Last weekend I auditioned for a Broadway Revue. I was sick with that crud Bug had and so was not so sure how the whole thing was going to go but figured I’d go and give what I’ve got and see what happens.
The audition was different than any I’d ever had. In my experience you are called in one at a time and perform for the casting team alone. I figured I could blow my nose and cough and hack up….stuff…in the lobby until I was called and for the 2 minutes that I would sing they would never know I was sick. Directors hate excuses and so I don’t want to be all, “If that sounded crappy its because I’m sick, see.” For this audition, however, they called us in as one group and we all sang in front of one another.
Pro: You got to see how everyone stumbles but regardless could still offer up their talent.
Con: I couldn’t stifle the snot and coughing through out all of the auditions.
I tried so hard to be conspicuous because I felt like every sniffle, every honk into a tissue, and every wheezy old man cough was saying “Excuses! Excuses!” to the casting team.
Then there was the dance audition. I love to move but…alas…I lack some skills. I also need things broken down into a four count but choreographers will give you 16+ counts. Or something. Honestly, I’m so bad at math I have no idea what all the counting is. I think I dance more to bompity bomps then to 5,6,7,8’s. Ya know? Anywhoo, the best thing about dance auditions, for me, is that there is nothing I can do about it. I feel that I am a good singer and so when my vocals are being judged I get very nervous because, what if they think I stink at something I think I’m good at? Sad!
With dancing, I’m not nervous at all. If they think I’m bad I can do nothing but agree. If they like me then, Yea! I’ll work my butt off for them. My main goal at a dance audition is to show that I can be taught and that I’d be fun to work with.
It was hard to show how fun I’d be at this particular dance audition because I did not feel “fun.” I felt like hell. We did, what I was told was a simple dance, Hand Jive from Grease. It was the whole John Travolta and Olivia Newton John bit and it was so fun! I don’t know how I looked but…it was fun. We did the simple dance about 5 times. When I got in the car I nearly fell asleep, I was so tired.
Yep. Still sick. Home. Bed. Now.
Apparently things went well enough that I was called back the next day. I sang (and bombed) one song and then sang (and did great on) a couple of others. I felt really good after I left and again just kept thinking of how FUN the whole experience had been. It was so great to hear what others were offering. And they were offering good stuff! Everyone there sounded great! It’s gonna be a great show!!!
The call back process was cut short and so they asked that some of us return this weekend for a little more dance. There were different styles that needed to be seen than The Hand Jive. I was one asked to return.
Eeee! and Oh…
Again, nothing I can do to prepare for a dance audition because I don’t know what the dance will be. I did consider that the Hand Jive bit was very similar to that of the movie. I knew I was being called back to see how I would move as a Lola from Damn Yankees. Being my nickname, I am quite familiar with all Lola songs. (All three of them.) I LOVE to sing Whatever Lola Wants. It’s a sexy little song. Hm…sexy.
I realized the dance would be a hot and seductive number. Could I pull that off? I think I’m more Girl Next Door. I have sex appeal but I think it’s more…accidental. Again I say, Hm…
I went to YouTube to watch the Lola scene. It was choreographed by Bob Fosse whose style is kind of quirky. Sort of angular which is not something that comes across as sexy. Maybe I could do this dance.
The choreographer did lean toward Fosse for her ideas but it was smoother and rounder. I had tons of fun learning and performing the dance. I wouldn’t say I was “stand out” but I had fun.
Next we did a dance to Shoeless Joe, also from Damn Yankees. It was a hoe down. I was awful.
Finally, she had us dance to a song from Urine Town. I think it’s called Snuff. In this song a group of street people had kidnapped a lady and they had decided to kill her.
“I’d like to see some acting in this,” the choreographer instructed. “You’ve come up with a crazy idea and you kind of like it. You’re running on the whole Mob Mentality thing. Don’t show me ‘angry’ so much as ‘crazy.'”
When I was a kid my brother used to make this awful face that would scare the crap out of me. I’d just be sitting on the couch or next to him in the car and I could feel him looking at me. When I’d check to see, there he’d be with this lunatic expression. Sort of a Jack Nicholson in The Shining look. Lot’s of whites of the eyes showing as he kind of looked down on me. It was awful!
Whites of the eyes. That looks crazy.
So I did the dance (good or not, I can’t really say) with my brother’s Crazy Face. I didn’t leave it plastered on. I tried to alternate it a little between that and a face of….determination maybe? I don’t know what I did.
The call back was over and the choreographer thanked us all and then she said:
“Michal, I have to tell you… You’ve been at every audition and call back. You were sick but just so sweet and all but…that crazy look you gave…that was the best Crazy Face!”
“Thank you! I have two kids…”
I felt so great when I left! I wasn’t the best dancer. I didn’t get any positive (or negative) feed back on my dancing ability. I don’t know if I “did” sexy well or not but I can tell you, without a doubt, that I NAILED crazy!
I can see the Playbill now:
Crazy Girl #1…………………………………………………Michal McDowell