Tag Archives: audition

The Madwoman of Chaillot

I had auditions Monday and Tuesday evening for the fall semester show here at Mississippi State University. It went fairly well, at times I felt good about it and other times not. I was cast as the President. One of the greedy corporation types who is responsible for the sorry state of affairs in the world today. Sounds about right. I think it’ll be a fun role to play.

You may remember my What Now? lament. I guess that question has been answered.

I still have two video projects on the table but I’m finding it hard to squeeze them in. It’s not looking good for this week. I have my first call tonight for Madwoman and then short form improv rehearsal at 9pm. Tomorrow night is our first football game so I won’t have any theatre stuff to do. I thought it would be an excellent evening for a date night with M. I’m leaving town Friday morning and won’t be back until Monday sometime. I’m playing in the Southern National Championship. My first disc golf tournament since early this year. I’ll probably suck but I hope to have a good time.

One Song Glory, Two Song Sublimity

one02.jpgYeah so Monday and Tuesday are auditions for the SCT summer musical. I’m looking forward to getting started, I’m already bored sitting on the couch and tappy tappin’ on the computer and watching TV. I can’t fathom a whole summer of this.

Last year I sang Younger Than Springtime from South Pacific which I hadn’t ever heard before. Twice. ‘Cause I didn’t know that most people sing two different songs, one of each night.

Well this year I got two songs lined up to try out. I’m meeting with my friend D, who helped me find a song last year, on Saturday. So I hope the songs I have picked out will suit me ’cause there won’t be time to find anything else.

I’m slighly worried cause the style of the songs is not what I’m used to doing. They’re more rock and I’ve always considered myself more of a crooner. Also the range is kinda high for me. So we’ll see how it works out on Saturday. Both songs are from RENT.

In other news. There’s been some, kinda big and like wow. I’ll leave it for another day.


smokemtnI can’t remember if I ever mentioned this, but I got cast in the next SCT show. I was totally sick and drained during auditions but I apparently I did well enough. Here’s how it went down.

We had to sing a song and do readings from the script. There were 20-something people that auditioned and they were seven parts to fill, three female and four male. I figured there was only one part that I had a chance at being cast in due to the ages of the other parts and I was pretty sure that I wasn’t going to get it due to the talent at the auditions. And I was right, I didn’t get the part of the late-twenties preacher, I got the part of the 17 year old twin.

Turns out the director didn’t stick real close to what the script said about ages, and that’s fine with me!

The play is Smoke on the Mountain. It’s a musical comedy set during the 1930’s in a Baptist church for a Saturday night singing. The preacher has hired the Sanders family, who are a traveling gospel group. I’m Dennis, one of the twins. Denise (Molly Watkins) is my twin sister. There’s Burl (Paul Ruff) – the father, Vera (Madeline Golden) – his wife, Stanley (Kevin P. Kern) – his brother and June (Krista Vowell) – the other daughter. Bruce Lesley is playing Pastor Oglethorpe. Pattye Archer is the director, she directed the summer musical revue that was so much fun last year. Alison Stamps is the AD.

We started rehearsals this week and have music bootcamp this weekend. I have to play the upright bass, guitar, banjo and piano. This is going to be a great show to be a part of and I’m very excited. When it gets closer to opening night, I’ll post the dates so you can make your ticket reservations.

I was mauled by the Lion

but I can entertain the kiddies. What I mean to say is, I mentioned my first ever “real play” audition and the results in the comments.

The same day I got the disappointing news about Lion, I went for another audition, this time a university production of Paul Sills’ Story Theatre. The audition was a lot of fun and laid back. I still didn’t give it all I had, I felt that I was capable of more but just didn’t give it. Ah well, I’ll get better at showcasing my stuff on the spot when it matters.

Well, I just went and checked the cast list for Story Theatre and I MADE IT! This calls for a w00t, I do believe.

