Friday, March 31, 2006

the war of attrition

i went to the equity building early yesterday afternoon to audition for an industrial showcase for state farm. renee called me and told me about it and it made sense to go and at least toss my hat in the ring because it would start rehearsing right after i did the show i've already got upstate. the pay would be great. and they're going to chicago and las vegas, at the end of the summer and later in the fall, respectively. i couldn't make it for the female singers call that morning. would they see me during the male singers call? why not try to be seen? what's the worst that could happen?

here's the way it works for a chorus call: they post the audition information and if you're equity, you get to sign your name onto a list on a big board on the 2nd floor of the equity building. when the audition time comes up, that list comes down and they call the names on the list. when your name is called, you step forward and take a numbered card and fill it out. you give that card to the monitor, along with your headshot, right before you go in to audition. a lot of people sign up but they don't show up, which is great for walk-ins like me. they separate males and females. and if you're non union, you get seen at the end of the day after they've seen everyone that's union if they're not too worn out to bother. (big if, folks. big if.) many's the day i sat there outside of that lounge all day (you can only go in the lounge area if you're equity), only to be told that they're too exhausted to hear me sing 16 bars. but i digress.

they had three auditions going at once. it was a real zoo. i showed up when the powers that be were having lunch, so things were strangely quiet. and then all of a sudden, there was bedlam -- everyone was walking around with their books open, their shoes off, hot rollers in their hair, catching up with friends and everything else. i was the only black girl there for a minute -- and with good reason: audition 1 was for an equity workshop of "little house on the prairie" (someone wants to turn it into a musical); audition 2 was for an upcoming season of straight classic plays for a theater company in utah (they wanted monologues and i wasn't prepared); and audition 3 was for the industrial. i had missed the female singers call that morning because i had a doctor's appointment and i wanted to be seen but they were seeing male singers in the afternoon. and after sifting through a list of 257 names to see who was there, they came up with 130 guys. each of them would walk in and hit 8 bars. pow, that's it. that meant that they weren't seeing any women. no time. no room. oh, well. that didn't phase me. if God wanted me to get the part, i'd get it -- and nothing that i could do to screw it up would keep it from me.
i thought, i'm here so i may as well be seen for something. so i went in for "the little house" gig. why shouldn't they consider me? we were out there on the prairie, too -- as cowboys and frontierswomen and railroad workers and everything else, quiet as it's kept.

stacy was there. she'd showed up earlier and showed her ass when they wouldn't let her into the female singers call that morning so she was back to see if she could get in at all. and tamara was there, too -- she took the numbered card right before mine for the prairie gig and she had a monologue ready for utah. we went into the women's dressing room and did a severe amount of catching up. when i went in there before to put on a light beat and change shoes, everyone was exchanging stories. the room was full but i remember specific ones: there was a redhead in a flowery gypsy skirt, trying hard to affect a prairie look; a blonde in hot rollers and a cute pink strapless number that she confided was her bridesmaid's dress, which brought gasps and appreciative murmurs from everyone; and a brownskinned black woman with beautiful pumps that i couldn't stop staring at.

this is the two cents that i pitched in.

i told them that when i was a little kid, i thought that i'd make it because i had talent and talent was all that anyone needed. but i was wrong. there are plenty of talented people who aren't working or who are barely getting by, while people with hardly any talent at all work constantly and have enviable careers. so what do you really need to make it? after a moment, everyone pitched in their thoughts -- "connections," someone said. "luck," said someone else. i let all of them finish and then i said, really now, you only need one thing. one little thing. all you need is to never, ever, ever give up.

and with that, the redhead stopped readjusting her hair and turned around and said, it's the war of attrition.

everyone chimed in with their opinions. everyone agreed. what a perfect way to say it. i threw my head back and laughed. that's it. the war of attrition. that's what i'm doing: i'm wearing them down. that does it, i said. i was thinking about leaving and now, i've decided not to go. the room cheered me on. and with that, i went outside and filled out my numbered card and waited my turn. they wanted my best 16 bars. i think i gave it to them.

as i was headed home, i checked my messages. my commercial agent called with an audition. could i come in on tuesday to be seen for an industrial showcase for state farm?

