A stahhh of the theatahhh, dahhhling!

So I had my first audition in years last week. I was a crazy dreek (that’s drama geek, for those of you not in the know) in high school. I was at rehearsal every day after school. I was involved in all the shows that were offered all four years I was there. I was an actor, on tech crew, stage manager, etc. I was even drama club president my senior year. I was voted “Headed for Hollywood” by my senior class.

And except for a few mis-guided audition attempts my first month in college, I haven’t actively participated in theatre since then. Instead, I dedicated myself to being a fan of the theatre. I try to go to at least one show a month. If I don’t, I go through withdrawals. I am not even joking, I get moody and sullen. All it takes are a few well-timed dance and song numbers to pep me back up. It doesn’t even have to be good theatre. Any will do. Of course, good theatre is the best kind, naturally. Between going to all of my friend Brad’s shows, I have season tickets to two different theatres in Seattle and am always prowling the interwebz for dates of ones around here.

In short, I am kind of* obessesed. My motto is “At Least One Showtune a Day,” much to the dismay of my coworkers and roommates**.

Anywho, back to the point. I didn’t really miss being in the shows as much as I thought I would. I mean, I was in the Briana Show every day, so why did I need other people to judge me? I started to pursue other dreams, other hobbies, other passions.

But when we got a press release about auditions for a local production of Guys and Dolls (which I just so happened to be in love with for a good portion of my junior year of high school), I was torn. Sure, I’m busy. And I’ve been told by a lot of people that I can’t really sing. And I lack coordination. Still, I knew I wanted to get involved. When I was interviewing the director, I asked him how non-singers could get involved. He said what I expected: sets, costumes, ticket sales, etc. Which is what I planned to do.

But then I figured, why not? I saw the production here last year, The Music Man. And while it wasn’t terrible, it wasn’t stellar, either. Why couldn’t I get a spot in the chorus? I practice enough singing every day anyways!

So, I did it. I picked a song from the musical that is currently top of my heart, I practiced it in the car, I performed it for co-workers. Armed with “You’ll do great!”s, I showed up at the audition.

I walked in and I was the second oldest person in the hallway. I looked around in amazement at all the people who must have been in middle and high school. The play is about showgirls! And gamblers! I was definitely surprised. I figured it would be either really great or really terrible for me. Either, I would be old enough to play the part I wanted and no one else would be. Or I would get my ass kicked by someone who couldn’t even drive yet.

Still, I soldiered on. Once I got in the room, I shook hands with the men leading the auditions. I had interviewed both before, so they already knew me. They asked me what part I wanted (Miss Adelaide, the female lead who also happens to be a showgirl). The director thanked me for the nice article about auditions in the paper. To which I replied:

“Oh thank you. And no pressure…but if you want anymore news coverage…then…”
He pretended to cough and stood up. “Right. Miss Adelaide, welcome aboard! Thanks for coming, we’re done here.”
I clapped my hand to my heart. “Well, this is a shock, gentleman. Thank you for your time!”

Laughter. I had broken the ice! And I felt good. I belted my song for the audition. And I think I sounded not horrible! They told me they would cut me off after 30 seconds to a minute, but let me sing the entire minute thirty I prepared, because they were intrigued by the song. They had never heard the song before, liked it and wanted to look into the musical.

Then came the time to test my vocal range. I almost passed out on the floor. I have only ever been in a choir once, when I was in middle school. The teacher told me to lip syng so I could hear what it was supposed to sound like. So, yeah, not great about singing in front of people.

But I did it. And it went ok.

Then, cold reads! My favorite! I know most of the lines already, so I was able to knock them out!

And yeah, I left feeling pretty damn good.

Which probably means I won’t get a part.

But I have never been happier to have tried!

And the elation I felt told me something else. I wasn’t really 100 percent ok with just being in the audience. I mean, I love watching plays and that certainly won’t stop anytime soon. And I’m not about to quit my job to become an actress.

But I kind of live life as a performance. I am always trying to entertain people, through jokes, song and dance, writing, everything.

I kind of feel like if I get a part, it’ll be like Pam on The Office said this season: “It’s fun to hear Andy sing … in the appropriate setting.”

But I miss actually being on stage. A lot.

And of course if I DO get a part, I will have to go on the “Holy Crap, I Have to Be a Showgirl in Three Months” diet. Which is always fun.

All-in-all this entire post was to say, the audition went very well in my opinion. Better than most of them in high school. (SIDENOTE: I am terrible at auditions.)

I should hear this week or next. So look forward to a freak-out and-or depressing post soon!

P.S. This post is waaaaaaay too long. Sorry for that.

*If you believed me when I said kind of, you don’t know me at all and should probably stop reading my blog.
**Yeah, I’m going to call them roommates. It makes me sound cooler. Deal with it.


3 thoughts on “A stahhh of the theatahhh, dahhhling!

  1. Lynsi says:

    Briana, I’m so proud of you! I was a “dreek” in high school, but never had the balls to audition for the musicals due to my vocal ineptitude, so I resorted to stage managing/tech work for those. Props!

    And, “Guys and Dolls” is one of my favorites. It was one of the few shows my school did that I wasn’t part of, but I went to see it four out of six nights. I’d die if you got Adelaide. DIE.

    Also, I miss theatre, too. I completely dropped out of it in college (except for writing a “Stage ONE” play and covering some of the shows for the Evergreen) and really wish I went to more shows. Poverty and a lack of company hold me back.

    • brianajae says:

      A few things:
      1) I feel like we are very similar. Who knew? I knew you were a great editor but we never hung out outside of work. This is a shame.
      2) I remember your Stage One play. I went to the workshop where they were voting on the shows and I SO wanted to be in yours.
      3) I have definitely gone to shows alone. It’s actually kind of nice. You don’t have to worry about “non-theatre” people holding you back. Do it.
      4) I would die too. Keel over right then and there.

  2. Rikki King says:

    you are so awesome for trying! just hope this doesn’t get bootlegged on youtube after you’re famous!

    I HAVE to go to one of your plays.

    Also, you know we’re getting old when you’re like OMG gambling, you’re 17! Eegads!

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