This is a children’s show and I think it will be a lot of fun. Lion In Winter is a hefty show and requires a strong cast as there are no small roles. You couldn’t really cast someone and say “Well if they suck, at least it’s only a small role.” The directory really couldn’t take chances on someone that they weren’t sure about. So no, I’m not surprised that I didn’t get cast in it.

But Story Theatre will fit me better anyway, I think. You know, big, over-the-top one-dimensional characters. It will be a good first show for me to be a part of and I’m very excited.

Call Me Kirby

I’ve decided that’s who I’ll be when I don’t need to be me. Other possibilities include Cecil, Devin or Charlie. But I think I’ll stick with Kirby.

See the thing is, I tend to clam up or freeze up or, well you get the picture, when I’m nervous and/or out of my comfort zone.

I went to a Runnin With Scissors practice last night. RWS is the improv/sketch comedy group that I’m wanting to join up with. So what did I do? Did I jump right in and make an ass of myself? NO! I sat on my arse too scared to move.

I’ve mentioned this sort of thing before (somewhere in there anyway); how it takes me a while to open up and be myself around new people. My brain doesn’t work very good in those situations. Well I can’t have brain freezage when I’m trying to be funny off the top of my head, can I? I don’t wanna get cut before I even get started, do I?

So I’ve decided next time I’ll take Kirby with me and he’ll do just fine.

And I really wasn’t mentally prepared to participate. I thought it was more of a meet ‘n’ greet and sit and watch practice. But there were other new people jumping in and the regulars asked if any new people wanted to try it out.

I was afraid of this very thing going into my acting class. You know, where the instructor would ask for a volunteer or volunteers for something and I would sit there going “oh dear, I should volunteer and I will as soon as we sit here for 3 minutes and no one else volunteers.” Well screw that. Before the first class meeting I told myself “Self, you’re taking this class to learn and you can’t be scared so when he asks for volunteers, you are going to jump up right then and DO IT.” And so I have. I’ve been very proud of myself. So I just gotta have the same attitude about improv comedy. JUST DO IT and if I suck, I’LL GET BETTER. I mean, er, Kirby will.

Meanwhile, this weekend is alumni marching band. It’s when all the old people get to relive their college band days for a bit. Of course the alumni band sounds horrible because only half (at best) still play their horns with any kind of regularity. I think I actually haven’t played mine since last year’s alumni band. That makes me sad but only a little. I mean, I have played since the 6th grade. That’s like, 73 years.

My buddy Richard and I always go and sneak in with the regular band for the 4th quarter of the game. I think this year will be the first year that we won’t know anybody in the band. The incoming freshmen of our last year in band are all gone now. At least the ones we knew are. Which is sad because it means we are now officially old people, too. But that’s OK, we always have fun freaking out the young ‘uns by playing everything up an octave. w00t!

On Sunday, my lips will be very sore.

Well, I wish each and every 4 of you a safe and happy weekend.

Big Cat In The Cold

So I have my first ever “real” play audition this Sunday and Monday. It’s a really great show, I’ve read it and watched a movie of it. With none other Captain Jean-Luc, er, wait, I mean Patrick Stewart playing one of the leads. Of course I’m talking about The Lion In Winter.

It is a male-heavy ensemble. There’s Henry, ye olde king and Father to Richard, Geoffrey and John. Also there’s Philip the King o’ France. I couldn’t really play Henry since I’m not old enough (or experienced enough) but I’d be super-duper pleased if I get any one of the sons or Philip.

Props to Dave “Taterhead” P. for the sweet pic.

Also, I also saw my first show at SCT last night, “Seeing Stars In Dixie.” Maddy and Marianne, two wonderful ladies I met during the summer musical, were in it and they were great. It was a very enjoyable show and Maddy was a scene stealer.

Meanwhile, in acting class we’re doing monologues. We have to pick a monologue from a play and do it for the class. I’ve picked something from Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Great, funny play. The movie’s pretty good too. Thanks (again) to J. for introducing me to the movie back in high school. I bought the script years ago and saw MSU’s production of it when they did it a little while back.

