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  1. Acting Audition on Poetry Night

    Tuesday, October 27, 2015

    In between a very busy schedule of two jobs and many medical appointments (not mentioning the things really weighing me down), I applied for an acting role in a play. It was a part for a humorous narrator. I was invited to audition. Amazingly, the audition was on an evening that I don’t work, but the evening I do try to get to a poetry workshop that I find nourishing in a few areas (not only my writing). The week before, the workshop didn’t meet. I wanted it all. But I chose to go to the audition in hopes I’d be in and out early and get to the workshop too (even without a poem). Usually, after the poetry, some of us go out to eat. It is often at a Thai restaurant that I’ve grown to love. Like Pavlov’s dogs, when I think of the workshop, my mouth salivates for that food which makes my tongue tingle with all kinds of magical herbs. And I enjoy the company.

    When I got to 8th Avenue and 47th Street and saw the address, I was a bit taken aback that it was the creepiest building on the block. The actor in me forged ahead. I had a choice of an elevator or the stairs. It was only the 2nd floor, and it seemed safer to climb the stairs. Well, the 2nd floor was 5 flights up. Another woman entered a few seconds behind me. If she’d been there when I arrived, maybe we would’ve chanced the elevator together. So huffing up the stairs, we reach a door that says to take the elevator. I couldn’t fuckin’ believe it. I knocked on the door. Again. I knock louder. A man opens it and we enter.

    When the man in charge of the crowd hears we are there for the role of narrator, he says that there are no sides (pages of the script) left because so many people are there for the part of narrator. He has us sign in and take a seat. There were lots of people in a small auditorium. I wondered if I should bother staying. I wanted to be with the poetry people. I really missed being there. But I stayed. I looked around. I may have been the oldest person in the room. I wanted to see that as an advantage. I probably knew more. I was older than they asked for but not in terms of appearance, and in acting, that’s what matters.

    At some point, the man in charge asked those with sides for the narrator to share them with those who needed to look at them. I got the pages. I read them twice and thought a black gay man was who they had in mind for this. I really wondered if I should stay. Then the man in charge told us that when we go in, to make it our own and stray from the script a bit if we wanted to. That freed me up. I could do this as me. I didn’t have to worry about how much of a black gay man I wasn’t.

    The night went on and on. I knew I’d never make it to the workshop. At this point I’d have been glad to make it to the eating out afterwards part.

    They must’ve gotten tired of hearing auditions for the narrator, because the order of calling people changed and was now not going by the time we entered. I was starting to have to accept that I wouldn’t make it to the eating part either.

    Though the auditions were supposed to happen within 2 hours, they rented a 3rd hour when they saw how many people came. I was called in the end of the 3rd hour. I was taken in as a group of 5. There were 7 minutes left until the end of the 3rd hour. I felt like I wasted my night, but tried to give it all I had left. They asked me to audition with another person trying for the same part. We shared lines. They stopped us before we got a third of the way through. My face must’ve looked like “you’re fuckin’ kidding me. I waited almost 3 hours for less than a minute?” though I really tried for it to look like “thank you very much.” The woman auditioning us said, “Don’t be discouraged. We are rushing because of the time, not your performances. We will have callbacks.” Then she said to me, “I like your accent.”

    “It’s Bronx,” I said.

    We’ll see what happens. I’ll likely keep you posted. Meanwhile, I am so ready for Thai food with the poets.

  2. 4 comments:

    1. Melinda said...


    2. RHC said...

      Wow, what we do for love. It was an audition week for me too. I need more practice at auditioning and seeing it as a process. That was a lot of time for you to spend there, hopefully not time wasted.

    3. Canada Anne said...

      It's your Bronx accent! Sometimes when you feel like its a waste of time it can turn around in your favor.

    4. Thanks for the comments. So far I haven't heard from them, so I figure it's likely that they chose those they want to return. But every experience is something. Just trying to get in character for the role as I read and re-read the pages is working on the craft. So it's all for something. The following week, I did get to the poetry workshop with a new poem. It was very appreciated and laughed over. One excellent editing suggestion was offered. Later, 3 of us went to eat and my craving was finally satisfied.

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