What a week and a half!
I had three (kind of bizarre) auditions, rehearsals, a performance, two urgent clinic visits, and still managed to fit in my usual hours pushing paper at the office. But I think the best thing about this past week was finding myself in random and odd situations with new people. This is what I have missed the most over the last few years of sitting at the same desk with the same people day after day. That feeling that something interesting could happen at any moment that might change your life forever or send you down an exciting and fruitful path… or at least give you a new experience.
The Skype Audition
So Friday before last, I had my first Skype audition. It’s… apparently a thing these days. The convenience of not having to travel somewhere or miss work was nice, but I can’t say that I looooooooved the experience. Firstly, I feel I come across a lot better in person. Secondly, there’s no distance between you and the director. Like, when you look up from the side you’re reading… there’s his face, inches in front of you, staring at you and judging you. Thirdly, I had to lock Jane and Edward out of my studio setup, which naturally ended in them trying to break down the door like a gang of velociraptors during the audition. But all things considered, I felt I did an okay job reading for Dorothy Burlingham, American heiress and partner to Anna Freud!
The Commercial Audition
My second audition this week came as quite a surprise. I ended up being called in for a commercial casting–something I didn’t think I’d have to deal for awhile yet. I attended quite a few commercial castings back in New York, and I was pretty systematically… not great… in all of the auditions. It’s just so different from being on stage! I find it almost impossible not to move my body or project my voice or express things with my face–ya know, also known as acting!
I received the script for this casting during my other performance on Wednesday night, so I spent Thursday morning before the audition frantically trying to memorise some nonsensical lines about a gaming console (whatever that is).
The studio was sooooo London and sooooo different from New York. Although near the hustle and bustle of Oxford Circus, the office was located down this old twisty and turn-y unlikely alley. The receptionist took some pictures of my face, and I sat down on a plush couch to wait with my fellow victims. The atmosphere/dynamic felt much more positive than it had in New York. I remember NYC as a sea of scowling faces nervously waiting in brightly lit hallways of hell and doom with really mean receptionists and casting directors snapping instructions and making vulnerable actors feel idiotic. But here, the other actors tentatively smiled at me and the casting director was super kind and gentle.
I still sucked.
The Garden Audition
Finally, I auditioned for an all-female production of Othello on Saturday morning. This audition took place in garden at the back of haunted Victorian mansion. For whatever reason.
As I was being led back to the garden/possibly to the scene of my murder, I made a really good first impression by blurting out, ‘HI KITTEN!!!!’ to a black cat asleep on the back porch. The back porch that, besides the catto, was filled with a wide array of curiosities including several mannequins and a giant stuffed pigeon head.
Once in the (massive) garden, I was instructed to wait for my turn. So, naturally, I sat down at a table with a random dude apparently unaffiliated with any of the theatrical proceedings. He was busy rolling a joint and waiting for the girl (a resident of the haunted mansion, I presume) he’d slept with the night before to wake up. We got to talking about life, as you do, and I suddenly felt an awful lot like I was in some sort of Don Draper scenario.
When it came time to do my thing, I regret to say that I wasn’t at peak performance around the ashes of a dormant bonfire with bugs landing on my face and found art objects bearing down on me like an army of distractions.
It was a brilliant opportunity to do Edmund’s ‘bastards’ speech from King Lear, and I feel like I blew it a bit. So, I shall endeavour to redeem myself (in my own eyes) slightly by taping a better version of the performance for you in the near future!
Anyway, it was all a great start to getting back in saddle. I expect to hit a lull next week, but it will be a nice break to just manage my usual schedule and let some antibiotics work their magic. As for the near NEAR future, I am sooooo looking forward to putting my feet up for a well-earned Poldark viewing this evening.
I’ll be back soon with a Romeo-recap and perhaps some Edmund! In the meantime, best of luck to you all in the week ahead.