Saturday, March 25, 2006

running, running, running

i've been running on the 1/4 mile track in riverbank state park late at night for the past week or so -- around 9pm until they close at 11pm -- and now i'm starting to do it first thing in the morning, too. the weather is changing and i have to catch up and knock the winter chunk off of me or i won't be able to get into my spring/summer clothes. i'm convinced that the reason why i'm a size 4/6 is because i'm too cheap to buy new outfits every season. i have basics and i accessorize but basically it's the same pencil skirt and blouse i had when i showed up in this town.

and i'm not one of those "i can eat anything i want and be thin" people, either. it's a constant battle, it's an everyday situation and it's hard, hard, hard. losing weight and getting in shape is one thing but maintaining and keeping it all in check requires a whole other level of discipline. i don't enjoy the gym and i don't like running. it's work. sometimes its agonizing. most of the time, it feels like hard labor because i'm always pushing myself. but it's worth it, when says i'm almost 15 years younger than i actually am. or when i go get a check up and my cholesterol level is so low, my doctor gives me a double take and a smile, and then gives my hand a little squeeze. or when i toss out my clothes because i've worn them out or because they're out of style, not because i'm shopping at lane bryant these days. or when i go home to ATL and i'm with my brother damon and his three teenage daughters and we run into someone that knew us in high school and they think that i'm one of his kids. (that was priceless, folks. just priceless.)

none of this is vanity, you know. they won't let me in already because they don't think i'm pretty enough -- whatever that means. my logic is, i don't need to give them any more reasons.

last year i decided that as a birthday present to myself, i would have a picture taken of me in a bikini on the beach annually. i got a black string bikini and set the bar pretty high. it was worth all the running i had to do to get there, to look that good. so now i'm looking at myself naked and i'm thinking about my birthday -- june 30th -- and i'm counting backwards. if i keep running everyday and if i lift weights the way that i should and if i stick to my body for life regimen, i think i can get it all back in 6 weeks, even though it's a 12 week program. (and yeah, body for life really works.)

hm. maybe i'll enter their body for life challenge...

Monday, March 20, 2006

super 8 fantasy

i'll be living alone soon enough, so i'm going through all of my things and throwing away as much as i possibly can. i want to toss out whatever i can and clean everything so that all of it will be easy to rearrange when the spare room is empty and it's time to shift things around. earlier today my friend and i walked my dinette set over to a place that accepts donations for a program called "furnish the future" for homeless people who are getting their lives together. it felt good to not just leave it on the sidewalk. i hope its a blessing to someone.

i know that spring cleaning is traditionally the thing to do right about now, but i'm such a packrat that i need this kind of motivation every month. strangely, i've found all kinds of things. so far, the most interesting is the super 8 cameras and projector that i'd acquired some time ago, after reading a book about super 8 films. i'd completely forgotten about them. they aren't rusted over, either. they work and they are beautiful. it's got me thinking about super 8 filmmaking all over again. and i haven't given any of that serious thought since carrie passed away. me, the one that was so insistent on learning how to write movies, i finished college as a screenwriting major. and carrie fanned those flames into a bonfire -- with long talks into the night about our ideas and how we could realistically make them happen. she started her production company and got everything off the ground with one short film after another and she was starting to delve into music videos. if it weren't for the lung cancer, i'm sure that she would have pulled it off.

so now i'm looking at all this equipment and i'm thinking about carrie and i'm restless again. i'm remembering our conversations, the treatments i'd written, the partially written screenplay that i showed her. she was so encouraging, so positive, so sure that i'd do something wonderful. there was an idea i had for a documentary about my surname, which is german. i've never met any white people with this name. i thought it would be interesting to go to germany and meet my relatives, by way of a plantation in south georgia that's supposedly named after all of us, and trace a part of my family history. it wouldn't be a two hour saga. more like 30 minutes, maybe. when i mentioned it to a german filmmaker friend of mine, he thought it was a great idea. he even thought that i could get funding from germany. it seemed so farfetched at the time -- the kind of thing we'd sit around and talk about, after a big meal and some introspective conversation -- but totally do-able. and then the world rushed in, carrie went away and i went off to do other things. but that idea wouldn't leave me alone. and now it's back.

the more i dig, the more cameras i find.

well. i can't sit around with a good idea in my hands for long. i have to do something. and all of a sudden, it's not so impossible. actually, it sounds like a lot of fun.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

there, that's better...

jp and little debbie at bloomie's, lenox square

someone wrote to me earlier and said that they couldn't really see what my baby brother looked like, so here he is again with my friend little debbie in ATL a few months ago. enjoy!

i want my saturdays back!

