A Chorus Line Wannabe Part Two
I almost always arrive early, and yesterday was no exception. I sat in my car trying without avail to memorize the monologue that I had chosen for my audition. I had spent the better part of the week trying to memorize this two minute piece, but still messed up the lines half way through. Perhaps if I got lucky, they’ll just let me read the damn thing.
I got out of my car five minutes before showtime, and started to look for 1 Wiltshire. Merde! I was looking at 53 Wiltshire and now had just four minutes to reach the rehersal hall. Shit. Shit. Shit. Walking briskly now on my short little legs I reached my destination with one minute to spare.
I knocked on the door as per their request and was escorted by the stage manager into a small room where I signed the requisite forms and waited for my turn.
The stage manager pointed to a closed door. "You're up darlin'.” This was something she most definitely did not say, but it's what I heard in my head. In reality she just said "Push that door open and they are inside." I am taking liberties here for the sake of my story, for this story is all about long held dreams coming true.
I walked in to a darkened room lit with a spotlight in the centre, and a trio of babes sitting on a long bench in the back of the room. They looked like Charlies Angel's waiting for a call from Charlie to tell them about their latest assignment.
"You're up.” said the blond one.
"Can I read my piece?” I asked hopefully.
"Sure." said the one with the long brown braids.
"Phew!" I said to myself and the ghost of Joe Greenbaum, my Dad and fellow thespian hopeful who never took his chance to be in the spotlight.
I read my monologue and the girl with the braids laughed and blond girl chuckled and the Kate Jackson of the trio said nothing.
The blond introduced herself as Jen, Braids was Evangelia and Kate Jackson's name has escaped me.
"Okay." said Jen "I want to see how you take direction."
"Black, one sugar." Evangelia laughed. (She gets me! She gets me!)
Jen instructed me to be more "In the scene and in the moment and..... in the middle of her sentence she stopped and said
"Umm, I'm sorry to interupt but a mouse just dropped from the ceiling."
"WTF!!!" I turned to my right and sure enough there was a cute little mousie running stage left.
Evangelia calmly tried to capture the mouse with her plastic tupperware bowl, but Mousie had escaped to live another day.
Luckily for me, I have ten thousand issues but mice aren't one of them.
"Interesting development." I said to break the tension.
"Anything can happen in the theatre." said Jen, “Proceed and try your best."
I tried my best to do just that, because this was my chance to have an acting re-do.
I was eight years old in the summer of '64. My parents sent me to Camp Wahanowin situated in lovely Orillia, Ontario, where everyone who was anyone sent their progeny to be one with nature and of course, to network.
That summer the camp was putting on the play "LIl Abner". I tried out for the part of Daisy Mae. I was so excited when they told me that I had won the prime role of the nurse and was going to be on stage the whole time.
Unfortunately Nurse said not a word throughout the duration of the play. Was I given this role because I spoke differently? I tried not to think about how different I looked and felt, but the shame of being different and then offered the silent role of Nurse, stopped me from pursuing my dream of acting until now.
Because now, I can. Because now I understand that I am the only one I need approval from. Because shame is toxic and exhausting. Because I am determined to hold my little eight year old's hand and say to her "I got you!"
Coming back to my present; after my second go round of auditions the trio talked about the theatre troups goals and mentioned that 99% of the people they had audtioned were seasoned actors.
"Well, I'm out." I thought to myself
I said thanks for the memories and left the building, only to get a message from Jen later that same night telling me they wanted to see me again the next day ready with a three minute memoir piece.
I stood up way way past my bedtime of 9 p.m with my Iphone stop watch trying to make sure my poem fit the requisite three minutes.
This morning I walked in faux confidently and read my poem. Jen said that she will call me by Tuesday and not to wait frantically by the phone.
"It's okay" I said.
"I can wait."