Tuesday, 12 April 2011

“NYC! Just got here this morning…3 bucks...2 bags…1 me!”

April 2 to April 5

Trying to pack for my first New York audition was impossible. I mean, I had put it off long enough. So the night before my flight I started putting it all together, checking and rechecking to make sure that I had everything. From audition book to dance shoes, I was ready. I went to bed excited and nervous. I usually have trouble sleeping before I leave to go somewhere, especially for an audition, but I was so tired from my past two weeks that I passed out as soon as my head hit the pillow. The next morning I got up and drove about two hours to Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport. While that was the most podunk airport I have ever been to, it was about $250 cheaper to fly out of there instead of Tulsa which made it totally worth it! The flight to Memphis was short and the flight to NYC seemed to fly by since I was doing character work for Rent.

Finally here in New York! That song from Annie is so right! “3 bucks, 2 backs, 1 me!” Except it really is more like “Charging this all on the credit card and hoping I make it back, 2 bags, 1 me!” While in New York, my friend Taz (who is an amazing dancer and I am so thankful to her J) let me crash on her floor for the few days that I was there. On Saturday night, we basically just walked around the city, grabbing dinner at the Wild Oats CafĂ© in the Financial District and walking through Time Square.

Sunday morning I got up and met a friend for coffee. M-Hunt use to go to TU but transferred up to a school in the city this past year. We spent the morning jumping from theatre to theatre trying to figure out what Taz and I were going to see that day. We tried and failed at The Book of Morman, Spiderman, Anything Goes, How to Succeed in Business, and Catch Me If You Can. Taz had never seen American Idiot before and with it closing in two weeks, I told her that I didn’t mind seeing it again. Actually, I loved seeing it again! I love this new genre of musical. While it isn’t exactly the type of musical that I could be in, I still think that it is an amazing musical that speaks a lot about my generation. After the show let out, we walked around the city a bit more and then headed back to Queens to rest for the rest of the day. I worked on my song and sides for my Legally Blonde audition and went to sleep early so I was all rested the next morning.

On Monday I got up, got ready, and headed out to my audition. On the way, Taz and I stopped to see if we could grab tickets for Catch Me If You Can that night. Unfortunately, the show wasn’t running on Monday since they were still in previews. Hopefully I can see it when I come back in May. Taz got me to Pearl Studio and showed me around the building. She left to head to dance classes and I headed to take a breath and grab a tea from Starbucks. After my tea, I went back to Pearl and checked in with the person working the audition. I waited for about twenty minutes and then was walked into the room. I did my two sides and one song, talked with them for a few minutes, and then headed out. I was probably not in there more than five minutes. But you know what? It was fun. Yes there were nerves but I seemed to enjoy that. After the audition, I decided to just walk the city. Since Taz was in dance class, I had the day to do with as I pleased. I started walking uptown and once I got to about 57th street, I decided to head to Greenwich Village. I wanted to see the area that I researched for I Love You Because, the musical that I directed this past January. I think by the time that I got to the village I had walked at least 7 miles and my feet where killing me. I sat down in Washington Square Park, where the Washington Square Arch is located. Taz met up with me and we headed out in search for something to eat. We looked for O’Dennehy’s, the bar that I based our ILYB bar in. Online it is called O’Dennehy’s but on the building it say Mr. Dennehy’s. It is really a cool bar with great food and even better when paired with a Guinness. After lunch, we headed back uptown. She went back to dance class and I headed to Columbia University to check out the campus. I spent most of my time in the main courtyard and also took a stroll down greek row. I knocked on the Pike house and got a tour of it. I find it so cool that the Greeks have houses up there but realized that the university owns the housing. The Greek students pay the same as every other student for room and bored to live as a Greek in the house. That night Taz and I explored the city a bit more and headed back to Queens.

On Tuesday morning Taz took me back to the bus stop and sent me back on my way. I am so thankful to her for all her help this weekend. From letting me stay with her to getting me around to my audition, she was a huge help! While at the airport, they announced that our flight was delayed due to a storm that had already ripped through the south and was heading toward the Northeast.

