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The City That Never Sleeps, Because Then You’d Never Get Seen

February 22, 2011

Arriving early for an Equity call in NYC is like waiting to meet Hall & Oates after their concert: there’s no real point and you’ll probably end up waiting in a tiny room with a lot of nut jobs. The difference, of course, is that with Hall and Oates, you are the youngest, most attractive person there; whereas at large auditions, you feel like a troll who had to beg her troll friends to vote for her for homecoming queen at Troll High School (It’s actually a magnet school. Really the only difference is that these trolls wear uniforms.)

As I arrived at this undisclosed location, I saw the doors were not yet opened. A line of about 70 actors had formed and was curling around the room. “Like a spiral!” one man said. “Like a deadly viper,” I corrected. Everyone was reading Backstage, applying make-up, sitting on their backpacks, lounging on the floor…it was like we were part of some project to beautify homeless people (Pimp my hobo?)

An older woman in front of me turned:

Woman: Are you here for the Northern Lights?

Me: You mean, Northern Stage?

Woman: Yes, Northern Lights!

Me: Yes, I will be performing for the Aurora Borealis. They’re doing Balto: The musical.

The rest of the day went as expected, lots of shuffling from room to room, listening to a 50 year old man beg a 20 year old man for a role in Jersey Boys…even though he didn’t know what that musical is about. I watched 7 trillion audition dresses going by (one made entirely of blue sequins and sparkle eyelets) , stopping only to tell the girl in the leotard and glitterific eyeshadow that she was probably looking for the Disney dance call…not Steel Magnolias. Another older woman pulled me aside:

Woman: What should I sing?

Me: Well, what show are you going for?

Woman: What are they doing?

Me: Wizard of Oz and Joseph.

Woman: What is Wizard of Oz? I’m not familiar.

Me:…well, you’d probably do better with a classic or standard musical theatre piece, over contemporary.

Woman:…so, like a character piece!

Me:…well…

Woman: How ’bout Gypsy?!

Me: Perfect.

At 4 pm, I was released without being seen. Part of me wanted to shake the teenagers waiting eagerly waiting for their musical theatre class and yell “Run! There’s still time! Save yourselves!” But at the end of the day, there’s no business that I love better. And THAT is why I live in Philadelphia.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 28, 2011 5:39 pm

    You’re hilarious. This makes me want to crawl through my past for similar stories, but then I might just want to drown my sorrows in some Baskin Robbins Gold Medal Ribbon. And that wouldn’t be very “idealistic” of me… 🙂

  2. February 28, 2011 11:00 pm

    Erin’s right. This is so funny because we’ve all been there and you describe it so aptly 🙂

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