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: subjectid=272&articleid=20110303_272_D3_CUTLIN896963&archive=yes

Urban Tulsa: