acting · community · confidence · fear · learning · smallness · theater · trying

Be a Royal

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Yesterday, I auditioned with the weird, avant garde theater
company I saw perform briefly on Saturday. Last week, after telling me I didn’t in fact get a ‘Pride and Prejudice’ role as I’d thought, the producer of the company I’ve
been auditioning with these past few weeks continued, “You must know your
height gets in your way.….
“But, we’re doing this ‘Queen of the Amazons’ play, and I’d
like to introduce you to the director.”
So, I met the director last Saturday. At the weird hippie
commune cult Renaissance patchwork crystal-wearing children-of-the-corn-toting ensemble performance.
I’m hippie, people, but I’m not that hippie. Really.
Nonetheless, I spoke with the director for a little while,
he invited me to stay for the performance, which I could only for a few
minutes, and then the producer called on Wednesday to say the director would like
to audition me. And yesterday he did.
He asked at our initial meeting if I really played bass, as is
listed on my resume, and I said yes. So he asked me to bring it. And I did,
along with my guitar, since I really am only a novice at bass, and can’t really
improvise how some might.
We met. He showed me binders and binders of photos from his
previous performances. Despite being achingly weird, some of them, they were
interesting. Achingly weird. He said American theater bores him – he’s Italian.
And then I played two songs I’d written on the guitar, and
sang. And it was strange, just us two, but so nice to be back behind an
instrument again. My throat is sore from it, from being out of practice – just
another muscle, you can’t just decide to
run a marathon without training.
And then he had me read some of the scene. The main role,
the Queen of the Amazons.
It was challenging. I’m not that experienced, you know, and
it was great to have his feedback on what I was doing, like a private acting
lesson. “Be more open, more proud, you’re a queen.” Smile, melt us with your smile, make us love you even when you’re
angry. Speak from down here, not up here. Crouch, get physical, you’re an
AMAZON.
Ha.
It was weird, and fun, and hard, and intimate, and
vulnerable. And it’s still unclear to me if I’m “in,” and because of my “too-soon” (my brain can’t find the word I mean – need more coffee) — PREMATURE!! — that’s it — premature declaration the other week about landing a role, I’m
cautious to do that here. But. It seems very positive. And even if not, I got
some great notes.
It’s clear to me that I have some education to continue
around acting. That it would be worth it for me to look up classes or lessons
again. If I do get this role, it’s
intense, starring, physical, musical, and (word for pushing & challenging I
can’t think of). It may be more than I can chew, but I’ll face that if I get
the role.
The piece that stands out to me about the audition yesterday
was the director inviting me to be more queenly, assertive, confident. To allow what he saw as I played my instruments and sang. To let that person out. To not
be a queen through me and my mishegas (not his word!), but to be a queen as she would be.
I drove from the audition to a very long, but good meeting
at work, and on the ride asked myself aloud, “What does it feel like to be a queen?”
Role or no role, it’s my job to find out. 

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