i remember when saturdays meant something: sitting around in my pajamas eating fruit loops and watching bugs bunny all day, then running around in the woods until eveningtime came along and my mother would call us in because it was too dark to play anymore. now saturday means housecleaning usually, oversleep if i'm lucky, a pot of lapsang souchong if i can get it and a mandatory afternoon workout in the gym -- no excuses. and no cartoons. they all suck now, anyway.

so i've decided to give my saturdays an overhaul, in three easy steps:
  1. CARTOONS! i found a bunch of bugs bunny dvds online that were so exhaustive, i had to call my brother ramon in ATL and tell him about it. i have to get them all. that'll start my saturday off right, no matter where i am in the world.
  2. skip breakfast. all that sugary fun day glo cereal is out -- and it has been for quite some time. for some wierd reason, i'm happiest if i don't eat anything until noon.
  3. shut yerself in. it's really got to be worth my while to leave my apartment on a saturday because going anywhere in NYC on the weekends is a nightmare. i should stay in and practice, practice, practice. and watch netflix at night.
that being said, i've got an action-packed evening planned. tonight, i'm going to see jc hopkins at rockwood music hall and then i'm probably going to go to the slipper room to see scotty the blue bunny and some late-night burlesque with a bunch of my friends. as long as i work out and clean house before i disappear until 5am, i won't be all that concerned about much else. i've had a long week. i need some fun.

i think he's in kuwait...


this is my baby brother, somewhere in the middle east. isn't he handsome? the world calls him john. we call him moniah.

he comes home in april for awhile. i don't know if he'll come home again before the end of the year, so i have to get there while he's stateside. basically, he belongs to the military until late '07, i think.

i don't know how he can wear all those clothes in the desert.

when i was small, he was mine. i changed his diapers. i put him on my back and took him with me when i went wandering through the woods. he was so beautiful. and now he's something like 6'4'' or so -- and so gigantically huge, sometimes i think he ate the kid i used to take care of. he eats everything in sight, too. he loves gordon lightfoot. and bugs bunny. and crunk. he writes poetry. he makes music.

to get the full effect, i suppose you'd have to see a snapshot of what he looked like when he was three.

he's over there right this minute, eight hours ahead of me all the time, shooting at things and getting shot at, probably. i don't really like to think about any of it very much. it makes me sick to my stomach to think that anything bad could ever happen to him.

Friday, March 17, 2006

...and that's how it went.

i called renee to see if she got called in for the IPod commercial. when she said she didn't, i insisted that she come with me. why? simply put, because i'm tired of being the only black girl in the room.

i got her in on the last IPod commercial and she did an interview with the agency after the smoke cleared, so now we freelance with the same folks. they didn't mind her crashing the party. the set-up was loose and she is a dancer, after all. we got there a little late. the sweet receptionist remembered me as always. i changed my clothes and then i changed them again when i saw how casually dressed everyone else was. it wasn't as crazy as it was before -- maybe because we showed up before noon. and they had everyone sign releases right off the bat. before, they whipped out the paperwork at the callback. if you didn't sign, you couldn't be seen.

renee went in before me. and then i was in there, flailing my arms and legs around to the strains of the red hot chili peppers' californication. it was a guy this time. really even-keel about it all. there he stood on the other side of a little camera, staring at a wide screen monitor with a remote control in his hand, warmly encouraging me to "let myself go and just have fun" -- whatever that means. i was very punk/post-modern/spazz about it, but with feeling. it was all i could think to do, to truly be myself and not look like anybody else. and it was fun, actually. i left there on a high, feeling good about the fact that i wasn't sitting around whining and complaining about how i'd like to get a commercial someday -- i was actually doing something about it.

i skipped off to the duane reade, where i got nilla wafers, ritz crackers, cold medicine (my friend gave me his small slight headcold) and the most amazing lotion -- new stuff by the vaseline people that's so good, i'm giving up kiehl's (seriously!) -- and then i went home, had lunch and ran lines for the law and order audition.

somewhere around 5pm, i freshened up my make-up (which was a basic beat) and impulsively put on a wig. very short and not too "finished" -- because the scene required that i look like i just got out of bed. my knots seemed so stationary, so static. they'd seen me so many times before. i thought, why not, i'll try something different. why not. i take the local to chelsea and then the crosstown bus to the pier, with that de kooning bio to keep me company all the way there and back. what a great read. i'm lost in it, thinking about his life and his art and how melancholy he was. but i digress.

