Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Masochistic People

Theatre people are indeed a special kind of people. They subject themselves to humiliation, scrutiny, and dangerously low self-esteem...usually all during one process: the audition.

The audition is a process in which you spend a certain amount of time perfecting a performance piece (whether musical or otherwise) to present for the director, musical director, etc to find out whether or not you are good enough for their show. After filling out a sheet that asks you everything down to your height, weight, and eye color, you wait in the 'green room.' You wait and wait all the while you can hear snippets of other people's auditions: your competition. As you listen to them sing you cut yourself down and tell yourself you shouldn't be there. Too late...

Your name is called and you begin floating toward the door. The door somehow has grown three times the size and it seems as if it is taunting you. You sneer at the door as you approach it, all the while you are unsure how you are moving as it seems that your legs are incapable of moving independently. The assistant asks how you are doing and you mumble something incoherently as the door grows larger and larger. The assistant wishes you luck and leaves you at the monster door. The door is no longer taunting you, just shaking its head in disapproval.

You have reached the point of no return and you reach for the handle. As the door opens, you realize that this was your choice and you are here because you want to be. Quickly, you throw a smile on your face, a smile that is a little to big suggesting (ever so eloquently) that it is forced.

After standing in the doorway for a few moments smiling like a fool, you remember what you are supposed to do: hand your resume, head shot, and audition sheet to the director...hand the music to the pianist. Somehow, by the grace of God, you are able to tell the difference between the ten pieces of paper in your hand, recognize what resembles sheet music, and manage to throw it at the pianist. A brief apology follows and then you display your grace for the director. You straighten the papers in your hand and thrust them at the director all the while maintaining a big-chomper grin.

The director accepts the few sheets, refers to his schedule and asks you a question. After some silence he repeats his question:"What are you singing for us today?" The words swirl around your head like cartoon birdies. The words make sense but the sentence is rubbish. You realize what he is asking and shout out your answer a little too loud and with a little too much gusto.

The next few minutes are a whirlwind. The piano begins making a foreign noise and yet you know the tune. You sing for a minute or so and then it is over. With your knees shaking the director thanks you and out the door you go.

Who would subject themselves to such an experience? There are a lot of us out there. Scary.

1 comment:

Reagan said...

You pretty much captured the moment! It is a good feeling though right? I mean you want to puke at the end cause you are so GLAD it is over. PS How did the call backs go? Did you get a good part?