I haven’t received a call from anyone with the Legally Blonde production so I take that as a no to being cast in the show. While I would have of course loved to tour Asia this summer and be in Legally Blonde, I am not that upset. I knew coming up here that I would more than likely not be cast but did so anyway to figure out how NYC auditions/callbacks run as well as a start to getting my face/name out there.

I am still really excited about this summer! Like I mentioned last time, I will be working in Dallas, TX this summer playing Henry in Next to Normal with Uptown Players. This theatre is the first theatre to get the rights to the show since it left Broadway in and will be the regional debut for N2N! So after graduation, I headed to TEXAS!!! J

…anyone have a spare room or a pool house in Texas that I could stay in for two months? J

Keeping It Classy...

March 12 to March 20, 2011

Spring Break was so much fun this year. For the past few years, spring break has been a quick trip home and then back to Tulsa for a little sleep. While similar this year, it wasn’t exactly the same. Less than 24 hours before I left for Memphis this time, I called Jeffrey and Sean, two fellow musical theatre majors with me at Tulsa, and we decided to have an impromptu road trip to Memphis. Jeffrey did this with me over the Christmas break of our freshman year and Sean and never been to Tennessee before so we were all in for a trip! With promises of parting on Beale and lunch at Texas de Brazil, they decided to join and we left Tulsa on Sunday.

About an hour into our trip we started seeing signs for “Free Wine Tastings” for several different wineries in Arkansas. I have seen these advertisements for years but have never stopped because I was by myself and always in a hurry to get either home or back to school. Lynden and I always joked about stopping one time but never got around to it. So this time the boys and I decided to stop and go for a little taste. We stopped at the Wiederkehr Wine Cellars and Vineyard for our first tasting. Coming into the town was a bit creepy since it was so small and we hadn’t seen anyone since leaving the interstate. Once inside, we were given a tour of the winery which was followed by the free tasting. While the boys are really wine people, I am! Red, white, sweet, bitter, desert: I love wine! Now when I say that, most of the wine I drink is cheap and on a college budget. I hope to do more winery visits to increase my knowledge and understand of what is actually a good wine and what isn’t and how to pair wines with certain foods. After we finished with the tasting, we decided to get back on the road again. Most drives back home suck! Arkansas is a terrible state to drive through but it was fun with the boys. Most of our time in Memphis was spent drinking…it was spring break people. This was really the first time that I have been 21 in Memphis and had friends who wanted to go out drinking. We hit up the Flying Saucer, the Memphis Ghost River Brewery, and of course partied on Beale several nights. Lynden and her boyfriend Josh joined up with us our first night on Beale. Lynden’s mom, Betty, kept Emery so that she could join us. I haven’t had that much fun at the bars in a while. It was so nice to be able to share the “Beale Experience” with the boys and of course with longtime Memphis friend Lynden! It was also nice to be able to get to know Josh a little better as well. We also ate incredibly well while we were in Memphis! Momma and Daddy cooked for us the first night, had Corky’s for lunch, Huey’s for dinner, Lynden’s step-mom (Donna) cooked her famous “Bacon Grease” meal, and we did Texas de Brazil right before we left. SO MUCH FOOD & ALCOHOL IN JUST 3 DAYS!!! …but remember…this is our last spring break so we had to make it amazing! On the way back to Tulsa we got off the interstate again at the winery exit and hit up 3 other wineries in the area for their free tastings. It was the perfect end to our trip!

I am so glad that the three of us were able to do this. With graduation quickly approaching, it was so nice to be able to share Memphis with the boys. We have spent so much time together over the past four years: good times and bad. We have seen each other make breakthroughs both professional and personal and have seen the true heart of who each other is. Most people don’t get to know friends this well. Most people have shallow relationships with meaningless ties and no trust. Not us. While of course they get on my nerves at time, as I do on theirs, I love them very much. I will truly miss them next year. Hopefully our paths with cross again after graduation.

Senior Bucket List:

  • One Impromptu Road Trip: Check!