i got there on time but they had technical difficulties. there were two people in front of me and then there were none. and all of a sudden, i was in that room. three men sat across from me, a dish of candy between us and the nice lady that fetched me read with me. was there a camera in the room? i don't think so. but maybe it was in the back somewhere. i don't know. everything went by in a blur. i read through it once and it was over as soon as it began. he seemed to like what i did, but i can't ever get a read on film/tv people when they say things like that. i just have to leave the room and not care anymore. but i cared a little.

i remember calling klingman and telling him everything and he was like, don't think about it. such excellent advice. he knew i'd pick at it like a scab until i was bleeding through the proverbial band-aid. he said, they know you, they've seen you before. if they want you, they'll call. if they don't, that's that.

and with that, i buried myself in my de kooning bio. when i got home, i watched a jimi hendrix bio and practiced guitar until my fingers hurt too much to go on. so of course, i kept going. and somehow, that pretty much summed it all up.

...and that's how it went.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

but wait! there's more!

my manager for the acting stuff just called. i'm going in for law and order tomorrow evening. i don't know which franchise -- criminal intent, sexual victim's unit or the standard issue original. i'm going to skip out and pick up my sides right now. guess what the part is? "black woman" -- and probably an angry one, too. (is there any other kind?) i made klingman give me the lowdown. evidently, they're looking for my boyfriend so they bust my door down while i'm in bed with someone else. *sigh* hey, it is what it is.

on the one hand, i'm excited but on the other hand, i'm like, oh, fer cryin' out loud! ever since i joined SAG, i've been in there a million times or more. me and a million other black girls. it's like a wierd revolving door for theater actors that need to build their reel. they keep calling you in until you land something and then you can't do it anymore.

boy, am i sick of seeing everyone i know but me doing their bit part on that show or what. who knows? maybe it's my turn...

another IPod audition?!?!

yeah, that's right -- believe it or not, i've got an audition for another IPod commercial tomorrow morning. (again with the IPod commercial audition. again!!!) they remembered me from the last one and requested me -- which is nice, i suppose. but frustrating.

i'm going to the same production company i went to the last time, all the way on the west side. it's more present-day rock and roll this time -- rage against the machine. the casting agent has people downloading their music to get a feel for what they want. thankfully, i'm already a fan. my hair is in knots, so there's no getting around that. i don't think my afro would be appropriate, anyway. but how do i move to it? and more importantly -- what do i wear?

gee. i wonder if renee is going?

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

newsflash #2!

i didn't get the part in the nanny diaries. they said that they loved me as an actress but they wanted someone that was more "corporate."

my friend said that he wasn't surprised that i didn't get the part. (he's the one that ran lines with me.) in the description of the character, it asked for "perky" -- and according to him, that just isn't me. "but i can act perky," i countered. "i'm an actor, remember?"

"movies don't have anything to do with acting," he said flatly.

"but i can act," i said weakly.

"it doesn't really matter," he said, "unless you're doing theater." and then he went on. "they'll get some character actor to do it. you'll see."

"i see your point," i began, "but i don't necessarily think that's it. if i had dressed more corporate or straightened my hair or something..."

"given them the visual effect..."

"yeah," i said.

"what does that have to do with acting?"

and on and on we went. i love talking to him. strangely, he doesn't ever bully me -- verbally or otherwise. we just think out loud together and bounce ideas off of each other. it's dreamy.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Scotty The Blue Bunny, serving it up at The Slipper Room

here he is in all his bunny glory, handing someone in the front row their head last saturday night at the slipper room. doesn't he look spectacular? you can't tell from this shot, but he's lost 60 pounds the hard way -- cut the junk, cut the sugar, cut the fat and excercised/worked out every day. there's no easy way around it. especially in your thirty-something years.

i really admire scotty the blue bunny a lot. even though i've known him forever, i'm such a fan.

what a fun night that was. i took stacy with me. she'd never seen burlesque before and she was totally blown away. it's nice to know that no matter how crummy my week has been, i can always show up there on friday or saturday night and have a hoot time.

