On Saturday I went to the callback for the classical play in which I was up for the role of the queen, who is a sort of Lady Macbeth character, only more unbalanced.
The callback was for the entire cast, and as there were roles for three young woman and numerous soldiers, and since people seem incapable of picturing seasoned warriors as being older than 28, it looked like a 4th-year college reunion.
On the bright side, this made spotting the women up for the queen (Isabel) role much easier. I sat in a large, bright empty room where folding chairs had been set up around the perimeter, and gazed around the circle of people, checking out the other Isabel-wannabes. Uh-huh... uh-huh... uh-huh....
At three-o'clock sat a very tall, statuesque dark-skinned African-american woman with a nearly shaved head. She was called in to do the Isabel scene, and as she rose from her seat, her perfectly-fitted clothing clung to a very well-muscled body of impossible perfection.
Basically, I was up against Grace Jones.
The room where they did scenes was right off of the waiting room, and one could hear the voices coming through. Although they were a bit muffled, I could still tell that her voice was rich and strong.
And there was when any illusion that I could be intense enough to overcome the fact that I'm five feet tall with a rather high voice went right out the window.
They had her read a number of times with a number of people. I was the final Isabel, and when assigned the other people with whom I'd read, I went into the kitchen with three young men and practiced.
I was feeling a bit dispirited at this point. I'd been there for two hours and hadn't read once, and had watched very pretty boys chat with very pretty girls, and been generally ignored. Had this been 20 years ago, I would have had a complete internal breakdown; ten years ago, I'd have felt completely defeated. I also would have been undone by the huge nervous-sweat pit stains on my poorly chosen gray top, but instead I told myself it lent character. I thought, "you are all younger and prettier than I, but I will bring it, and even if I don't get cast, I will read the hell out of this scene, and that will be my victory."
And I think I did. We went in, I did the scene, I got some direction, re-read the scene accordingly, and that was all. I left with a certainty that I didn't get the part, but I hope to God the Black Chick did, because she was impressive. Sometimes you're right for the part; sometimes someone else is more right. That's the way it goes.
On the bright side, the showcase that I was cast in is beautifully written, and they have given me another scene to be in because they hadn't cast one of the parts yet, and the director for that scene liked me in it when I stood in for it. In addition, the writer added a follow-up scene that I really like, so now I'm in four scenes in the show, including two two-person scenes. And the people in the show are really nice. I'm pleased. I don't know how much attention the show will get, but I anticipate a good experience.