Sunday, January 30, 2011

London Audition #2

This past Monday, I went on my first real London audition. You might be wondering why I am writing about it now, nearly a week later. This is because I am extremely superstitious about stuff like this and believe that if I talk about it, I will jinx it. However, since the director said he would let us know by this weekend and Sunday has come without any word, I'm thinking I didn't get it.

The audition went really well, actually, which just goes to show that not all good auditions glean parts. In fact, many good auditions don't and vice-versa. I've gotten parts when I went to auditions exhausted and left thinking I was terrible. You never know what they're looking for, I guess. This time, it wasn't me, and that's the way it works sometimes.

(Notice how level-headed I am about this; I really did want this part, but it doesn't feel life-or-death like the other one did, even if I did dream about this one for the past two nights.)

The audition was for a play by a playwright that is well-known in England, but who I’ve never heard of back home, Jim Cartwright. It's an edgy, very dark piece from the '80s.

I got to the theatre fifteen minutes early, and it took me a second to find the venue as it was literally under the train tracks. However, I was the first one there. Two girls walked in right after me and we went into the green room and met the director. Over the next forty-five minutes, the room slowly filled up; there were a good number of people there.

The director gave us a pre-audition talk and then we started. Though I got there first, I was one of the last to audition, which kind of screwed me up a little bit because I chose a monologue from the script (a requirement) that just reading it made me cry. I was ready, I thought in the beginning. I'm gonna impress them with my crying skills; God knows I do it enough in my real life. But all that waiting kind of killed my mood, which shouldn't happen, but does. Also, everyone was talking around me and I felt really anti-social not joining in. I didn't for about two hours, but then an older lady started chatting with me about books and her love of Metallica, and then later I was talking to a girl my age. The girl was very interested in America, saying that she was going to go someday and she knew that there resided a tall, handsome American boy just for her (funny how people dream of different things, huh? All us American girls came here for the same thing... oh, and an education :p)

When I got into the theatre around 9:50, I wasn’t feeling teary, no matter how many situations- real or fictional- that I presented myself with. I feel like life might be easier if I were a Method actor, but… I’m not and I don’t think I ever will be.

I went in and climbed up onstage. The director was gone and I was hoping that he was going to come back; was he bored already? His assistant director took my picture and we chatted a bit about my experiences in England so far- I was the only American at the audition, so of course I stuck out. That's another reason why I didn't talk much in the waiting room; I dreaded displaying the neon sign of my accent.

Oh, my accent… yeah. I haven’t mentioned yet that this play takes place in Lancashire, England. And that accent, according to a few sources, is very hard to learn without a few months and a dialect coach. Me? I had a few days and YouTube. When you take acting classes, one of the first things you’re told is that you should not audition with an accent unless they ask for it. I had been practicing with an accent and it wasn’t terrible, but I didn’t know how good it was (if it was at all) and I didn’t want to insult anyone with a horrendous accent. So even though I wanted to blend in, I decided to follow the rules and use my own accent. It helped that the director (who didn’t have an English accent himself) gave us permission to use our own. In hindsight, I'm glad I used my own; it allowed me to concentrate on what I was saying, not how I was saying it and if it sounded bad.

Finally, the director came back, assured me that using my own accent was fine, and I started the monologue. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t what I wanted. I got teary but never actually cried, and it drives me crazy when that happens; I could feel the tears built up, but the wall would not come down. It's like a really obvious metaphor for my acting in general.

The director asked me to move a little more, to use the whole stage, and I did so (I hope.) They seemed to really like it, saying it was great to watch. Then the director asked, “Do you think you could learn the Lancashire accent if you needed to?” I said yes, that usually if I hear an accent long enough, I can emulate it, which is true. He said that it might not have to be Lancashire- he might be able to work different accents in, including my own. We discussed this at length, and in the end, I think we were all pretty happy with what had gone on.

The director had told us at the pre-talk that he didn't want to have callbacks if he could help it. I don't know if they took place on Friday... if they did, I wasn't invited. I'm not sure if we'll be notified even if we weren't cast; it's always helpful to know when to move on.

Like I said, not getting this part doesn't feel nearly as bad as the other one. Partially, it is the whole thing that I got to put myself out there for it and I know the audition wasn't bad. I also know that I presented them with a very full conflict schedule, what with Thursday class rehearsals and all the plays I have to see. It helps, too, that while I really do like the play and think that being in it would push me in a way I've never been pushed, it's not a play I've pined after like the other one; I just haven't had time to develop the same passion for it.

So maybe I'll go and see it when it comes out. It is a pretty awesome play. I just wish I were here longer so I could audition for more stuff. Come March, I won't be able to audition for anything because the performances will most likely commence once I'm gone. But there are other auditions still on the horizon, so I have those to look forward to.

EDIT: Just got the final word- no role. Oh well.


Anonymous said...

Now you can put on your resume... auditioned in London --- under the specialty section.

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