Auditions Tonight...No Experience Necessary (part 1)
There it was, as plain as day. “Auditions for the adult spring drama. Monday evening. Seven o’clock.” Something nudged my curiosity that moment and I jokingly told my friend, the director of our fine arts program, that I was consid-ering attending his audition. He said, “It’ll be fun.” I said, “Oh, I could never.” He said, “Oh, just come.” And I did.
Now please understand. This wasn’t just any run-of-the-mill casting call for me. It wasn’t my fifth or fiftieth. It was my first. Don’t ask why I felt drawn to the audition or what I was trying to prove. I should have taken my husband’s deer in the headlights look when I told him where I was going as my revelation that the volcano brewing inside of me was about to ooze something fishy. However, the insatiable urge from down in my unpainted toenails to do something off the cuff, something out of the ordinary, prevailed. It was more likely the need to get out of the house after a manic Monday: two cranky kids, an icemaker that wouldn’t work,
and the inane dog that kept stealing marshmallows from the open pantry.
Really…how tricky could it be? Nicole and Julia make it look so easy, so undemanding. And leaving the house to go to the audition was indeed a wind through my hair, standing on top of an icy mountain moment. A stiff drink would also have done the trick, but I am not one to indulge. I walked past the small auditorium and casually peered into the window while moving by, quite possibly unnoticed. I headed to the water fountain and swigged down some cold H2O. I considered walking back to my car instead of confronting the semicrowded room of mostly familiar faces.
I knew I was one of only a couple of first-timers and they’d all be thinking, “What is she doing here?” The question crossed my mind also. However, I promised a friend that if she would go, I would too. I couldn’t let her down. Then it was my turn. Which character was I there to try out for? I actually hadn’t gotten that far, but didn’t want to tell on myself. I picked the one that looked the easiest and most sensible for me to emulate and took the stage.
Newsflash: Acting is not for the fainthearted. It is not for the bashful. And it is not for someone like me who worries pointlessly about what other people think of her. Maybe the characters weren’t right. Maybe it was too early in the evening; my inhibitions usually don’t disappear until after 10 p.m. But the moment was do or die.
I had never been to a casting call before, but certainly wasn’t going to divulge that information. I could either act clueless and whiny and start pulling out lines like, “Okay, guys, I’m so embarrassed. Don’t laugh at me, okay? Here I go…oh I can’t do this. I’m sooo embarrassed,” or I could give it all the gusto I could muster and act like the stage was my friend.
The bravado I didn’t know I had came, and the night left me only slightly red in the face. And I came away from the evening able to say I tried something new. I left not with a feeling of rejection, but with a feeling of daring—I had done something fresh. How exhilarating to step outside the box, especially for one who usually stays securely within the four walls of her own court.
Not everyone can have the starring role or their name in lights. The curtain doesn’t call for everyone. I think I found out tonight that the true champions are ultimately the directors, the writers, and the producers, without whom there would be no casting calls. Without them in the picture, people like me could not escape their harried lives to live vicariously through another character, even if for one stellar performance. Ahh—the joys of drama.
Who knows. I’ll know tomorrow whether I got a part.