Monday, 14 March 2011

The Audition Weekend

March 3 through March 8

So like I talked about in the last post, I have spent the past few days auditioning for summer/year-round jobs.

On Wednesday I drove to Memphis to go ahead and get a portion of the drive over with. I’m really glad that I did this! I was able to spend Thursday with family and not even thinking about the auditions or school. I could relax and start getting my head in the right spot to audition. I went out to Brittanie’s house with Nana and Grandmother and saw little Tuck. On Friday morning momma and daddy drove me to the airport at 4:15AM and I flew standby with Airtran. (Btw, for any of you who don’t know, you can fly between $49 to $99 on standby with Airtran if you are between the ages of 18 and 22.) I got the first flight out of Memphis, rented a car in Atlanta, registered with SETC at the hotel, and headed to my cousin Doug’s house since I was staying there. Friday was a great family day as well! I went to lunch with Doug in the Marietta Town Square and then came back to the house to spend some time with Ashley and the kids. That night I had dinner with Candy, Taylor, and the kids. It really was so nice to be able to sit and talk with everyone! I miss them all so much!

Saturday was the longest day of my entire theatre life! I woke up at 6:30AM to shower and start warming up since I was one of the first auditions of the day. I stopped at QT (thank the Lord for QT and that Atlanta has them!) and grabbed a breakfast biscuit on the way to the hotel. Once there, we had a mandatory meeting at 8:30 and I had to go into the audition at 9. In SETC, they take 40 people at a time into the audition room and you see all the other people in your group audition as well. I actually knew two of the people in my group! Bentley Black and Bobby Becher, guys I know through Memphis and Bama, were a couple of audition slots ahead of me. After the audition, the callback sheets from all the companies went up. I was called back to 20 different companies! While I was so feakin’ excited about all the callbacks, it meant that I had to fit all of those callbacks within that day as well as the dance callback. I took a few minutes to plan out which companies I really wanted, where they were located, and get my all my thoughts down on paper. After I took some time to look through everything, I went from room to room and signed up for my callbacks. They started at 12:30 and ran nonstop until 11 that night. From just talkbacks to singing 5 or 6 different songs on video and improv, all of the callbacks called for me to do a variety of things to help the companies get to know me better (I guess). One company even took measurements of me on the spot! I really wanted to say “I’m sorry, but Crista (TU Costume Professor) is the only one that can do that to me at the moment…or at least buy me dinner first!” The dance call was not as hard as I thought it would be (which of course is a good thing). My most exciting callback happened after the dance call. It was for Dave Clemmons Casting, a talent agency out of NYC. I went in and sang “I’m Alive” for them again. I also sang “Close Every Door” and “Don’t Stop Believing”. After I finished they called me back for two different things that they were casting: Link in Hairspray at Flatrock Theatre Company in North Carolina and Warner in the Legally Blonde Asian Tour. So basically, I am heading up to NYC to audition for Warner on April 4th. While there is no way that I will actually get this, it is exciting that I got a callback! I was so excited that they would even consider me for the role!

By the end of the day I was completely worn out. I realized that when I got home at 11:45PM that I hadn’t eaten anything all day except for the biscuit from QT! I guess my nerves and excitement from the day just kept me going. When I got back to the house, Doug was still up and we talked about the audition and the callbacks. It was so exciting to be able to share that with him. Even though Doug and I are about ten years apart, I’ve always felt like I could connect with him the most. I’m not really sure why and that’s not to say that I don’t love being with the rest of my family, but I just really enjoy sitting down and talking to him about the future and life. Maybe it is because I have looked up to him for so long and seen him have a successful career and an incredible family at the same time. We don’t get to actually talk a lot, but the times that we do get I have truly enjoyed.

On Sunday, I went back to the airport at 5AM, dropped off the rental car, and flew standby back to Memphis. I spent the rest of that day catching up with emails, grabbing a bit of sleep, and once again visiting with family and friends. On Monday I left Memphis and headed to Dallas for my Next to Normal callback.

