’t want to look like one”- Marilyn Monroe