I am auditioning again. That means I am schlepping myself to open calls around the town. I haven't done this since the Mary Poppins open call last February, that led to a few more auditions and ended up dissappointing me....a lot. So, it took a while to recover from that and I am back in the saddle again.
Here is a little education for those of you who are unfamiliar with how this works. There are two types of auditions that I attend: EPA and ECC.
EPA is Equity Principal Audition, Equity: union member, Principal: Main role, Audition: stand in front of people and sing or act or dance and much of the time humiliate yourself, other times not. Usually you can sing a full song for this audition. For this call you sign up the same day as you audition, which means if you want a guarenteed spot, or prefer a certain timeslot, you get there hours early, because it is first come, first serve.
ECC is Equity Chorus Call, Equity: union member, Chorus: parts that are NOT the main parts, Call: come on everybody, put your lashes on and sing us a song already, but only 16 bars, and later in the day we will cut you down to 4 (seriously has happened before). This audition is governed by a list. The list goes up exactly 7 days ahead of the audition. If you want to be high on the list (and thus sing sooner), you line up hours early on the day the list goes up. The day of the audition, you have to be there a half hour before the auditions begin, to say YES when you hear your name, and then get a card with your number on it. The general trend is whatever number you are on the list, you will probably get a card that is about half that. Then there are the union members who are NOT on the list, and the non-union members who hang out ALL day with a slight glimmer of hope that they might be seen, and I would NEVER be able to handle that, so I am glad I am union.
I prefer ECC's for the following reasons:
1. The get-there-hours-early-and-wait-in-the-cold happens on a day that I am NOT auditioning.
2. I am up early everyday, and most actors are not b/c they don't have kids or they work in restaurants or in the theatre, so I have a better chance of being seen in the first time slot for an ECC b/c it is not a big deal for me to go sign up early.
3. You are DIScouraged from singing a full song. I hate singing full songs, and I feel awkward at EPA's sometimes, when I don't sing a full song.
4. Usually we are auditioning at EPA's for roles that have already been cast (by stars), so I feel that an ECC has a better chance of the casting directors ACTUALLY looking for talent.
Anyway....on Wed. I had an EPA for Shrek, the musical. I had been working on my rock song for about a week. I got there SUPER early because I wanted to get back to my kids, and I was just DREADING the cold. Little did I know, that the Union building has a cold-weather policy, where they open the building early, so you don't have to freeze outside. YIPPEE....anyway I ended up being the FIRST one to audition, and the song was so-so....I left feeling BAD.
But today was an ECC. I was #10 on the list, so I got a card that was #8. I was feeling good about this audition for a few reasons:
1. The call wanted high sustained notes, good diction, and height: 5'6"-5'11". (I saw some girls that were shorter than 5'6"...). So, those are three of my strong points.
2. The casting director has cast me in my last 4 major jobs, and also called me in for a handful of other great jobs that I did not get.
3. I had broken through the hords of girls that came out for Mary Poppins at this call last year, so I thought it was possible to do it again.
I was sitting in the holding room waiting to line up and sing, and a woman that I had made friends with started talking about how she struggled to find a funny song that was also high and sustained, so she just rewrote words to her song, and was hoping they were funny.
So my innermonologue/dialogue began: Oh crap. I paid attention to the type of music (traditional musical theatre), the requirements (high sustained notes), the diction, the height (couldn't have changed it if I wanted to), and even though I knew it was a Mel Brooks musical, I wasn't even thinking about being funny. CRAP. Ok...I have 3 minutes to rewrite my song....what are the lyrics...."Follow your Heart, whenever it calls to you, whatever it tells you to do...." but wait, that's not the 16-bar cut I was going to sing.....Follow your Heart....Follow your Fart. Hey....Fart rhymes with heart...that's funny right? But I have to change my cut to the beginning instead of th end, and cut to the end so that I can sing the high note, ok this is going to work.
I turn back to the woman and say...."I was going to sing Follow your Heart, which is not funny, but Follow your Fart kind of sounds funny.....?"
She said: "I triple-dog dare you" So, of course I had to do it.
I was waiting outside to go in and I heard that the musical director of Young Frankenstein was our pianist, and that THE casting director herself was in the room. This never happens. So I reconsidered my choice, and remembered the triple dog dare, and went for it:
FOLLOW YOUR FART....whenever it calls to you, whatever it tells you to do.
A fart has reasons the mind cannot know....follow your fart, wherever it tells you to go...So please don't wait to go...just follow your FART.
They laughed. I felt good.