The Next to Normal callback was the most relaxing and stressful callback that I have ever had in my life. First of all, everyone there was from Dallas except me. They all knew each other and it felt like I was imposing on their already established family (or at least that is how I felt). The auditions started and they took all those called back for Henry into the room. We sang “Perfect For You” and the pianist talked to us a little on acting through the piece and what those casting the show were looking for. After we went over the song, we all left the room and came back one at a time for our audition. Afterwards that, they made the first cut! Only two out of seven moved on and I was one of them. I have never been to an audition like this before! I mean, I love that they do not waste your time but it is crazy that they just cut you like that! After the first cut, several of the older people in the “theatre family” started talking to me to figure out who I was and where I was from. After we sang our next song, “Hey #2”, they cut the other guy and I was the only one left standing for Henry. I then did a couple of different scenes with some of the other people remaining for different roles. The director came out and told me that while I was the only one left, that since I did not have housing in Dallas that it might affect whether or not I got the role. He then thanked me for my time and I headed back to Tulsa that night. I was so excited that I was the last one standing and figured that since I was wide awake I might as well drive back. I made it back into Tulsa around 3AM.

The next morning, Tuesday morning, I woke up to a phone call from Uptown Players in Dallas. They had cast me as Henry in Next to Normal. I asked them when I needed to accept the role by and they told me Friday. I asked for an extension since I still had my audition for Legally Blonde on April 4th. They said that they would wait for me and to call them on the 5th.

This weekend was exactly what I needed. It showed me that for where I am in life and my training, I am exactly where I am suppose to be and that I can compete with those around me. This was an extremely great boost for me and could not have come at a better time!

So I might be in Dallas for two months this summer! J Anyone have an extra room for a poor college graduate?

Thursday, 3 March 2011

“Summer Auditions…honestly I just need a Job!”

March 3, 2011

This past weekend I auditioned for a regional production of Next to Normal. Upstage Players in Dallas is putting it on in the Uptown of Dallas. Honestly, I didn’t even want to go at first but I went anyway since I knew Natalie wanted to go. The trip ended up being a lot of fun. Nat and I are no strangers to road trips for auditions. In December we drove almost 20 hours in 36 hours to audition for the SETC prelim in Jackson, Miss. On Sunday, we spent the entire day catching up and singing to showtunes…life was good! We got into Dallas around noon, grabbed a cheap lunch from a grocery store, and headed to a secluded parking lot to change/get ready/warm-up. Once we got to the theatre, we were literally there for ten minutes. We filled out our audition forms, sat down in the waiting area, and as we were sitting down they called Natalie’s name to go and said that I was on deck. I finished cutting my music down to the correct 16 bars that was requested and my name was called about two minutes later. I went in, sang “Open Road”, they seemed to enjoy it, was asked to sing my second piece, I decided to actually enjoy myself a little, and sang “Totally F**ked” from Spring Awakening. When I told them my second piece they were like “excuse me?” and then laughed because I think they thought I was saying that I was f**ked. I finished my second song, finished my audition, and Natalie and I were back on the road! Eight hours of driving to Dallas and back for a 4 minute audition…wow!

For the past few weeks, I have been making preparations to head to Atlanta for SETC, Southeastern Theatre Conference, a large regional theatre audition. My audition is on March 5th at 8:30 AM. On Tuesday, I heard back from Dallas and was called back for the show! I was so excited except for the fact that callbacks are on Monday. So this week, I went to Dallas this past Sunday, drove to Memphis on Wednesday, driving/flying standby to Atlanta on Friday, auditioning for SETC on Saturday, driving/flying standby back to Memphis on Sunday, driving to Dallas on Monday for my callback, and driving back to Tulsa on Tuesday in time to get to my classes and Rent rehearsal! THAT IS SO MUCH DRIVING!!!!! This is going to be a long week…hopefully and good long week though with lots of job offers!!!! J I will keep you posted on how the weekend goes!