Monday, March 13, 2006


i got the part in "buddy: the buddy holly story." they made me an offer this afternoon. neat-o!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

three in a row, tick-tac-toe!

what a day, sports fans. what a day.

the first one was "buddy: the buddy holly story" at nola studios for 1pm, right next to studio 54 on the west side. i took the n/r from union square because i had a noon appointment with my eyebrowist and got there a little early. this time, the waiting area was filled with asians: they were having callbacks for the king and i and everyone was pacing, running lines, readying sheet music. eventually, a blonde wandered in. no doubt she was being seen for the role of anna.

the monitor was chatty and sweet. at one point, he blurted "congratulations on your audelco nomination for harlem song" -- and i told him, when i saw that i was up against leslie uggams, i knew i wouldn't get it. i absolutely loved her in thunder knockin' at the door. but that's another story...

there were five people ahead of me. just enough to relax and not get worked up until the very last minute. how would i handle this one? when i finally went in, i announced to the room that i didn't know the song they'd sent, that i'd only gotten it the day before and could we please bang it out around the piano. lo and behold, that's exactly what we did: i heard it only once and then sang it back to him, nailing it. one of them, an older gentleman who couldn't stop beaming at me, said "you look beautiful and you sound beautiful" -- i had to give him a hug and a kiss, he was so heartfelt about it. there was sunshine streaming through the windows in such a strangely idyllic way. it was a really lovely moment. we held onto it for a fraction of a second. and then with a "you'll hear from us soon" i was off to the next appointment.

this one was "rockstar" at 3pm. i jumped on the n/r to prince st. and got there a little early. there was something profoundly depressing about the whole ordeal. first of all, it was a downstairs/basement club that left me feeling like i was like stepping into an elegant cave. (hm. maybe that was the idea.) everyone was sitting around, wearing filthy looking clothing and filling out paperwork haphazardly and tuning up their expensive gear. you could smell the desperation. and it didn't smell like victory.

some people were strumming acoustic guitars and singing to themselves. everyone looked a little too happy to be there. a little too eager, a little too "on"-- a little too ready. something about it was straight out of central casting. and yes, i was the only black person there.

they had everyone in a long hallway until they'd signed everything that they had to, and then as a certain number of people left, a certain number would be asked into the other section of the set-up through some glass doors to the back bar, where they had a table and assistants scurrying around and cameras and so on. everyone's belongings moved with them, so the back bar area was a mass of everyone's coats and equipment bags and stuff. someone gave me a big brown envelope with a number on it. i was told to stick my paperwork it there -- the application and the release form, which i'd dutifully downloaded online and filled out at home. sample question: what rock star is most like you and why? i was going to say big mama thornton, but jack sprat was like, don't be obscure or arty -- you'll scare them right out of the box. and i'm thinking, even if it's the truth? evidently so. but whatever.

before i sang a note, i had to hold up that envelope and slate my name and where i'm from and all that rot. as my accompanist, jack had to sign one, too. but he didn't have to tell anyone how old he was. i did -- which infuriated me. when the assistant behind the table saw that i'd written the word "irrelevant" under the year for my date of birth, she insisted on it. when i told her, her face fell off. the point is, dino ("rah-rah-rah-rah-rah!") promised me that it wouldn't be an issue. the bottom line: tell her and be seen or don't tell her and walk out. jack was like, we can walk out now -- whatever you want to do. how cool was he at that moment? but in the end, yeah, i told her. and yeah, i stayed. i wanted to go through the process just so i could look myself in the eye later without wondering about what could have happened.

actually, what i had to sit through was much more revealing than i thought it would be.

i heard more than a dozen people and i saw almost as many do their thing onstage, whether i was peeking through the curtain at the back bar or sitting in the main room trying not to stare. strangely, no one could really sing. lots of pitch problems and sustaining notes problems and breath support problems. one girl went outside right before she was to sing so she could take a drag off of her friend's cigarette, to help her vocals. (!!!???) mostly, they all came out sounding affected and overly-wrought to the point where i felt genuine embarassment, especially when the songs they wrote veered towards more personal subject matter. like the last guy that dumped you or how much you hate yourself. everyone had pricey acoustic guitars. the guys overplayed. the girls could hardly play. and like i said, no negroes -- at least, not while i was there. maybe the other one showed up yesterday.

i sang "taster's choice" and steve miller band's "jet airliner" -- and i know how to sing and i know how to perform, so i'll leave it up to you and your imagination to figure out how i did. if they don't pick me, it won't be because i sucked. it'll be because i'm not 25 anymore -- even if i do look it.

the last audition was for "the nanny diaries" -- all the way west off of hudson st. i had to sit in this little production office with these well-dressed WASPy-looking old women and wait for almost an hour and there was a craft services looking table within eyeshot loaded with yummy things to eat and i was absolutely starving and yes, i was not the only black girl in the room. the other two were working for the company and no, they didn't speak to me.

i went into a tiny room and sat with four people. one operated the camera, one read with me, and the other two were very chatty cathy with me which put me at ease. we carried on a bit. it was like a cocktail party without the cocktails. i remember thinking, gosh these people are awfully nice for film people. but as it turns out, they're not from el-lay, so go figure.

the scene was a page long, only five lines from me. it was over as soon as it started. the next thing i knew, i was on the train home, wondering what happened...

