Tuesday, January 15, 2013

In With The New

Been a busy couple of weeks around here, launching into the New Year.  After a quick jaunt to Palm Springs to ring in 2013, we've been off and running.  I participated in the fabulous 24 Hour Theatre Experiment (more on that later) and auditioned for Willa Wonka the Musical, and we hosted a laser tag birthday party for Jarrah that was much smaller than her previous parties but perhaps more fun because of that.

Aside from my small directing gig in October, I haven't appeared on stage since August and was feeling a little rusty.  Of course, I had two really depressing auditions in the fall, so I was also feeling a bit skittish.  I worked hard on my audition song ("This Can't Be Love," a Diana Krall version) with my voice coach, less because of the challenging nature of the song and more because I still do not give good audition.  I let nerves overcome me and get really breathless and shrieky.  This time, I was determined to stay cool and calm.

My appointment was for 8:30 on the first Monday back to school, so it was tough to feel bright-eyed at that hour, but I'm happy to say I did just fine.  I'm sure if I heard it played back for me I'd be all over critiquing myself, but my memory tells me it was not humiliating.  Late that night, I learned I had a callback for the next day.

That night was pretty challenging, with two songs to learn, solo and choral performances, learning and performing a combination (the fabulous Miss Candace choreographing this time) and reading sides with every possible combination of small child in the fully-packed room.  I had been hoping for Mrs. Gloop because I love the song she does with Augustus, "I Eat More."  I could read the shifting sands pretty quickly, though, that someone else was likely to get that part.  I left there feeling I'd done a good job but not really sure how it would turn out.  They said we'd hear by Thursday (this was Tuesday) but a FB tip-off the next morning suggested it might be sooner.  Sure enough, I got a voice mail around 1:00 from the producer, offering me the part of Ms. Teavee.  Wow!  Although I'd put her down on my audition form, I didn't really know much about the part and had mixed feelings, even while I was super-excited and grateful to have a role with a name.

After the read-through on Saturday, I learned that my character has a solo song, with her son, Mike, and it's a fun one.  That is exciting and a little scary.  She doesn't have the best lines, but she is on stage for most of Act 2.  Basically, I'm trying to just remain open to the process, which is totally strange for me.  I only have two close buddies in the cast from former shows (Ryan and Ariel, from Bye Bye Birdie and Pippin) but I'm sure I'll get to know the other adults.  I'm already well on my way to becoming fast friends with my son, who is 12 and delightful and not exactly shy, calling me "mom" and hugging me each time he sees me.  Last night he directed me to perform a Charleston with him while we were waiting to rehearse our song--the first small number on the list!  The entire company also learned "The Golden Age of Chocolate" together and that was a blast.  I think that first night we break out the librettos and Kirk gives us our parts is my favorite.  It's such a creative time.

After everyone else left, Mike and I learned the song "I See It All On TV."  I had only heard it once, and Kirk asked us to jump in and sight-sing immediately, which is a huge challenge for me.  I struggled with the low key (having only sung soprano in Pippin, even though ironically my whole previous life I described myself as a second alto) and then the parts where we have to join together.  The hardest part was the harmony in the finale, which I blew again and again until I was red-faced and sweating.  Our dear director was sitting quietly in the back and I was ready to faint, thinking at any moment he might stand up and announce that he needed to re-cast because of my incompetence.  I have to hold the world "ALL" for a long time and it was sounding like bloody hell until Kirk suggested I pronounce it "HALL."  The audience can't hear the "h" but it helps the sound.  Genius--he was right, of course.  I'm happy to say that our final run-through of the night has glimmers of sounding like an actual song, so I'm hopeful it will continue to get better.

So, for a while I am back at rehearsals up to five times a week, which is great but challenging, too, with our evening schedules.  I haven't been sleeping well since David has been sick and snoring to beat the band, but hopefully that will pass.  In other news, Jarrah will be getting her braces in the next couple of weeks, and that will be like an after-school sport, since we'll be driving out to OB at least once a week for a few months for adjustments.

I'm also picking up my new, fancy glasses tomorrow, and I'm excited and nervous.  A post on that process will be forthcoming, too.  Happy New Year, Readers!

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