Just for practice, I’m going to do my monologue now from memory.

Do you ever think of yourself as actually dead…lying in a box with a lid on it? Nor do I really…it’s silly to be depressed by it. I mean, one thinks of it like being alive in box, one keeps forgetting to take into account the fact that one is dead…which should make all the difference…shouldn’t it? I mean, you’d never know you were in a box. It would be just like being asleep in a box…not that I’d like to sleep in a box, mind you, not without any air…you’d wake up dead for a start, then where would you be…apart from inside a box. That’s the part I don’t like frankly. That’s why I don’t think of it.

Because you’d be helpless wouldn’t you? Stuffed in a box like that, I mean, you’d be in there forever. Even taking into account the fact that you’re dead, it isn’t a pleasant thought. Especially if you’re dead, really…ask yourself, if I asked you straight off, I’m going to stuff you in this box now, would you prefer to be alive or dead? Naturally you’d prefer to be alive. Life in a box is better than no life at all. I expect. You’d have a chance at least. You could lie there thinking, Well at least I’m not dead. In a minute someone’s going to come bang on the lid and tell me to come out. Hey you whatsyername! Come out of there!

There might be a few mistakes in there but that’s what’s in my head so I’m going with it.

E’rybody have a good weekend. Eat some pocky for me.

Audition, pt 2

You might want to read Audition, pt 1 first.

And now for the exciting conclusion to…well it’s probably not that exciting really. I mean, I don’t have some big suspenseful cliff-hanger up my sleeve or anything like that. Sorry. Um, we were here:

We eat and head out; the auditions begin at 7:00pm at the playhouse. We pull up at 7:02pm and park across the street. B., the I-borrowed-a-book-from friend, pulls up at the same time. As we cross the street, a car, coming entirely too fast for downtown Starkville, careens around the corner and is racing up the street towards us. I push M. behind me and try to step back myself but my left leg doesn’t quite clear and the car clips my leg right at the knee. I do one of those movie-martial-arts spins and end up in a heap on the pavement.

Ok, that last part didn’t actually happen. I was trying to make it more exciting. Man, I bet your mouth was hanging open and you were like, Gosh! Sorry, I’ll try to keep the, uh, imprecise drama to a minimum.

So anyway, we cross the street and go inside. The theater has a small foyer of sorts with a box office and a couch and a table and bathrooms. I get a sign-up form and find a seat in the small auditorium and fill it out. After introductions and an explanation of What We Were All Doing There, auditions begin.

There are several guys and girls in attendance. They all seem to know each other, what with the comfortable lounging around and chatting and kidding each other and all. The procedure is you volunteer and go up on stage in front of everybody, hand your music to the accompanist, go over any points in the music with her that warrant it and then sing. I let most everybody go ahead of me, you know, to size up the competition. Everybody does a decent job. Some do an outstanding job and make me even more nervous. I ain’t goin’ after them. Pretty soon all that’s left is me and a homeless guy who came in to get away from the birds; he was mumbling something about dive-bombing winged rats, so I’m not really sure. The moment has come, I rise out of my seat and make my way to the stage. *cue dramatic music*

I trip on the steps on the way up to the stage. No, I didn’t, but I thought about it. After I got on stage, I gave a simple introduction, Hi, I’m new guy and I’m terrified. There were laughs. I actually don’t remember that much about my audition. I remember the pianist saying, Oh good, I know this one. I remember starting the song, looking at M. for inspiration a few times and ending the song. Those places that I was worried about forgetting a word or screwing up a phrase, I have no idea if I got them right or not. I’m going to assume I didn’t flub them too bad. No shaky hands or embarassing wet spot on the front of my pants. Rock!

When I finished there was applause and I hurried off the stage back to the safety of M. She squeezed my hand, You nailed it. Awesome. After about 5 minutes my nerves started to subside and I was all, Come on let me sing something else.

