I thought I was going to go into opera. In opera, you don't need to dance. You just need to sing. So when I made the change to Musical Theatre, I suddenly realized how behind I am on my dance training.
Last week, I attended an audition for a show that focuses heavily on both singing and dancing. After the singer call, they seemed to like me - at least, they seemed to like me enough to ask me if I could dance. Now, my dance training consists of some afternoon dance classes in the 1st grade and two years of ice skating. Basically non-existent. (I'm working on it, though!) Anyway, they called me back to dance the next day (to be honest, I feel like a random high B will get anyone a call-back).
So there I was the next day, dressed in my yoga pants and long-sleeve shirt among dozens of beautiful girls dressed in nude fishnets and leotards. But, see, this isn't my first audition anymore, so I just wrote in my journal and minded my own business. After 3 hours of waiting, they asked us to go in. It was a group of 30 women, all called back for the same role. The routine given to us was, as described by the choreographer, half show-girl and half Latin.
And then it began. Kicks and turns and ball changes and stuff I have never heard before were thrown at me. After the first couple of tries, I realized I'm drowning in the deep end. Why did I attend a dance call when I obviously can't dance? Before I could beat myself up for it, I remembered what my friend had told me the night before: If you can't do the routine, then act the hell out of it. So that's exactly what I did. I was called in the first group to dance. I got lost, but I gave them my best character.
We did the routine two times, and I was getting ready to be dismissed to the side of the room when the casting director called my name. "Kathee, can you do a single time step?" My first reaction: What is a time step? Turns out, it's a standard tap dance step, and I had no idea what it was. "If you can't, just say no. It's okay," the casting director said kindly. I guess he saw me panic. "Nope," I said, and my resume was immediately put in the reject pile.
Well, that was that. The moral of this story? I need to get more dance training, fast. But also, I evaluated how far I've come in just one month in New York. I didn't beat myself up. I didn't get disappointed. I got a free dance lesson, and now I know what a dance call looks like. So it's off to dance classes I go, and I couldn't be more excited.
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I went to my first real life NYC musical theatre audition this week and it was terrifying. I would like to preface this story by saying that I have indeed auditioned before. (That's how I got into college...) But I haven't done a lot of musical theatre auditions, and I've definitely not auditioned for a production that's not community theatre.
I got up at 5:45am that morning to catch an early train into the city, since I currently still live in New Jersey. I arrived at my audition location an hour and a half before my audition appointment. Better too early than too late! Other auditions were already underway, so the halls were filled with people. I sat myself down in a comfy chair and put on my headphones while I looked at my audition song for that morning. As I sat there, I started to notice that everyone seems to know each other. And everyone had professional headshots. And a huge audition book. And were fearless.
45 minutes before my audition, I started to get restless. At this point, I just wanted to get my audition over with. I don't remember being this nervous for anything in recent memory - not even for my recitals. Finally, ten minutes before my appointment, the casting team showed up. They were amazingly kind and nice and brought us snacks. I was second in line to go in for the day.
I stood there bouncing on my toes while the girl before me sang her cut. And then I went in. I said "hi" to the accompanist. Gave him the spiel about tempo and the like. I planted myself in front of the casting table...
And I forgot my name. I literally forgot to say my name in the slate. So, after an awkwardly long silence, I announced my song, sang it way too fast, said thank you, and ran out of there.
On the train back home, I looked up law schools I could apply to. I texted my friends about what happened. Gosh, why didn't I choose something normal to do with my life? But just as I thought that, another voice in my head piped up: I mean, it can only go up from here!
And that concludes the story of my first big girl audition. I hope you laughed at it, because it is hilarious to me. And hey, at least I can rest easy knowing that however the next audition goes, it will be better than this one.