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Like the Mayor of Feminist Theatre or Something…

October 4, 2012
7:45 pm. A telephone conversation. POLITICAL THEATRE MAKER (PTM) has just finished a callback for a play that is part of a larger feminist theatre festival (in which she’s taken on various artistic staff roles over the past few years). She is on her cell phone, trying to get to the nearest uptown A train, obnoxiously weaving in and out of post-rush hour pedestrian traffic near Penn Station. She is speaking with her partner RYAN, who is an actor. Ryan has been fighting a cold. 

RYAN: So, how was the audition?

PTM: (Dismissing his question)  More important… How do you feel? Want soup? Can I bring you a gross Vitamin C smoothie?
RYAN: … the audition?
PTM: Meh. Not my best.
RYAN: Why?
PTM: My pacing was too slow and my energy was down. I didn’t pick the lines up as well as I usually do when I read…
RYAN: Why was that?
PTM: Most probably because I was unfocused.
RYAN: Why were you unfocused?
PTM: I suppose because I knew all the staff in the waiting room and we were catching up… (beat) and then I was texting… (beat) and I dunno why but there were all these headshots on the wall and I was trying to figure out which ones I liked the best…  (beat) They had a copy of Backstage on the table… Did you know Backstage is now in magazine form? I guess I spent too much time exploring their new format when I should have been looking over the script…
RYAN: So you were unprepared.
PTM: No. I read the script. I went through my character’s intentions and marked my objectives. I prepared. I did my homework. I just didn’t bring my A game when I finally got into the room…
RYAN: You were distracted?
PTM: Mmmhmm. I guess.

RYAN: (disappointed in PTM’s lame work ethic) What does that mean, “I guess?” I guess you really didn’t want the role that bad then?

AT&T* service fades out. There is a moment where PTM is talking but RYAN can’t hear her. We get the last word of her sentence. 

PTM: … for a tea. Can you hear me? … Hey… Ryan? … Are you there? (singsong voice) Can.You.Hear.Meeeee ?

PTM slips into the Starbucks on 36th Street and 8th Avenue. 

RYAN: I can hear you now.

PTM: So what I was saying is, I love the play and was totally into it. It’s a great script. The director is a good friend of mine and is brilliant. My issue is solely that wasn’t focused and had a hard time getting focused. (beat) I’d hate for anyone to think I was snotty for not talking while I was waiting to go into the room, especially when everyone is asking about our latest show… What am I supposed to say, “I’m in my actor zone, go away!” Several people thought I was directing a piece and calling back actors, they didn’t understand why I was sitting in the waiting room. I had to remind them I’m also an actor…
RYAN: You sure weren’t acting like one.

PTM orders a small tea. A short conversation with the barista ensues. AT&T service fades out again. Ryan is saying something about what it means to be an actor and doing your homework but we can’t make out his wise words due to lack of cell phone service. 

PTM: I can’t hear you… What are you saying? 

RYAN: It seems weren’t acting like an actor… you were acting like a.. a mayor.

PTM: Oh. A mayor? … Like Mayor Mike**?

RYAN: No. Like… like the mayor of feminist theatre or something…

***

Did you know SAG/AFTRA members can receive a substantial discount off of their AT&T phone bill each month by going to your local AT&T store and providing them with the FAN number: 3508840? I didn’t believe it either until I saw my bill magically go from over $100 to $75. Be sure to bring a valid photo ID and your SAG/AFTRA card to your local AT&T store and make this happen.

 

** This is in reference to Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York City.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 4, 2012 11:04 pm

    I’ve had that experience, too — wanting to focus on line review or just collecting myself, but feeling pressure to chit-chat with everyone backstage. I don’t want to seem snobbish, but I also want to get my work done.

  2. The Growing Artist permalink
    October 5, 2012 11:03 am

    I have really been enjoying your posts so far! They are very thought-provoking. I have definitely had this experience before. Thank you for sharing your story.

  3. California Triple-Threat permalink
    October 14, 2012 3:39 pm

    Love this!

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  1. Sunday Summary — October 7, 2012 « The Green Room

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