4:32 a.m., August 29, 2018-
I was anxious all day. Anxiety is nothing new to me and I am always anxious before a theatre audition, but yesterday’s anxiety was two fronted and more intense than usual.
From January 2010 through March 2015 I auditioned for roughly fifty community theatre productions and was cast in perhaps two-thirds that number. My normal pre-audition anxiety does not stem from fear of rejection, it stems from fear of the unknown and fear of failure. (Not that I don’t hate being rejected because I certainly do, especially if I think I did better than someone who gets “my” part!)
Fear of the unknown was ripe for yesterday’s audition. Yesterday was my first audition in a new state, a new city and at a new theatre, the Raleigh Little Theatre. Thus far all of my community theatre roles have been played on stages in and around Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Returning to a given theatre, to a beloved director, in search of a part is soothing, but new places, new people and new experiences tend to bring out my touch of autism and make me anxious.
I left Iowa August 25, 2015 when I moved to Florida and have not been in a “real play” since November 2014 when I played Professor Plum in RHCR’s production of Clue. (I did participate in a “Twenty-Four-Hours in a play” fund raiser the spring of 2015 which was great fun and a real challenge for someone like me who is not a quick study, but Pinocchio says it wasn’t a “real play.”)
Moving to Florida I promised myself that I would continue with community theatre, but my work schedule precluded this. After two-thirds of a year without auditioning I auditioned for a play at the Richey Suncoast Theatre, even though I knew acting would likely cost me my job. Unfortunately (Fortunately?) a long-planned trip just prior to production run prevented me from being cast, thus averting the work crisis that likely would have gotten me terminated.
I resided in Florida twenty-seven months (I refuse to call my Florida existence “living.”) before moving to Raleigh, North Carolina. Prior to moving to NC I Google searched theatre companies and placed myself on the volunteer list of Raleigh Little Theatre. I was poised to hit Raleigh’s streets and audition my little heart out; unfortunately I again let work stand in my way.
My plan was to work part-time and have a good life/work balance. I’m fortunate that I can “sponge off” my wife and do not need to work, but my ego and my need for social interaction dictates that I do “something” and for me “something” is spelled W, O, R, K. Desired part-time work became full-time and my life/work balance fell heavily to the work side. The beginning of August I spoke with my employer concerning my needs and we are theoretically going to search for a solution. Here’s hoping to better balance and continued employment!
In the fifty auditions I have subjected myself to only yesterday’s and Florida’s Suncoast Theatre’s required delivery of a monologue. In the past I have been provided with play “sides” and interacted with fellow auditonees. In Florida we delivered our monologues and then interacted. Yesterday’s RLT was the first time I auditioned, “Hollywood style,” the kind you see in movies where a director simply asks you to perform your monologue and nothing more. Take the stage, introduce yourself, spin your spiel and exit. Wham, bam thank you, ma’am!
Patrick Torres, the director of RLT’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, did not play the television and movie stereotypically callous director. He did not preemptively stop and reject potential players. He addressed we dozens of auditonees en masse in the theatre lobby where he outlined the RLT process using words that were appropriately soothing and reassuring for a community theatre production, especially one where the four main characters are children. After introductions we entered the theatre in groups of ten. During auditions Mr. Torres remained mute; he applauded after the first monologue (Delivered by a girl of fifteen years) as a reminder to we first ten that support for our fellow actors is critical and expected.
I chose a difficult monologue from Basil Kreimendahl’s Orange Julius that allowed me to show varying emotions in a sixty-second time period. I felt I did well. I’ll learn if I get a callback midday today.
Callback or not, cast or not, I gotta find some balance. Theatre is essential to my wellbeing and cutting myself off from manna in exchange for lucre is a losing proposition. And hey? What better show to reenter the world of theatre than The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe?
1:23 p.m., August 29, 2018-
RLT’s Lion, Witch and Wardrobe callback list was posted. Didn’t make the cut. Guess I’ll have to dig deeper in the closet to find my theatre fix.