After some last-minute printer drama yesterday evening, I made it to my previously-mentioned Shakespeare audition. It was being conducted by an up-and-coming theatre company and I found them friendly, welcoming and professional. I came prepared with two headshots/resumes and a Shakespearean monologue as requested. After only a brief wait I was conducted into the audition room by a stage manager who had beautiful hair. Everyone panelist in the room greeted me warmly and I was asked to begin whenever I was ready.
I felt my audition went well. I hit all the marks I set for myself and–with the exception of one passage–I thought my breath support was strong and my enunciation confident. After that, it all went downhill. The director said, “That was great. Do you have a contemporary monologue?” The expression on my face must have told all. I smirked and revealed squirmily, “I haven’t prepared it.” Internally I was kicking myself. How could I have been so dumb as not to review one of my contemporary monologues? What’s wrong with me?! The director offered to hear it anyway and even offered me five minutes outside to prepare. I accepted. Unfortunately, I couldn’t remember the beginning of any monologue. My favorite one of them is from a great show and is hilarious. I love any opportunity to perform it, but to my detriment I wasn’t smart enough to realize this audition could have been another chance to present it, be it ostensibly in 17th Century dress. I revealed to the stage manger that I wasn’t prepared to offer a contemporary monologue. “Even a little something could be good,” she encouraged. I declined, saying “I’d rather not present anything at all than offer something mediocre.” She agreed to pass on my message.
To my surprise, they wanted me to stay for a “movement session”. I had seen in the audition call that specific roles would have dance components. I was really angling for a certain few parts that were not those roles with dance components, but I thought it would be unprofessional and impolite to turn down the offer. The problem? I hadn’t brought any dancewear. I ended up doing the sequences in jeans and barefoot, and I felt like an idiot. The first sequence was okay, I felt. The second improved with each iteration and in the third I just embarrassed myself, I think. All were graciously thanked for our time and we departed.
And then I went home and cried about it. Yep. I’m a crier. Not a long cry, mind you, but just enough to relinquish the disappointment I was harboring regarding my ill-preparedness. I always want to present in a professional manner and leave feeling as though I’ve offered my best. This instance was in no way illustrative of these goals. Nevertheless, I found usefulness in the the refresher portion of this course.
Yes, it has been probably two years since my last true theatre audition. How could I have forgotten so much? I’m not stupid. I should and do know better, and I should have read into the details of the audition call. I’ve got contemporary monologues under my belt and I should always prepare one even if unrequested. I own dancewear and I do dance, and even if I’m not interested in the roles that require dancing, I should always bring dancewear, soft shoes and character shoes.
I don’t expect a call back from this theatre company and I would be seriously shocked if I heard from them. I just hope I’ll have a future chance to redeem myself.