Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Too Much Talk About Music

I just got home from the Dangerous Beauty auditions and man do I feel relieved. I got all the info on this audition two weeks ago and have had that much time to think about it. On the one had, it can be nice to have that much more time to prepare, especially when they ask for 2 minutes of music, plus reading some lines. But on the other hand, that's a good amount of time to start to stress out about an audition.

Not to mention that I didn't really have any ballads or up-tempo songs that I was comfortable with or that would go over well at this audition. The one song I normally sing for auditions is kind of a power ballad, even a torch song, therefore NOT a regular ballad or up-tempo. This left me with a few choices: Take the last part of the song more briskly and pretend it's an up-tempo; sing the beginning of the song like a ballad; sing something from Chess (even though I'm not sure it's appropriate for what they're asking); or find brand new songs. So what did I choose? Well, I didn't. I prepared all of those choices.

I found one song from my AMDA days that I never sang but someone else in my class did - "Stranger To The Rain" from Children of Eden. This is a little faster than my go-to song so I took it from the bridge straight on to the end. It was more like a 1:30 but it was a good cut. Into my audition binder I also threw "Heaven Help My Heart" from Chess. That's actually not a bad ballad, I think I'll keep it in there as a just-in-case song. I put "Nobody's Side" from Chess in there too, knowing it was a definite no but at least I could sing the whole thing without forgetting anything if I ever need to. The fourth song I put in the binder was my good ole' go-to, "A New World" from Jekyll and Hyde.

Over the past week I worked on all of these things. I even dug out my keyboard and set up camp on my bed, music strewn allover my room and midi versions of each song queued up on my laptop. After reacquainting myself with all of the songs, the hardest part was to choose which songs to sing. I obviously couldn't sing "A New World" for both my ballad and up-tempo. I decided I'd definitely be doing "Stranger To The Rain", but even when I was getting ready this morning I couldn't decide on a second song.

I even decided to stray from my regular musical-theatre-audition-dress, so everything about this audition was a bit foreign to me. I did feel much better when the casting director came out to get me and told me she'd been hearing great things about me. And when I stepped into the room I got a compliment on my dress. Hooray! I went to the pianist and told him I'd start with the up-tempo, and he told me that they'd so far been doing only one song. Hooray again! I got up there and sang, and felt better than any practice run I'd done up until then. They liked the song, and then we moved onto the sides. I read through with the casting director once, was given a not by the director, and then read it again. They liked how I took the adjustment and the choices I made, and that was that!

When I left I felt confident and that's really the most important thing. I think I have a shot at it, and if not this then at least the CD has finally seen me and what I can do. Cross your fingers for me!

Friday, October 8, 2010

I Am Alive And Well

As I'm sure you've noticed, it's been about a month and a half since I last posted an entry. I haven't been trying to avoid blogging by any means - in fact there have been several times I've wanted to blog because some cool things have been happening, but I just haven't done it.

It was recently brought to my attention that some things I say here can be taken as me being narcissistic. I was worried about that when I started the blog. No one whats to toot their own horn too much for fear of others becoming annoyed with the sound. But here's what it comes down to: This is a blog about me. It's an easy way to give family and friends an update on what's happening on my professional journey, as well as some personal and social life stuff, on their own time. If anyone gets tired of reading about me, they can choose not to visit the blog.

On that note, I think it's time for an update!

So where did we leave off... Chess is long over now. We had a brilliant last weekend, and we followed our closing night 1.1 with another potluck. The cast and crew was full of so many wonderful people, there was no way we wouldn't have a good time. I don't think I wrote about this before, but a friend of one of the producers came to see the show and enjoyed it so much that he invited the whole cast to the Magic Castle! I've been wanting to go there for years and years - it's part hotel, part restaurant and venue for magicians to perform. You have to either be a member or invited and accompanied by a member to get in. Luckily, the producers friend is a member (he's a magician) and was our host for the evening. Not only did we get a private magic show from him - that I got to help out with - but there were several floors with lots of rooms and shows happening in them all night long. We were there for about 5 hours. I think that may have also had something to do with the ghost piano player that we had a sing-along with.

I also had the immense pleasure of singing a song with my chess co-star, Blake Ewing, in his one man show at Vitello's in studio city shortly after the show closed. We sang "Someday", a song what was cut from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. It's a beautiful and moving song, that as far as we know it's only carnation that can be seen is in German on youtube. So unfortunate. His show was packed and went off without a hitch.

That audition I mentioned last time went pretty well. I would have been nice to have been a little more familiar with the sides, but I did the best I could with the time I had and it was in no way a bad audition. And a good thing too because I haven't had an audition since. It's the beginning of pilot season, which means almost all efforts are going toward reviewing and choosing which pilots will go ahead, which in turn means there's not much that's casting just yet. Sure there's projects here and there, but it's not going to get back into full swing until after the new year starts.

So that means now is the time to prepare for the actors portion of pilot season! I finally had that meeting with the commercial agency on Wednesday. I feel like I'm getting better at these things, it only took me an hour to figure out what to wear! I got there with about 10 minutes to spare. The receptionist handed me a folder with four "commercials" in it, and told me to pick one to read to the agent. I spent a couple minutes with that, and then the agent come out to meet me. He was very friendly and easy to talk to, and I got a good feeling about the whole thing. It seemed like everyone there enjoys what they do and actually work for their clients. We chatted a little bit, I read the commercial a few times, and that was that. He said he's be in contact with my manager in a few days.

When I got to work I was greeted with an email from my manager. Unfortunately, it looks like there's a conflict with another client of theirs, most likely meaning they already have someone that's my type. So that's a no-go. Of course my initial reaction was that I was bummed, I've really been looking forward to this. But then I though you know, I guess I can't get them all on the first try. I've been very lucky and signed with the first manager and theatrical agency that I've met with. That really doesn't happen all the time, so I'm excited to take more meetings when we get them. Plus, I'm now 25 and that means I'm legally allowed to do beer and alcohol commercials. I don't know how much that will work to my advantage, but I'd like to imagine that it will very much :)

I'm also lucky that I do, in fact, have an audition next week. It's for a new musical, Dangerous Beauty, based on a 1998 film that was based on a non-fictional book. The casting director for Reprise is bringing me in. That's pretty exciting, because she hasn't even met me yet so either her relationship with my manager is very strong, or Jason Alexander's recommendation weighs pretty heavily. Or Both! The show is going to be in Pasadena which I love because it's so close, and the pay would be pretty darn good too. I'm in the process of choosing some songs. I need two, one uptempo and one ballad, that are 32 bars each. That's a bit of a challenge because nearly every musical theater audition I go to requests 16 bars or less of one song, so I'll be singing 4x as much as I'm used to! It will be good though. I just know it.