"I don't sing because I'm happy; I'm happy because I sing"

Today was really fun. Didn’t have temp job to drain my brain of creative force. I had two auditions in the same audition location (right at the Equity office on 46th Street) for two different companies – one in New York, the other in Florida. Got my hair out of its curlers (looking very much like my mom looks when she perms her hair – hi mom!) and got to the audition location around 8 am (an hour and a half before the audition(s) were going to begin). Dern – there were a lot of people there! I stood in line for one call and got an 11:30 am time, then stood in the other line and got…#40 on the alternate list (an alt. list is a formal list of people who don’t get there early enough to sign up for a proper “time” but are pulled into auditions when people don’t show up for their own time). What made it a bit troubling was that I had misplaced my Equity card, so after signing up, I had to go up to the office and get a new one, then go back down and prove to the monitors that I could keep my time(s). That wasn’t a huge deal, but distracted me a bit from the matter at hand.

I went into the 11:30 slot on time, singing two contrasting pieces (the company was doing a number of different shows). Started out with “When Will Someone Hear?” and finished with “The Finer Things.” Felt good. No huge response, but they were friendly. Then sat back down, ready to wait it out for enough people to give way for me to get inserted into the list of auditioners. I met Chris, an opera singer who (judging from his rendition of “Stars” I heard through the wall) has a gorgeous voice. I also met a singer/composer who has an upcoming baby girl on the way. Coincidentally, I had seen him in the chorus of a production of “Les Miserables” which made its way through Los Angeles at the Pantages Theater a number of years ago, and knew my friend Melissa (who played Eponine). Then, in yet another coincidence, I saw an internet friend, Mark Baratelli, at the audition location. He was on his way to an entirely separate audition, but it was great to finally shake his hand and say hello in person. I also saw Jackson, who I had met at the NYMF audition the previous Friday. He remembered me, too.

About 12:50, literally 10 minutes before the production crew was scheduled to break for lunch, my number and name was called. YAY! That meant I did not need to wait until after the lunch break was finished to be seen. I went in and saw about 5 guys sitting at a table. Using the humor that the situation afforded, I said “Ok, guys, you’ll go to lunch soon, I swear it’s coming up!” and they laughed. Before I began singing, one guy pointed to my skirt (an Anthropologie piece I was given by my friend Leah) and said “I love your skirt! It’s the best one I’ve seen all day. Can you twirl?” I obliged and did so, exclaiming “I get the skirt prize!” The guys laughed. I then sang “Children of the Wind,” this time able to sing a slightly longer version than I had been able to sing before.

After singing (the song starts with a good group of alto belted notes, then ends in a series of long, high soprano notes). One gentleman said “That was great! Do you have anything more…” “What, legit?” interrupted another man increduously. I laughed, and the first gentleman said “oh, yeah that’s OK, we’ve heard plenty. Thanks!” As I picked up my music, yet a 3rd man reiterated “Yeah, love that skirt.” I felt I was in a room full of fashion police! I thanked them and left.

I had a bit of time left before I knew I had to meet up Pete to go shopping at Trader Joe’s, so I asked Jackson if he wanted to go to lunch. We went two doors down to a Havana-themed club. I grabbed a chicken sandwhich & fries while Jackson had a white sangria (he had already eaten). We gabbed and gabbed for an hour about our lives and new experiences here in New York (he’s only been here 3 weeks). We both bemoaned our first electrical bill and compared casting considerations. He used to be a music history/voice professor and laughed when I told him I wanted to take sight singing lessons (he couldn’t imagine wanting to be put through that hell).

Finishing up with Jackson, I left him to prepare for his auditions and then got a call from Michael Kostroff. Michael is a former New York actor, now lives in Los Angeles. He’s performed as the cover for Max Bialystok in the national tour of “The Producers” and has a successful career in TV and Film. I saw him in MTG’s production of “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” as the Reverend Chrisparkle. I saw in the Equity office that he was doing an Audition Psych 101 seminar for free on Thursday, and emailed him earlier to see if he wanted to grab coffee. His schedule synched perfectly with mine, and we met each other and walked to a local bar which was kind enough to serve us coffee (the cheapest thing on the menu). We chatted a while about theater in general, casting, Michael’s reasons for offering free seminars on auditioning hangups (answer = he wants to help and not ream actor’s pocketbooks), and why he loves New York and considers it home. It was good to have another familiar face here in New York, although he is leaving soon to go back to Los Angeles.

I left Michael to meet Pete at Trader Joe’s to get us some much-needed groceries and fell prey to the pretty beauty of a small pot of a $5 lavendar rose bush. Took it home, and it’s now on our coffee table as we watch MythBusters and re-arrange our DVD collection.

All in a day’s fun.

Oh, and one side note: while waiting for Pete outside Trader Joe’s (14th Street and 3rd Ave), I watched a young black gentlemen with a backpack on his back climbing the building on the other side of the street. It’s a climbable building (I think a bank), covered with vertical and horizontal ridges. He made it about 15 feet up, then over a bit so he stood above a doorway, then onto a farther section. Then he stopped, dropped suddenly to the ground (making quite a graceful roll on the cement), then sprinted off down the street. His antics had grabbed the attention of some people around me, so I turned to a few of them and said “well, that was anti-climatic.” I then saw a uniformed gentleman come into view – I guess the building-climber didn’t want to get into trouble so early on in his climb!