Saturday, December 25, 2010

Northside Theatre: "A Christmas Carol"

When James initially asked me to stage manage/A.D. for him I was pretty nervous. I have previously only been an assistant stage manager, which I honestly feel doesn't fully prepare to become a stage manager-they're completely different jobs, and I had never been an A.D. But I have a temporary back up plan that if acting doesn't work out for me I could become a stage manager. So I was certainly looking forward to gaining some experience as well as doing some networking. I never try to pass up an opportunity to network.

I did know about a quarter of the cast already, although not well. So this was a great chance to get to know people better as well as to establish myself with a new company. I think I proved myself very well as a decent stage manager. Even though I don't think being an A.S.M. really prepares you I'm pretty observant and picked up a lot of useful tips from working with Shady's S.M., Chris Tani. He's currently attending Cal Arts to get his Master's in Stage Management, hardcore!

After a couple of weeks of busting through rehearsals I started to feel very comfortable with my role as a S.M. As far as working as an A.D., well, I certainly assisted the director in lots of various ways. I did not actually direct any scenes, but I was ok with that. From my understanding an A.D. does anything to actually directing to working as a S.M. But I will certainly take the A.D. title on this one, even without directing.

Overall this was a great show to work on. We didn't have any major problems until tech week, and even then we muddled through it very well. Once we made it through tech week, the rest was just getting down the timing of everything. I honestly felt really bad for the actors, the costumes were a nightmare to work with because clothing is so heavy and had a bunch of pieces to deal with for quick changes. Eventually we got the hang of it.

At Northside things run a bit differently then I'm used to. The stage manager actually becomes a backstage manager/house manager/costume assistant/whatever else is needed. I didn't get to sit a booth and say things like, "Light cue 1, go," which I was actually looking forward to doing. Instead the light and sound tech call the cues from the booth and the stage manager becomes a "back stage manager," which seemed to me an assistant stage manager job. I hit fog ques, helped actors with costume quick changes, kept track of/helped actors with props, and occasionally helped Tiny Tim with his makeup. During intermission I set a bunch of props on stage for Act II, called times, and acted as a psuedo house manager. It was definitely an interesting experience.

And of course, what's theatre without mishaps. There were some funky lines (leading to saying "Are there no scripts? Are there no actors?"), lots of stumbling on and off stage (those dresses were easy to trip on), the night a cloak got stuck in the trap and was sitting onstage for a couple of scenes, and a couple of major bumps and bruises. But my actors were troopers and muddled through the pain.

It was definitely a long run. Shady is a long run with shows running Thursday through Sunday for about 12 weeks. For some reason running a show Wednesday through Sunday, with double shows on Saturday just felt intense then Shady. Especially during hell week and opening week where the show ran for two weeks straight with no breaks.

However closing "weekend" finally arrived. We pretty much had sold out shows the Saturday and Sunday before closing as well as closing. I have to say closing audience, which was a Christmas Eve matinee, was so receptive and fun. You could tell people just loved coming to see a Christmas show on Christmas Eve. I wish all my audiences were that much fun. The cast pitched in and got me a collection of Dicken's stories. Adrienne made actual figgy pudding to share. It tastes just like a fig newton. We got in some great cast photos, which I can hopefully share later. We did a quick and dirty strike. Luckily we aren't responsible for lights and set on this production. Strike mainly consisted of getting costumes on the rack, cleaning the makeup room, cleaning the green, cleaning the lobby, putting away all the chairs, and picking up our paychecks (yay!). Richard, the artistic director, gave us some numbers for run. It turns out this particular show was the number selling of all time with some great audience numbers.

I'm very proud of everyone on show and the work we all did to bring it together. I had so much fun and am very much looking forward to working with everyone again, hopefully as an actress. However, if I have a bad run of luck I feel comfortable knowing I could always go back to Northside as a techie.

Have a Merry Christmas, everyone!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Upcoming Auditions: Now thru January 9, 2011

Happy Early Christmas!

Notes about audition postings: This is just a quick overview of info I've received on Bay Area auditions. For detailed information please subscribe to Theatre Bay Area or bayareatheatrebums. Please do not email me for more information.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Looking for an actor/actress to play "Warren." Calcall 510-683-9218 immediately. Rehearsals start late January.

Lend Me a Tenor
Auds 12/27 7p.  Cold read. Email Sue Ellen Nelsen for appt.

Speech and Debate
Auds 1/3-4 7-9p. Cold read and monologue. Call David (650) 784-5303 or email for appt.

Mary Rose
Auds 1/3-4 7-9p. Cold read & prep 2-min monologue (accents required for some characters). No appt. necessary.

Altar Boyz 
Auds 1/8 11a-4p. Prep 2 upbeat pop/rock songs. Email for appt.

Auds 1/8 1:30-4p. Prep mono from play (given when appt. confirmed). Send a H/S and resumé to Jovan Olague for appt.

Auds 1/9-10 6-9p. Prep 32 bars musical theatre song. Go to for appt.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Playbill Newsworthy: December 20th

Cast announced for World Premiere of The Innocents. According to Playbill the Asolo Reperatory Theatre has finished casting for this play for it's Spring 2011 premiere. This certainly looks like it will be a great piece of 21st century theatre.

