In any event, last night I inhaled some hummus and pita so I wouldn't starve, lovingly prepared by Himself, and I set off for another audition. There are not all that many good roles for women "of a certain age" as the French so charmingly put it, so when one arises there is a gathering of the same talented women, eager to learn if they still have enough brain power to memorize a two hour script, and longing for that curtain call at the end of the performance. We love one another, enjoy one another, respect one another as people and as actors, and we are delighted and distressed to find we are all up for the same part. So we greet one another with a hug and a genuine "Wonderful to see you!" but somewhere in our head a quiet evil voice is whispering, "Oh, s#*t. She's here. I haven't got a prayer!" and that was the beginning of the OSC, or the "Oh, S#* Club". I've told them all about it and they all know exactly what I mean. We laugh about the "board meetings" we have whenever we gather. I'm the President because, hey, it was my idea.
No one wants to go first. It's horrible to go first. By the time you've watched three or four people read the same lines you begin to think, "I wouldn't do it that way. I'd pause here and wait for the laugh. I'd sit on this word and then get up and walk on that one." We don't get to choose who goes first. The director calls our names, one by one, and up we get, script in hand, trying to read and interact at the same time. It's tricky. No one knows what the director's "vision" for the part is. Even the director doesn't really know it until s/he sees it up there on the stage. The best actor in the world won't get cast if the director has a different image of the role.
I wasn't first. I wasn't last. I was somewhere in the middle. There were a few laughs from the "audience" which didn't seem like pity, so I guess it was not my worst outing. The director asked me to crawl across the stage on my hands and knees as if I were in pain. "Sure. That's why I wore a dress," I replied as I dropped to all fours and dusted the boards with my summer frock. I got another laugh on that line.
There's another audition for the same play tonight. I won't go. I don't want to look desperate. And then the waiting begins. When will I hear? Will I hear? Some directors only contact the people they want in the show. That's so rude. I always appreciate the liars who say, "We ADORED your reading, but we've decided to go in a slightly different direction. But we hope to work with you again!" It's just the elongated version of , "No" but it is easier on the ego. Not getting a part means a day or two of doubting myself. I usually vow to lose twenty pounds, partly because I assume that was the problem, and partly because I am reminded of what it's like to see pictures of a production when I don't bother to lose twenty pounds. Not good for the ego. I hate cameras.
So soon I may be in a cranky mood, but it will only last a day or two. Or, there is always the possibility that I'll get the part, and then I'll have something to keep me busy two nights a week for the next couple of months. It's like summer camp for grownups. Well, we're not really grownups. We're actors.