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

prep, prep, prep

surprise! (but it's no suprise really, if you've been paying attention and keeping score at home.) i've got a callback and two auditions tomorrow: the (maybe) broadway-bound musical "the buddy holly story" at 1pm is the callback; the 2nd season of "rockstar: the series" at 3pm and the major motion picture "the nanny diaries" (starring scarlet johanssen) at 5pm are the auditions. am i going to have an action-packed day or what?

i didn't think everything would pile up on me like that, but these things are impossible to predict. i'm at home this afternoon/early evening running lines and learning music. the callback gave me sheet music that has me plunking away on my piano to learn the melody. surprisingly, i've learned enough piano and music theory to pull it off. i've been studying for a little while and there's a lot that i knew before i ever sat down with a teacher but i never know what i know until i need to use it, if that makes any sense. the other day when i was rehearsing with jack, i sat at my kitchen table and transposed a song effortlessly. that's not where i was 6 months ago and, as my english pal june would say, i'm pretty well chuffed about it. or rather, to quote "the brain" of "pinky and the brain" -- sometimes i even amaze myself.

i'm not even nervous or wound up or anything. i'm just going to have as much fun as possible and that's about it. i don't fret over this stuff, folks. they're not rejecting me when they say no. actually, the real reason why i'm so blase is because i've got my own thing going on. to tell you the truth, the only thing i'm really concerned about is getting my eyebrows done at jeniette before my first appointment.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Another Audition: "Fame Becomes Me"

As I left for the audition, it was freezing cold. I packed everything that I would need and got there early so I could get ready upon arrival. This audition wasn’t problematic but I’d hit a few snags to get there. The biggest one? My manager gave me the wrong sides, which sent me careening in the wrong direction, memorizing material that I didn’t need to know. Oh, well. My persistence turned things around quickly. I made my friend run lines with me and he ended up learning them, too -- which made for some interesting non-sequitors. His first line to prompt me was “You promised me an evening of full-frontal nudity.” Everytime he said it, it made me smile. It’s nice that whenever I have to memorize something, he helps me. He’s really kind of good at it.

So there I was in Bernie Telsey’s waiting room, signing in. there I was, putting my clothes on in the bathroom as fast as I could because the door handle was busted and I was afraid that someone would walk in on me. There I was, giving myself a basic beat in the hallway’s big mirror. There I was, perched in my favorite heels, an Afro puff on my head, a song in my heart. But which song?

All of the other black girls in the waiting room that were being seen for the part I was up for were heavy-set. No surprise there. Production folk seem to think that when it’s time for comedy, fat people are funnier than the rest of us. The woman that plays the role on his show Jiminy Glick is heavy-set. hmmm...

In short order, I was in that room. The creative end of the entire production staff must have been sitting at that table. The one at the very end – Mark, if I remember correctly -- jumped up and threw his arms around me. We’d done Marci X together. That was my first movie role, my first big line. I pointed at Lisa Kudrow and said, “Get that bitch off the stage!”

It was so great, to walk in the room and be loved.

I sang Stormy Weather which seemed to amuse them. When I was done, they collectively burst into applause, like they were at a cabaret or a piano bar or something. Martin Short tilted his head at a funny angle, made a face and said, in this high squeaky voice, “You’re spiffy.” And I tilted my head in the same way and made the same face and said, “I am.” And he made another face. We totally picked up on each other’s vibe. Cute. He’s a live one, that Marty. And then I did the scene they gave me, and I nailed it because my friend drilled me on it and I knew it. It’s nice to do a great job but I know that the reason why anyone gets cast doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with talent.

That one loving gesture from Mark when I entered the room set the tone for the entire audition. It was one of the best I’ve ever done. I left there feeling satisfied.

Here's a nice slice of wierdness: as I left the building, it began to hail violently.