Wednesday, January 23, 2008

monologues and headshots and frogs, oh my

1: Thanks, Proofreader. This biz seems to go in waves, and mine is currently in-between. At least I can see another one coming, but it's still waaaaaaay out there, and I am impatient and a bit irritable.

A couple of days ago went to a general audition -- a bunch of actors, a bunch of companies, we go in perform monologue and possibly a bit of song (3 min. limit), they watch. I felt good with my bit -- a Shylock monologue + 40 bars of Man of La Mancha. Good chewing-on-the-scenery sort of stuff. I did get a couple of unsolicited compliments on my audition. For certain, I proved that I can remember my lines and be very loud. I also volunteered to help out in the afternoon, which in this case meant arranging a few thousand headshots. My eyes were googly afterwards. These auditions always turn into mini-reunions, and I had the chance to catch up a little a lot of folks.

2: I've been looking at pics of frogs lately, for a drawing. Soon: bears.

Friday, January 18, 2008

i'm back, with beef

This is a drawing of the Horny Oamisoe.

I was avoiding the blog, because I didn't think I had anything interesting to talk about.

Then I avoided it because I had too much to talk about.

So I'll just skip it and move on.

Two days ago I had an audition for Iago (from Othello). (I also auditioned for Petruchio in Taming of the Shrew, but didn't find that out 'til I got there.) The Othello director rather suddenly had me attempt a difficult monologue with "Yooper" (upper-peninsula Michigan) and Australian dialects (they're both on my resume, because I've used them before in performance. But they're difficult to do without some prep time, particularly with a Shakespearean dramatic character). With an assist from exhaustion and a cold, my brain imploded. Yooper kept sliding into a sort of dopey Brooklyn. And Joe Pesci invaded my cortex when I tried to do Australian, and he wouldn't leave. It was a big, farcical tragedy.

By the way, Yooper sounds a bit like the dialect in Fargo, and goes with Iago like cranberry juice goes with Bailey's Irish Cream. It doesn't.

But you know what? This had had nothing to do with my ability to play the role. If she was testing a concept idea, she should have said so, and I should have been given more time to wrap my head around it. If she wanted to see if I was willing to jump in with both feet, it should have had something to do with the project. I'm willing to test ideas, even if they may seem absurd, but I've come to the conclusion that she didn't want to audition me as an actor at that point, she wanted to audition me as a circus monkey.

Some previous audition entertainment: Abruptly having to do a monologue "with a Scottish dialect, like you're riding a horse." The director who showed up in a dirty t-shirt, shorts, and flip-flops, and read through the resumes without ever looking up at the actors performing the monologues. The director who showed up half an hour late without any explanation and then wanted a song (the play featured no singing whatsoever). The callback for a musical that (after a two-hour drive to get to the theatre) turned into an audition not for a musical but for the play Art. The director who asked for a dialect in advance, then changed his mind onsite for the sake of the one performer who was incapable of doing a decent dialect (absolutely required by the play) but who had just the right "look". (This performer practically assaulted the reader at the audition, which didn't seem to bother the director, either.)

Sometimes I hate this business.