I’ve had a great week (not with eating, but you know, we all have our things).
No, I mean with auditions. It all started with Portia in Shakespeare class on Monday. I was calm, perfectly memorized, earnest, simple, and full of feeling while remaining still and subtle. My Shakespeare teacher, who I have always wanted to think I was great but who I never thought did, complimented me in class and solo, on our break. He had no acting critiques whatsoever except that the piece required a bit more shaping (which I readily admit). It felt awesome.
On Wednesday, I went to New Jersey again for my callback. It was chillier than I’d imagined, and I was shivering a bit in my shorts (worn because it’s a feature in the play– the character is scolded by her mother for wearing short shorts). This time there, though, I knew where I was headed, knew what to expect, and slid through the door with confidence about 45 minutes early. I could hear someone auditioning through the curtain– auditioning with my sides, for the same role. Soon after, another girl strolled in, pigtails in her hair. Same role, obviously. Fairly quickly, the lobby filled with more girls, all in Converse and little makeup, all short and fresh-faced. I don’t generally get nervous until callbacks, and then, only really if it’s a bunch of people all reading for the same role. I felt a bit like a giant at 5’5″, many of these girls much shorter, younger-looking, and yes, let’s just say it, thinner.
My name was called, right on time, for which I was grateful. I greeted the director again, shook hands with the playwright, and did the first side– a scene in which the character explodes at her mother. The director gave me an adjustment, and I did it again. I felt okay.
Then, we moved on to the monologue– the character on the phone with her secret boyfriend. I felt good about this in my rehearsals at home– I imbued the whole thing with positivity and love, lightness and playfulness, which, surprisingly, is not the easy direction to go. I forgot at some points that I was even auditioning, at some point forgetting I was even acting (which happens, but NEVER at auditions!), and I felt myself really truly get flush in the face when I imagined him asking if I’d told my parents yet. It felt magical. I heard some laughs, not too many, but when I finished, I felt like I really truly nailed it.
Next they had me do the initial sides, from the first audition. I started, and only a few lines in, the director stopped me to give a piece of direction. I pulled the chair away and plopped onto the floor to continue (the character is drawing in chalk). And then I FLEW. I never/rarely feel like I do badly in auditions– when it’s cold readings I often do really well even if I’m unprepared. But… this time it felt like I was actually doing the play. I had no outside brain that was watching my audition, tapping it towards funny or away from anger, micromanaging every moment. I was just acting a scene in a play. It was fantastic. I finished, saw the playwright grin, and they didn’t make any more adjustments. I never have the thought process of “nailed it”– at least not like this. I still doubt I’ll get cast (too tall, not right look, too something, etc), I acted the SHIT out of that audition.
(Wednesday was actually the only day I didn’t binge. Partly because I couldn’t… I had breakfast before getting on the train, bought a subway sandwich on the way from the train to the theatre, eating the Baked Lays on the way, then had a light dinner with my friend R (plus 1.5 drinks) before seeing J’s production of Crucible. And no binge snacking at night! whoooo hooo!)
Tonight, R and I trekked up to White Plains to audition for a production of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, a show I LOVED on Broadway (the only reason we’re auditioning for this regional, 5-6 show, no pay, non union show at all). It’s the nerdiest, most anachronistic show on Broadway, maybe ever. And as you may know… that’s what I did. Smart, funny, crazy, young, fresh, playful theatre.
“John Adams tried to be an American idol /
Jefferson tried to be a ROCK STAR /
Madison tried to make the Presidency vital /
And James Monroe was a douchebag. /
There’s no place in democracy for your brand of artistocracy /
Take that shit back to Virginia (or Massachusetts, bi-atch!)”
Check out this clip:
Anyway, the whole scene felt a lot like high school, and Rachel and I were making serious eyes at each other in the holding area. But fuck it, it’s BBAJ. We waited around a loooooong time, then R went in and sang (she’s a beast) and did her monologue. Fairly quickly, it was my turn.
I’m a star at those first moments. Friendly but to the point. I gave the accompanist my sheet music, gave him a tempo, and he was already on my side because the title of my song is “All of my Friends (are whores).” I am NOT a singer– this is important to recall. Part of the reason I picked this song is because I know it like the back of my hand, with accompaniment. Now the accompanist was not very good… so let’s get that out of the way. But it’s such a talky/yelly/funny/who gives a shit kind of song, it was fine. And they let me sing all 32 bars without stopping, saying, “Yeah, no way I was going to stop that.” Then I went into my monologue, my classic, my sure thing–The Little Dog Laughedby Douglas Carter Beane. I didn’t have my chair, which I usually use, but in an audition like this I could give a fuck and just aced it, on hyperspeed because I wanted to go HOME, and they responded, “that’s hilarious.” And then made a point to tell me when callbacks were and that they’d be calling so I could “jump up and down.” And I was like, “okay, great!” and R and I busted out and back to the Metro-North. I have a feeling I’ma get a callback.
Now… eating. Didn’t binge on Wednesday. Monday was great until I binged, despite putting major safeguards in place (safe foods, unsafe foods in the freezer, single portion of dinner). Tuesday I was a badass and went to the gym for a class at 9:30am, then promptly had what I like to call a “mini binge”– eating too much of something binge-y but not necessarily grounding me from life), and despite really getting back on track initially, just derailed myself. And today, I was totally on track until I just decided not to be rigorous and allowed myself to NOT stop. Danger, danger, Will Robinson.
And no period yet to blame this bullshit on. Emotionally, I’m a bit more on track, though I have not showered in a few days… sorry all. But generally okay, you know? Perhaps this is just a leftover from the major depressive week I had last week. Maybe it’s going to take another week to pull out. God, I hope not. I’m tired of feeling sick and bloated and numb. Binging these days feels like self harm, and after I binge, I feel so full up of shit that I can’t function– I lie down, or I shove more food in. And if I have to walk around outside, I act as though I can disappear, as though I don’t exist. I pray for invisibility and the strength to make it through. I feel these emotions in my body– in my swollen stomach, in my flabby arms, in my legs in stretched out jeans that won’t cling anywhere I don’t want to look at, in the ache in my chest, in my parched mouth. It’s misery– it’s causing myself to feel miserable. That’s why I hate it so much.
But I’m hopeful. I’m prayerful. My friend R just got me an audition tomorrow for a short film she’s doing, and who know/who cares but it’s something. Plus I plan to go to the gym, see my chiropractor, go to work, and if Leslie doesn’t text me back, maybe get myself a bikini wax. I don’t know. Go crazy. (I’ve never had one, but I’m over the “situation” down there and my at home “remedies” are just not up to par).
Kisses, hugs, and jazz hands,
“The theatre is certainly a place for learning about the brevity of human glory: oh all those wonderful glittering absolutely vanished pantomime! Now I shall abjure magic and become a hermit : put myself in a situation where I can honestly say that I have nothing else to do but to learn to be good.”
― Iris Murdoch