Well, the big day, auditions finally happened today.
Let me back up. As I may have mentioned, Julie, our professor for voice, who is all-around in charge of the production – director, translator, etc. – lost her mother a week or two ago. She’s been, quite understandably, away from school for some time. Auditions were rescheduled, more or less last minute, for today. And finals, which we had heard nothing about, and which I kind of assumed were going to be canceled, on account of her being so busy with everything else,etc etc, are happening yesterday and tomorrow.
Yesterday, I was literally shaking, quivering, with nervousness. And possibly with cold, as the A/C is on way too strong in that room. But I think I really gave it my best – I think my actual performance of the monologue and other things I needed to do were accurately representative of my best effort. Was it because we were in the room, sitting quietly and just waiting (and waiting and waiting) our turn that I was so nervous? It’s a strong possibility, though there was also the opposite effect, the supportive and calming factor of having everyone there, supporting one another, like a big communal ‘let’s get through this together’ kabuki kumbayah circle.
Today, there was no such nervousness. We had to do our monologues individually, with all our friends/classmates waiting outside. So the atmosphere inside the room was amped up a bit, I guess. But rather than sitting there worrying about trying to sit still, and waiting for our name to be called, today we got to hang out outside, really hang out, well, and practice and prepare. But I knew ahead of time where I was in the order, and…
Anyway, getting on with it. I was finally called in for my monologue. I performed a short bit from the Marx Bros’ Night at the Opera – since I was auditioning to be a hawker, a barker, I thought a “Ladies and Gentlemen! This is the beginning of a new opera season!” sort of “pre-show speech” monologue would be good. Somehow I had not yet really fully memorized it by the time I went in there. It was like 95%, but I had to pause and think about what the next line was, and I’m not sure the emotion or the “acting” was really there.
In any case, I did the best job I could, and then that was it. I guess I was surprised and disappointed that I didn’t have to do my other monologue, or get called back to read from the script, and that I didn’t get to show off how much I’d been practicing my swordfighting (stage combat) the last few days. It totally makes sense on a logical level, that since I am no competition for any of the major speaking parts, and since time was short, they really needed to focus on those people who they wanted to cast for major roles, and to see how they read together and all that.
My friends were amazing. Really amazing. I heard them reading together, all different roles, mostly bits they had not seen before, so far as I am aware…
.. But, somehow, while I should have been happy to just get through it, and to get through it having done a good job of it, a few hours later I found myself (briefly) quite depressed. I reassure myself that they still may very well cast me in whatever role (hawker or otherwise) based on how well they know I can do or whatever, based on how well I have done in class, and that there is a perfectly logical reason why they didn’t call me back. In fact, if anything, I should be happy to have not had to go through a longer, more nerve-wracking, ordeal. And even if they don’t cast me, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. Hardly. It would free me up to not have a ridiculously stressful and busy semester.
But, I was sad about something. What? I don’t know. Sad, I guess, for my friends who won’t be getting the parts they wanted. Sad for having put so much effort and positive energy into preparing myself for auditions, both psychologically and in terms of actual memorization and practice, only to have it be essentially nothing. Why did I even go in today? Sad that, as much progress as I’ve made or whatever, I am really nowhere near the level that all my friends are at. … Seeing who did and did not get called back to read certain parts and not other parts – a strong indication of which parts they are and are not considering you for – only contributed to this. I mean, I think most people got called back to read for the parts they most want. … But at least one friend did not get called back for that at all. Does this mean they already know her abilities and how she plays off of certain other actors, and that they therefore don’t have to see it? Or that they don’t have to see it because they’re not considering her for any major roles?
Well, we shall find out tomorrow who got cast in what roles. And, guaranteed, there will be people who are upset. I guess that’s the part I’m most sad about, if anything. I love all these people, and I don’t want to see any of them have their wishes or dreams dashed. … It’s just a terrible shame that we can’t all be winners, and I know that I won’t know how to be properly comforting and such… I guess, at least, they all have experience with this kind of stuff – auditioning, rejections…
We shall see tomorrow.