Yesterday, I auditioned with the weird, avant garde theater company I saw perform briefly on Saturday. Last week, after telling me I didn't in fact get a 'Pride and Prejudice' role as I'd thought, the producer of the company I’ve been auditioning with these past few weeks continued, “You must know your height gets in your way.….
“But, we’re doing this 'Queen of the Amazons' play, and I’d like to introduce you to the director.”
So, I met the director last Saturday. At the weird hippie commune cult Renaissance patchwork crystal-wearing children-of-the-corn-toting ensemble performance.
I’m hippie, people, but I’m not that hippie. Really.
Nonetheless, I spoke with the director for a little while, he invited me to stay for the performance, which I could only for a few minutes, and then the producer called on Wednesday to say the director would like to audition me. And yesterday he did.
He asked at our initial meeting if I really played bass, as is listed on my resume, and I said yes. So he asked me to bring it. And I did, along with my guitar, since I really am only a novice at bass, and can’t really improvise how some might.
We met. He showed me binders and binders of photos from his previous performances. Despite being achingly weird, some of them, they were interesting. Achingly weird. He said American theater bores him – he’s Italian.
And then I played two songs I’d written on the guitar, and sang. And it was strange, just us two, but so nice to be back behind an instrument again. My throat is sore from it, from being out of practice – just another muscle, you can’t just decide to run a marathon without training.
And then he had me read some of the scene. The main role, the Queen of the Amazons.
It was challenging. I’m not that experienced, you know, and it was great to have his feedback on what I was doing, like a private acting lesson. “Be more open, more proud, you’re a queen.” Smile, melt us with your smile, make us love you even when you’re angry. Speak from down here, not up here. Crouch, get physical, you’re an AMAZON.
It was weird, and fun, and hard, and intimate, and vulnerable. And it’s still unclear to me if I’m “in,” and because of my "too-soon" (my brain can’t find the word I mean – need more coffee) -- PREMATURE!! -- that's it -- premature declaration the other week about landing a role, I’m cautious to do that here. But. It seems very positive. And even if not, I got some great notes.
It’s clear to me that I have some education to continue around acting. That it would be worth it for me to look up classes or lessons again. If I do get this role, it’s intense, starring, physical, musical, and (word for pushing & challenging I can’t think of). It may be more than I can chew, but I’ll face that if I get the role.
The piece that stands out to me about the audition yesterday was the director inviting me to be more queenly, assertive, confident. To allow what he saw as I played my instruments and sang. To let that person out. To not be a queen through me and my mishegas (not his word!), but to be a queen as she would be.
I drove from the audition to a very long, but good meeting at work, and on the ride asked myself aloud, “What does it feel like to be a queen?”
Role or no role, it’s my job to find out.