Monday, March 21, 2011


Remember how the other day (and for many entries before that) I complained that I couldn't get a show? I was sad. Very sad.

And then all of a sudden, a contact I made came through over the weekend. After a frenzy of e-mailing, calling, and texting between the director and myself, I was offered a teeny-tiny part in an off-West End show.

I (and the rest of the Queen Mary Theatre Company) had gotten an e-mail that the director needed some last minute actors for three roles, one bigger one and two smaller ones. This was about a month and a half ago. Of course, I contacted the director right away, and we e-mailed back and forth for awhile. I was only eligible for one of the smaller parts (though I really tried to negotiate my way into the bigger one, he said it could only be played by a man) and he said he hoped to get to Queen Mary sometime in early March to audition people.

March came and continued on and there was no word. I just figured the director had found someone he wanted and moved on. And then suddenly on Friday, I got an e-mail asking about my schedule. The next day, he offered me the role. My starting date? Today. The opening date of the show? Tomorrow. It runs for a little under two weeks.

Only having a few hours of rehearsal isn't a huge deal- the rest of the cast has been rehearsing normally, and like I said, my part is small. Like, incredibly small. I'm not onstage for thirty seconds, and I have one line (which may be given to the taller of the two of us actors, which will never be me.) This is the kind of part I would not accept at a lower-level, non-paying, non-professional theatre at home, not because I'm a snob, but because it doesn't do anything for my resume. But this is different. While it's a very small theatre, it is off-West End (as opposed to off-off West End, which yes, is an actual thing, just like off-off- Broadway.) I'll apparently also get to mingle with lots of cool people (the cast and director are already very nice.) And finally, it's not like I was looking for a paying acting job, considering that I'll be breaking the law if I get one and take it. Plus, I just wanted a show- you guys know, you've been reading my whining for long enough.

So I went to the... (interruption- our fire alarm goes off constantly for about ten seconds. At this point, we don't even move until it's gone off longer than that. Just now, it blared like an air raid siren for a full thirty seconds [and a mostly packed-up bag from me] before it stopped. I'm sick of this happening once a week.)

Anyway. So I went to the four-hour tech rehearsal at eleven this morning. The theatre's pretty close to the tube station. As I was exiting said tube station, my Oyster card malfunctioned and the guy got all huffy with me. "This means you don't have any money on it. If you do this again, you'll be fined fifty pounds and have a criminal record, got it?" I knew I had money on my card, but I just nodded. "How exactly did you get out of Mile End?" he asked. As it happened, all of the gates at Mile End were broken, and they were letting people through the handicap gate. I told him as much and he gave me a raised eyebrow and a disbelieving, "Uh huh." He let me through and I thought, well, maybe I really don't have money on my card. So I went to go top up. When the amount of money that I did have flashed up (plenty to get through), I could not help immaturely turning back to him, pointing at the screen, and calling, "Excuse me, but I do have money on my card." Sometimes I get tired of acting like an adult. He must have felt bad about yelling at me, because he put more money on my card (I don't actually know why he did this, but I didn't stop him. I was annoyed.)

Once that debacle was over, I walked to the theatre, which is quite small but very theatre-y. The director is much younger than I expected, and also Scottish, which means another lovely accent to appreciate :) The play is set in New England, and two of the cast members are English, using American accents, one is from Baltimore, and the other is Canadian, if I'm hearing his accent correctly.

I was kind of surprised at the part I was given to play. The director had specifically said he wanted two women, so I kind of expected just to come on, get a drink from a bar onstage, and go off or something. I hoped I wouldn't have to wear skimpy clothing... But that will not be a concern, because I am playing a henchman (or... henchwoman) and I'm wearing a trenchcoat, gloves, and a hat. Definitely not skimpy! I go on, shout "There she is!" (maybe), and pull off the actress playing the title character. It was just me today, and it's rather amusing that I have to attack this woman and pull her off stage because she's taller than me. In order to hold her the way they want me to, I have to stand on my tiptoes. I also did today's rehearsal wearing the trenchcoat over my plaid skirt and black sweater. I'm so threatening But all of my notes were good, so I guess I'm scary enough :p

The rehearsal let out at two and I headed back to school. That's right, I skipped class to go to this rehearsal, and I'm not sorry. I never ever skip class unless it's for something like this (and I tend to get permission anyway.) I save up all of my sick days and then use them for acting purposes, hoping there will be acting purposes for which to use them. Plus, it was RT- I know what I missed: two hours of people calling Frankenstein "overrated", as I heard one classmate call it. Since I tend to feel myself going very insane very quickly in that class, I figured I would be fine.

I'm just happy to have a show. This may or may not go on my resume, but I'm just happy to be doing theatre in London, and this "I'm doing a show" happiness will probably carry me until I get home, when I will begin to fret again. It is a cycle that cannot be stopped. The play's pretty short, maybe forty minutes, so there's not a ton of waiting around, and I got a lot of reading done today. Maybe I'll bring my essays along tomorrow, since I'll be there from 12 pm to whenever the show lets out. Gotta love tech and opening night all in one day!


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