dunkin donuts audition today. an audition to understudy celie in the broadway company of "the color purple" tomorrow. absorbing three scenes and two songs for that audition right now, and musicwise all they gave me was sheet music. i didn't have the money or the time to track down a pianist or find it in the performing arts library or locate a musical theater-obsessed friend with the original cast recording, which meant having to cough up twenty bucks for the cd. i should have been annoyed and some part of me was, i suppose. but ultimately, i was too grateful that i could afford to pay for it.
yes, it's true. being able to pay all my bills on time and having health insurance feels wierd. you know what else? having to learn this stuff all at once feels like i've entered a pie-eating contest. just thinking about doing a musical theater audition makes me a little queasy. no small wonder. when i go in, they know me or they've heard of me, so i've got to give them something of a performance and that means i have to know the lines and material i just got the night before, even if they sit there and say it's okay that i don't. i'm exhausted just imagining what i'd have to do, to pull that off. i mean, really. feh.
i remember what it was like when i first came to nyc. getting the audition, finding appropriate sheet music, learning the material, finding something decent to wear -- that was the tip of the iceberg. they wouldn't let me into the union auditions because i was non-union. i had to wait until they'd seen all of the union people on the list and then they'd say, we've seen enough, please leave your headshot in this box, thanks. or they'd say only the first ten people on the non-union list, thanks -- and i'd be number 11. or they'd say dancers who sing only, everyone else -- thanks. there was always that bouncy, overly enthusiastic thanks at the end, which to my ears sounded a whole lot like get out. funny thing, though. i got good at auditioning. i guess i had to, what with all of that going on.
i was working it off broadway and i was writing songs and in and out of bands while i was in and out of auditions like that. my non-union status went on for six years before i landed the first national tour of RENT on a straight-up non-union cattle call. i guess all those non-union wait-all-day-and-get-nothing auditions were preparing me for that one because it was a motherlode.
wow. why didn't i quit?