Tag Archives: callbacks

The Infinity Waiting Game

12 Jun

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Powerlessness blows bum.

…Next to the work-up about an audition for a specific role that you really really want…the next worst feeling, is when the audition is over, and for whatever specified number of days, you are told that you have to await the decision for final casting.

…Wait for hours that seem like months, days that feel like years…with zero control or information.

This is like living in your own little fate and anxiety-filled episode of Burn Notice…where any good or bad decisions you made in the past, have equal power to haunt or help you, but you don’t get to know which it’ll be…until after the longest FUCKING commercial break, known to man.

…Least, that’s how I see it.

…That’s how it looks from here.

…On day four.

…Since first walking in the theatre door with my audition piece.

…The day after the final callback.

…With possibly two more to follow, before final announcement.

Being an actor ain’t for sissies.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

…Now: Back to more line-learning…

~D

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Death Of Blob

4 Feb

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I’m one of those humans who needs to have a purpose…an end point, a goal…because if not, I turn into a lard-person-jelly-lump.  Both physically and mentally.

…I don’t do well just free-floating whichever way the breeze (if any) happens to be blowing this day/week/month/year.

So, I go for goals.

…I like  to plan and prep the next three things I wanna audition for…which informs what color and length of hair I’ll be sporting for the next six to nine months…how fat I’m allowed to let myself get, or how much I need to lose…what kind of movies and books I’ll be watching and reading for study aids…which actors will be my obsession teachers this go-round…and (eventually, based on casting)…what I will be doing with my night’s and weekends, and “where.”

…Which is why booking a show for me, is not just a big deal as “an actor,” but even just “as a person.” 

Twenty years doing a thing, builds some serious habits.

It reflects the kind of year I’ll have emotionally, physically, psychologically. It reflects the people I will be socializing with…which friends I’ll be seeing more regularly, and the kinds of places I go on the down-times…based on which city and county those “down-times” occur in.

…So, when I DON’T have anything to plan, at all…not even on the what-to-audition-for-next pipeline…I literally don’t know what to do with myself. I’m not a person who can just “be” to “be.” I can’t not think and study and plan. It’s against the religion of me. Even my Psych Doc couldn’t break me of it.

…Hence, for the last month, post-last-show, I have turned into a blob with total lack of enthusiasm.

Family tragedies certainly don’t help that.

…All you can do is just sit there, being “the blob,” turning into MORE of a blob, and thinking you are prob’ly doomed to get even blobbier before anything changes for the better. If ever again, at all.

So you do.

…Till an actual goal pops up.

…And you see it float there above your head, juuuuust outta reach, so you have to actually shift your weight, and stand up in order to touch it.

…And you do.

…And the fucker wiggles free n’ flies away, right in front of you…

…And you think, “Goddamn it, if I were FIT I’d have just jumped higher, and gotten a better hold of the thing to begin with!”

…Only sometimes, I guess the goal doesn’t totally float away for good.

…Sometimes, for reasons even YOU don’t understand, it gets caught up in the corner over there. But since you told yourself to forget about it, you don’t even know it’s there. How could it be? You totally lost it. You were there!

…Only looks like, maybe you didn’t.

…And two days later, you get a call on the phone. And it goes a little something like this:

AD: Hi. This is (Artistic Director you know.) I’m calling about the show.

Me: Oh. Yeah. That. Listen, I’m really sorry about lousing up that callback…

AD: I’m calling…

Me: –The “thanks, but no thanks call,” no, yeah. I get it.

AD: Not really. What? No. He wants to offer you a role.

Me: (Beat.) What?

AD: In the show.

Me: Who?

AD: The Director.

Me: Oh.

AD: Yeah.

Me: Why?

AD: Why??

Me: Yeah.

AD: Um. Because he liked you?

Me: (Beat.) No. But really. Why?

AD: That’s really why.

Me: But, I sucked.

AD:…Or: not.

Me: Really.

AD: Yep.

Me: Huh.

AD: So…

Me: Yeah?

AD: You like…wanna do the show?

Me: Oh! Sorry. YES.

AD: Okay then.

Me: Yeah.

AD: Good.

Me: I really needed this. I mean: comedy and purpose and stuff.

AD: Well, good.

(Long silence.)

Me:…But, seriously?

AD: Seriously.

…And so now, all of a sudden…the blob regains purpose.

…Which is a very good thing.

Very good.

I feel like I can breathe again.

Eventually, it’ll even sink in.

Huzzah and stuff — !

~D

Ice-Pick Eyeball

1 May

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Just got home from a lovely planned and run three-hour callback, wherein I battled a massive growing headache for roughly 2.5 hours.

…Alright, maybe only 2.

…I dunno. It was after the dancing.  I know that much.

Many a good friend and dear former cast-mate surrounded me in that room, and I did so want to give them my best, (along with the auditors, of course.)

…Alas, it was not to be. 

I did try. 

I did find moments. 

I did enjoy sitting by a buddy-friend I haven’t seen in ages, and playing on a stage with him again.