Turns out I would need to sing again the next night. I thought it was two separate audition nights and you would sing at one of the two. I chose the first night to go ahead and get it out of the way. They did ask us to come back on the second night if we could, for group singing, so I didn’t think anything about it. Everybody who sang the night before sang again and they sang a different song. I only had one song. Ah well, I sang it again. They weren’t going to make me sing or anything, but I thought I should contribute something. My intro, This is the slightly-less-terrified-version from last night. I don’t know if I did better or worse.

Afterwards we sang the show opener as a group. Dang I’ve missed singing with a group. I really enjoyed it and I think I’m going to enjoy this experience. I’m supposed to get an email telling me what I’ll be doing. The options are chorus, small group, duet and solo. Everyone is in the chorus and other responsibilities depend on the audition I reckon. I hope I get something other than chorus, if not just to validate that I don’t suck, but I don’t really know what I’d want.

I’ll post when I find out the results. w00t! My first ever audition. I hope to have more and be involved in future productions at the playhouse.

Audition, pt 1

For a while I’ve been thinking of getting involved in the local community theater. I found out last week that they were having auditions for their summer musical revue this last Monday and Tuesday. I like to sing, says I, so I borrowed a book of Broadway songs and began looking for a song to sing. Turns out, I don’t know many Broadway songs. I looked through the book and had a piano-playing friend go over some of them with me. After 30 or 45 minutes I’d pretty much given up hope of finding something in the book I could work up from scratch over the weekend for the audition on Monday.

I grew up singing in church choir and whatnot but I’ve never had to do a singing audition or sing a solo (‘cept for that one time in 5th grade but that don’t count). So after a while I was like, Hey why not do a hymn? I know lotsa those. Well, we’re rehearsing in a catholic church you see, so there aren’t any Southern Baptist hymnals laying around. Crap, what now?

We go back to the book and D. (my piano-playing friend) says Hey I know this one, let’s do it. It’s called Memory. I’m like whatever. We work on it for at least 45 minutes and it starts to come together. I’m starting to think I might pull this off after all. About this time I remember what my I-borrowed-the-book-from friend said, Whatever you do, don’t do Memory. It’s so overdone. Well I’ve never heard of this song and I kinda like it but apparently theater people would claw their ears off and shoot me and then themselves if I were to sing this song. Crap, what now?

We find Younger Than Springtime (YtS) from South Pacific. It’s short and simple, two items that are high on my list of Things To Look For In A Song. We work it up a bit and call it a night.

A couple days later (Sunday) we meet again. I try out The Lady Is a Tramp (LiaT); it’s ok. I probably need more sass to really pull it off and I ain’t feeling real sassy. After running through YtS and LiaT a few times, I feel more comfortable with YtS. I whip out my sweet PowerBook, fire up Garageband and make a recording of the piano part so’s I can practice it later that night and on Monday before the audition.

Between Sunday afternoon and Monday night, I practice this song a buncha times. See, I add a new vocal track in Garageband and turn on ‘monitor’. I plug in some earphones and I can hear the piano and myself singing. Pretty danged sweet. I’m sure I’m annoying the ever-loving piss out of the neighbors, given our close promixity and all but I don’t care, this is my moment to shine! or something.

Monday comes and I make it through the day without wetting myself even once while thinking about my audition that night. Yes! M. says she’ll come with me and watch and Do I want her to bring the videocamera? Cripes, woman, are you trying to break me? I mean, I say No thank you dear, I don’t need the added pressure.

We eat and head out; the auditions begin at 7:00pm at the playhouse.

(tune in next time for the exciting conclusion of “I have to sing an audition in front of a bunch of strangers and I’ve never sung solo in public before and I really really really hope I don’t screw up real bad or trip when I get up on stage and maybe I shoulda worn some Depends undergarments in case I lose bladder control”)