As soon as I learn that there is a show I’d be interested in being cast in I begin working on audition pieces. I research the show and the characters. I talk to friends who perform to see which character would best suit me, make sure I’m on the right track. Usually I have an idea of who I’d like to play and often I don’t even have to ask my friends. I’ll mention the show and they’ll say, “Oh you’d make a great so-and-so!” Then I research the character and from there choose a song to audition with.
Sometimes the director will ask to hear specific selections. When that’s the case, some of my preparation is locked in their hands. They may announce they are doing a show but have not yet decided on which songs they want to hear. I can try to guess and do preliminary work on those but otherwise I am in limbo, waiting to hear what they decide, holding my breath and ready to belt.
I’m presently working on auditions for Jekyll and Hyde. They will hold auditions when I’m in Paris so the production team has been trying to find a time when they can meet with me before I go. This may prove to be very disadvantageous as I won’t be in town for call backs. They can’t hear how I sound with other performers.
Anywhoo…I did finally get the audition appointment set for that and the specific materials in my hot little hands. Now I could really get to work. I pretty much work on my songs whenever I have the time. Of course with singing, you take your instrument wherever you go so I can work in the car (though not very effectively), the shower, the kitchen, the laundry room… I try to get most of my rehearsing done when the family is not at home but there are often times where the events of the day are so busy that I have to grab the time when I can. When the family sees me heading to my room armed with the iPod player, they know. Sometimes when I’m rehearsing, Buddy or Bug will come and put their arms around me. They love my voice and are certain that the refrains of love are about them. It’s really sweet but when you are trying to stay in character and focus on breathing and technique….yeah. Not good. I’ve learned to rehearse in my room.
In my room, I shut the door and plant myself in front of a mirror that is on the back of the door. I think about the character. I consider the song and the characters connection to it. I try to make my own connections as well. I roll my shoulders back, lift my chest and press play. While the intro plays, I continue to set the stage in my mind and leave my room and role as Mom and Wife and mentally morph into a new character. The intro fades, I take a breath and…
My image in the mirror vanishes as the door swings open and,
“Mom, can I pour myself some milk?”
It’s like getting ready to jump and having someone yank you back from the edge.
“Yes. That’s not something you need to get permission for. Please, don’t interrupt me again unless it’s important OK? Just give me 30 minutes.”
“Oh. OK. Sorry.”
I shut the door. Looking in the mirror I reset myself. Recall the character, set the stage, find my connection, roll back my shoulder, lift my chest and press play. As the intro plays I leave my room again and set myself in Dr. Jekyll’s lab. I take a breath and sing. I feel the song. The emotions build with the song. Rooting myself to the floor, I finish a phrase and then take a breath ready to belt out the heart of this character and…
“Mom,” the door swings open again. “Mom, can we invite the girls over?”
“Will that keep you busy? Will that mean that you guys will play and not keep interrupting me over and over? Then yes, sweet child, yes! Invite the girls over!”
“Um. OK. Cool.”
“Please, just…I need 30 minutes without interruption.” I kiss the top of his head, a swat on the toosh and pretty much close the door on him.
Let’s try this again.
I take several breaths to rid myself of the frustration. Then I close my eyes a bit while refocusing and reconnecting to the character and song. Roll back my shoulders, chest is lifted, press play. Get lost in the intro music, take a breath and….
The door opens again. Man is home from work.
“Hey baby,” he greets me with a kiss.
I whimper a greeting in return.
So last night was my audition appointment. The week prior was spent in preparation as described above. I met with other performers and we critiqued one another. I tried to take their advice, tips, encouragement and kudos and apply it to all of my at-home rehearsals.
Yesterday I worked out, ran errands and then came home and rehearsed. It was almost time for the boys to come home from school. I gave myself a break and got the kitchen table cleaned up so they had a work space for homework. I reviewed the after school snack options and then I took a minute to check e-mails.
There was an email from the music director of Jekyll and Hyde. I took a deep breath and…
Due to weather and poor road conditions, the audition was cancelled for the evening. “We want to hear you and will reschedule as soon as possible.”
Yep. Seems right.