…What I didn’t like is how nauseated I was becoming…and how I had to keep reminding myself not to wink while reading the sides, just to keep some of the excess light out.

…And speaking of, this glowing screen is KILLING me.

I’m gonna eat these crackers now, shut out every light source and try to let those 4 Excedrin Migraine pills, (a lifeboat from a friend in a shipwreck of need) do their work.

…And wait for my fate to come in via email.

…By “sometime tomorrow.”

…Maybe I’ll feel better if I puke.

(she posts and waits her fates.)

~D

On The Docket

30 Apr

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Right.

…So, tomorrow is Wednesday.

I have to remind myself because I haven’t had a “normal” week in like two…”normal” not compared to other people, but just in junction with myself even.

I dunno if I’m coming or going, or really to where, or which county it is in.

This has been a problem since I first started the cold meds. 

…Work at home this day, into half of second, then office, then office again, airport run, south-end run, north-end triple runs: show – show – show, close. Mrs. Johnson pops up, birthday happenings…in another state…back home again, day off, think finally kicked cold, south-end again, half day work from home, airport run again, back to office, prep month-end, home to beat down rest of hangover and study for tomorrow, Ma’s to laundry, back home to blog.

…Is there any freakin’ wonder I’m a total mess right now?

Tomorrow is month-end, followed by about three hours of call-backs for “Importance of Being Earnest.”

…Called for Gwendolyn.

…Which means retracting the 40-something Jewish WWII mama, into a refined 20-something, posh, obsessive-compulsive, Edwardian, proposal-magnet.

Pffft!  I can totally do that on a dime! (She says, trying her best to state it without an inherent question mark at the end.)

…Which will only bring us to halfway through the week that already wouldn’t end. 

And this HUGE zit (which apparently has a cousin staying with Marty), just showed up yesterday.  Prime time for me to look my best, in times when it really matters.

…Meanwhile, I got m’first beautiful blue box of goodies from Tiffany’s in the mail, (c/o Aunty L), a new role offer from a theatre up north, (to keep me busy this fall), devoured this little lovely ditty (which I highly recommend for the equally obsessed) and now: I am off to bed.

Sleep.

…Guys, we ain’t even halfway through yet.

Oie.

Oops.

…I mean, “bugger.”

Shit.

I mean, “How very unfortunate that my current lifestyle is so fully without apparent rhyme nor reason,  when it comes to obtaining sufficient amounts of sleep and focus in order to successfully achieve one’s efforts, when one does try so hard to do ones best.”

(A little grindey on the gears there, friend.  Focus-up! it’s game-time!)

~D

Study & Prep

6 Feb

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Just finished reading the script for study time, after all last night flipping through the Diary and other materials. 

My heart hurts.

…It’s also really clamped onto Mama Frank.  I know I wanted the break with Mrs. V.D., and that’s what the Director is primarily calling me back for, but there is a much more visceral connection to Edith while reading it.

Age is the biggest opponent I have to fight at the moment.

…Have already been told the numbers at callbacks will be higher than usual because the Director is wisely insistent on getting the best chemistry and talent for the job.  That means the turn-out was solid and appropriate, and he doesn’t need to reach out to achieve or “make do” with anything…he can just pluck specifics straight from the casting tree.

This is the hard part about auditions. 

…The part where you have nothing you can do to accommodate your own worst mark against you.  I can study my ass off…prep the hell out of the sides, eat up the emotion, spit out the angst, and be filled with horrifying fear…I can work and act to the best of my ability…and in the end this will very prob’ly come down to none of  that.  The lack of age is just enough to push me off the scale, if I should at any point come up neck-and-neck with another woman for either of these roles.

…But…

If I can gain a solid connection with the children…

If I can really put my focus there tonight…for both of the women…to concentrate first and foremost on being a mother whose given birth to these people (whom I’m only just going to be meeting for the first time, with about three minute scenes in order to achieve it)…I might be able to hold onto this thing to the end.  Gain the trust of the younger actors I work with…relate to them with as much ease as I can muster…add that calming element into the room and focus on them. 

It’s what Edith did. 

…It’s not necessarily always what Mrs. V.D. was able to…but that difference could be worked out later in book work.  The point is: I have to be a believable mother of young people who will (no doubt) tower over me in height…and read opposite men as husbands who will (no doubt) out-age me by about a decade and a-half (in keeping with the trends.)  For about four hours tonight, I gotta kill off tragic lesbian spinster Martha for good, and embrace “wife” and “mother” to the extent that people will actually buy it…and all, while first and foremost servicing the script.

I gotta lot of work to do.

…But I have friends in the room once I get there.

And there’s an awful lot to be said about that.

I won’t be doin’ it alone.

And I’m excited to get to work on it.  Even if just for tonight.

~D

Gov’ment Papers & Study Time

5 Feb

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Just finished filing m’taxes, after crawling through a year of well-organized receipts and trying to get them into all the correct online filing boxes.  Am so glad Ma is better at finances and math stuffs or this past two hours woulda turned into the next 20.