Also, TU has been in the paper a lot in Tulsa with advertisements for Rent. Last week there was a group shot in the Urban Tulsa with a great article about TU working with Tulsa Project Theatre. Today, Cynthia and I are on the front-page header and 3rd page of the Tulsa World! So exciting! Check the articles out at:

Tulsa World:

http://www.tulsaworld.com/scene/article.aspx subjectid=272&articleid=20110303_272_D3_CUTLIN896963&archive=yes

Urban Tulsa:


Saturday, 12 February 2011

I'm an Uncle!

Today I became an uncle at 2:18pm. At the age of 21, I finally watched as one of my siblings brought another human being into the world. I mean, I didn’t really watch cause that’s just gross, but you get the picture. Jonathan & Brittanie Golding, my sister and her husband, gave birth to Tucker Wiley Golding, a beautiful eight pound baby boy.

That is crazy to me. The fact that Brittanie is only three years older than me and yet she is married and has a baby absolutely blows my mind. I’m not anywhere close to that point in my life. I mean, I love babies…and that is a total understatement. When there is a baby near I have to hold it. They call me the “baby hog.” But having one of my own at the moment is a terrifying thought. I’m too young and too selfish at this point in my life. Isn’t it at least good or healthy that I can realize this? I mean, I want a career in the arts…in NYC…for at least several years before I even want to think about kids. Maybe I should at least find the person that I want to actually start a family with first? Yes, that should be the goal at the moment.

Anyway, to my new baby nephew: I want to share with you one of my favorite poems. It is a poem that was read to me at a young age and one that follows me, continually pushing my forward and not allowing me get stay in one spot too long. I hope that it does the same for you. It was relevant to me on the first day of preschool and just as relevant to me today as I look to make the biggest step in my life: graduating college and moving to NYC. Always remember where you came from but never be afraid to challenge yourself and those around you and dream about all the places you can go…

Oh! The Places You’ll Go!

by Dr. Seuss


Today is your day.

You’re off to Great Places!

You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.

You have feet in your shoes.

You can steer yourself any direction you choose.

You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

You’ll look up and down streets. Look’em over with care. About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.” With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you’re too smart to go down a not-so-good street.

And you may not find any you’ll want to go down. In that case, of course, you’ll head straight out of town. It’s opener there in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen and frequently do to people as brainy and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew. Just go right along. You’ll start happening too.

Oh! The Places You’ll Go!

You’ll be on your way up!

You’ll be seeing great sights!

You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.

You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed.

You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead.

Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best.

Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don’t.

Because, sometimes, you won’t.

I’m sorry to say so but, sadly, it’s true that Bang-ups and Hang-ups can happen to you.

You can get all hung up in a prickle-ly perch.

And your gang will fly on.

You’ll be left in a Lurch.

You’ll come down from the Lurch with an unpleasant bump. And the chances are, then, that you’ll be in a Slump.

And when you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun.

Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked. Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked. A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin! Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in? How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And if you go in, should you turn left or right…or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite? Or go around back and sneak in from behind? Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find, for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused that you’ll start in to race down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space, headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.

The Waiting Place…for people just waiting.

Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite or waiting around for Friday night or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil, or a Better Break or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants or a wig with curls, or Another Chance. Everyone is just waiting.

No! That’s not for you!

Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying. You’ll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing. With banner flip-flapping, once more you’ll ride high! Ready for anything under the sky. Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you’ll go!

There is fun to be done!

There are points to be scored.

There are games to be won.

And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all. Fame! You’ll be famous as famous can be, with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don’t.

Because, sometimes, they won’t.

I’m afraid that some times you’ll play lonely games too. Games you can’t win ‘cause you’ll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not, Alone will be something you’ll be quite a lot.

And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants. There are some, down the road between hither and yon, that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.

But on you will go though the weather be foul. On you will go though your enemies prowl. On you will go though the Hakken-Kraks howl. Onward up many a frightening creek, though your arms may get sore and your sneakers may leak. On and on you will hike. And I know you’ll hike far and face up to your problems whatever they are.

You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?

Yes! You will, indeed!

(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)

Kid, you’ll move mountains!

So…be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ale Van Allen O’Shea, you’re off to Great Places!

Today is your day!

Your mountain is waiting.

So…get on your way!

Love you Tuck!