Thursday, November 11, 2010

Auditions, Act 3

I had an audition for The Maid of Orleans last Saturday. I was really excited about this, because I was trying for the role of an antagonist, Queen Isabel. I'd jotted down the address, checked Google, and took the Red Line to the closest stop.

I'd given myself a ton more time than I needed, because I have this fear I'll be late. Turns out that was good, because when I got to 629 N. Sheridan I stood facing a mid-rise condo building. I looked at my date book.

I'd written 629 N. Sheridan on another paper; in the date book was 6129 N. Sheridan.  They are not close.

I'd dressed up for the audition in a dress, long sweater  and wool coat and knee boots, and considered the walk back to the station. I decided that since I had time, I'd just take the Broadway bus, which would come right by where I was.

What made me think that this was a good idea on a Saturday I can't say. All I know is the bus crawled up  Broadway, stopping at Every. Single. Stop. At Argyle, our merry band on the People's Bus was joined by 817 Vietnamese shoppers. Had I not been pressed for time, I'd have thoroughly enjoyed it. But I was pressed for time; yes, I was.

I watched my time surplus head towards deficit with each tug of the cord, each "Stop Requested" flashing across the screen at the front of the bus.

The cultural center where I was to go is actually very close to where I used to live; the irony is that I could have gotten there by taking the El all of three stops, or riding my bike for fifteen minutes.

I finally got off when it seemed the remaining distance was faster traveled on foot. I ran the five blocks, gasping out my lines in preparation. I was reading a monologue by the goddess of love from Euripides' Hippolytus.

"I am called...*puff puff* ...the goddess Cypris..."

I ran up Broadway, dodging shoppers, taking a right at Granville.

"...has blasphemed me... *gasp*...naming me vilest of the gods in heaven..."

I finally arrived. The building is a gorgeous old thing right on the Lake. It's empty, available for functions and.. well, auditions.

A young woman sat at a table. She had me fill out the usual form, then told me I was third in line. She was very pleasant. I'd had a lot of tea, and asked for the bathroom. She pointed.

The bathroom was smelly and old, and had no toilet paper, as I discovered...after. So I just pulled my tights up, feeling distinctly unlike the goddess of love.

I began running my scene, walking through the empty hall off the bathroom. My nose was running from the dash from the bus, and I needed to blow it badly. There was a grim kitchen, and I opened cabinets in search of paper towels, anything. Nothing.

I could not audition while sniffing every three seconds. I was getting desperate.  Just as I considered the inside of my sweater, I spotted a discarded paper towel in the trash. Someone had clearly used it to dry their hands, leaving a large portion of it untouched. So yes, the Goddess of Love, having just drip-dried in the toilet, blew her nose on a discarded paper towel scavenged from the trash.

My turn came and I did my bit in front of three people in a wonderful old room with big windows. It was the first time I'd used the monologue, and I felt good about it.

I got a call-back and a scene to review for it. I know I can play this character. I just have to convince them that five-foot me can command a stage.

Watch me.

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