…Also, I’ve got a pork roast in the Crock Pot…and some studying to do…as I’ve got a callback for tomorrow and wanna make sure I’m boned up on everything I need to have ready on-call, for whatever sides they feel like throwing at me.

…While trying to age about ten years.

It’s been a long time since I read Anne Frank’s diary…can’t remember the last time actually…but it’s a sad delight to be revisiting it again today 🙂

Such a piece of astounding history.

…Off to enjoy it’s special wonders and horrible truths, now.

Happy almost-Wednesday, all.

~ D

Exercising Demons

18 Nov

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Sometimes Actors like to go a little suicidal and play really close to the edge of the cliff. 

…In other words, they will take something that has huge personal relevancy, connotation and emotional cost, and exploit it for artistic means…which is a brave, twisted, painful….and some would say, “sick” thing to do.  But it is how people connect with truth. 

Being naked means a lot more than just taking your clothes off. 

…The most naked I’ve even been in my life, had me in three layers of 1940’s clothes, sporting a Dutch accent.  Clearly that wasn’t “me” up on that stage.  Clearly I had plenty of things to “hide behind” in the voice and look and age that I was portraying. But, because the story content was so very personal to me…because the character I was playing was a real person, whom I had studied and knew from my childhood…because the themes and History of it had helped to form me so much as a reader and artist, and human…the role had wormed its way to my innermost guts, weaving a special new fiber of marriage with not just my mind’s creative sector, but key emotional centers, and physical expressions. 

It quite frankly took me over. 

…Not all at once.  But at some point, every night, I would lose myself it it fully, without even being conscious of it…and the only point that realization would kick in would be at the shows end, when I’d sorta wake with a start, to the audience beginning to applaud our work.

…It’s the furthest I’ve ever been, the most raw I’ve ever felt, the most emotionally draining thing I’ve ever experienced, by far…on any stage.  And though you learn so much as a person, as an Artist, when roles like that (few and far between) come along…it is still a terrifying aspect of what we do, for everyone who is willing to travel that journey. 

…Fighting your personal demons in public is as naked as you will ever get, my friends.  And agreeing to it, embracing it, and not holding back, is riding that suicidal cliff edge, where some people can’t handle the mind-games it pulls on you, the nightmares it brings, the depressions that it can usher in, the sleepless nights, and obsessive pushing to places you have purposely left behind closed doors, to grow thick with dust and cobwebs and never be seen or heard from again.

Yesterday, I walked down the corridors and unlocked one of those doors, letting out not just vacant dustballs and “remember whens,” but a whole fucking Pandora’s box of shit. 

I knew it would happen. 

And I did it willingly. 

…And it actually mentally, emotionally and physically altered me for the remainder of the day, and well into performance last night.  An inconvenience when you have another show to do, and another character with other traits placed entirely where your head isn’t, and won’t be, due to the cost of being naked on a stage several hours earlier.

Callbacks were yesterday, just before our performance.

…With one hour and fifteen minutes buffer, a group of us, talked and ate and joked and tried to redirect our brains to better places in order to prep for this other thing we were soon needing to do. But on the inside, several of us who had vomited all to-real emotions out on the stage less than two hours earlier, were play-acting our way now through “life” because we were actually in no way prepared to merely dust off the age and disgust of the long locked rooms we had opened in our private-most inner sanctums. 

…In fact the room was so overwhelming before even barely crossing the threshold that it took two scene reads before I could calm myself down enough emotionally to USE the feelings instead of letting them completely overwhelm me.  I felt swarmed.  My body actually physically shook beyond my own control.  I had to concentrate so hard on the words to get them out with the proper amount of emotion and not the sea of it that I was feeling, that the poor bastards I read with had little help in their own work, from my direction. 

…But in time, I was able to wrangle my grasp onto it.  Could get on the back of it, as it thrashed around, and manage to stay on, and stay focused and stay with my scene partners.  And though it was only several passes at four scenes…neither of them the big emotional reveal and peak that the script eventually rises to…just knowing it was there…that the words I was speaking were in defence of this unspoken thing…that every line had a double meaning, later to ruin and/or alter people’s lives forever…and knowing that I once knew and fought that battle too…was a palpable thing. 

Exercising a personal demon.  Being brave enough after all these years to walk up to it, getting grip of it’s mane, and swing onto it’s back with determination that this time…this time, I am the boss of it, and I will use it to my own devices and needs…

…Because I have EARNED this moment. 

I’m done living in a house with another door I’m too scared to open.  Of course there are other attics and basements filled with personal fears and painful memories, too.  But yesterday, I decided this one won’t be among them anymore. 

…I may or may not be given the opportunity to air it for an entire audience.  Casting calls are still yet to be made.  But even if I don’t…for a day, in front of more strangers than friends…I faced that certain beast.  Which is more than I’ve done since the day I first locked it away.  And the sizable personal victory…followed by slightly sickening after-shock once coming down from the adrenaline rush, was worth it.

If not on stage, then in some other way…I’m ready to get this shit taken care of.

…And it feels horrible, gut-wrenching, good.

…And if you’re an Artist of anything…you totally know exactly what that means.

~D

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