Anyone else have some doubts about this musical: Spiderman Turn-Off the Dark? Topless Robot has reported many of the mishaps that have occurred during its production. I respect the idea of turning some great comic hereos to the stage, but this play really seems over the top.

OMG! Why didn't anyone tell me about this? Al Pacino in Merchant of Venice?! New goal: get my ass to New York ASAP.

A musical from the creators of South Park? Yes, please. I will be google-ing this musical, The Book of Mormon, obsessively when it premieres Feb. 24, 2011,

Monday, November 15, 2010

Callbacks for Teatro Vision: "Bless Me, Ultima"

Teatro Vision is currently working on adapting Rudolfo Anaya’s Bless Me, Ultima into a play. I loved this book in high school and am looking forward to it going up onstage, even if I’m not a part of it. Elisa Marina Alvarado will be directing. You can check up on Teatro’s updates on their Facebook page.

My callback time slot was for 7:30pm, but I arrived at 7pm to give myself time to warm-up. A bunch of actors were sitting around chatting. It was a very familiar feeling. A lot of people seem to already know each other. It reminded me of my family gatherings-all the laughing, storytelling and joking. I hadn't been sent a script because at the time it hadn't been developed yet, so we were asked to read the novel. However, when I got there some people already had scripts. I was a bit confused. I also had the impression some people had been precast.

I was also wary of the outfit I had chosen. The email that was sent to me said that we should wear comfortable clothing and bring our own water with us. To me, that reads as I’m going to either be dancing or just doing a lot of movement. So I wore some workout shorts, a rock tee that I cut the collar off of, my vans and some makeup (gotta look good, right?). However, a number of people were dressed in jeans, nice shirts, some of the ladies even had heels. Only one other lady showed up wearing a workout sort of outfit, and a couple of the guys. I was initially really worried I had picked out the wrong outfit. As I learned later though, I did not.

It was at least a half hour before I was called in to read, so in the meanwhile I talked to the other actors who were also waiting. I talked a lot with a young woman who was working for Kaiser Permanente's youth traveling program, which I am very interested in. I grilled her about the program. She had travelled all the way from Fresno, where she was currently touring and then had to return the same night. Another gentleman, also with Kaiser, had driven from Sacramento.

When my time slot came up I was not prepared for the first part of the audition. I, 3 other ladies and 2 men were called in. There were sides on a table in the room, but we hadn’t been handed any. Instead, we were assigned characters, I was given one of TENORIO’s daughters, and a scene was described to us. I was very confused as to what was expected of me. I wasn't sure if were improvising, improvising with dialogue we were supposed to make up, or I was supposed to have something memorized. And we were just told to start. I became more confused when one of the guys started speaking. I looked at the other ladies who were also assigned to be daughters for guidance. They looked as confused as I was, but we all just sort of went for it. So we all just improvised it. After performing our improv piece one, which involved quite a bit of movement, we were assigned a side.

The first side was LUCAS stumbling upon TENORIO. The side was very similar to the scene we’d just improvised so I was thinking that Elisa had just wanted to see our physicality. After doing that once were then assigned sides similar to what we'd just done. Again, I was assigned to be one of TENORIO’s daughters. We ran the scene a couple of times. With the same group were assigned another side (minus a woman who had been playing "Death")-a school scene. Myself and another lady swapped JUNE's lines on different turns. We were dismissed for a bit after running the scene a couple of times.

I had some down time and spoke with a gentleman working on WVLO's White Christmas. He has a blog you should check out. I then was called back in to work with another group did the same TENORIO daughter scene. After a couple of runs with it I was let go for the evening.

I was quite satisfied with my work. I was also glad I spent time physically and vocally warming up. I probably should’ve warmed up more since I spent at least half an hour not doing anything. Also, I was glad that I was wearing the workout clothes because I spent much of my time being physical as a daughter. Now comes the waiting game. As I said before, even if not cast I felt I did a good job, there’s always room for improvement of course, and am looking forward to the production in general.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Update on Northside's "A Christmas Carol."

So I heard back from James today. I was at work when I got the call. I checked my voice mail as soon as I had a free chance. I was not cast. Boo. James was very sweet about it. It was sorry, I can't use you this time. I love you (I love you, too, James). Bu-ut, would you be interested in stage managing/assistant directing?

I have some issues with accepting a tech position. I adamantly, do not want to be seen as a tech. I want to be an actress. And I do worry very much about being pigeon-holed as a tech. I actually been witness to this happening to my awesome fiance. He's a great actor and amazing singer. Unfortunately, he's taken so many tech positions no one knows he can act. Also, he doesn't market himself terribly, but that's another story. I know I did great work with Shady as an ASM, which is where I met James. He's seen what I can do.

My problem comes down to: take the tech position-don't suck at it, and forever get stuck as a tech. Decline the tech position-have nothing to do for theatre-wise for the months of October through December, and no money (tech pays very well, better than acting). I have played with the idea that if acting doesn't work out for me switching into stage management. So the experience would certainly be helpful.

...I spent a lot of time thinking about it and I've ultimately decided to go with the tech position. Really, I need the money. I need the experience and I could use the opportunity to do some more networking. I have hope that the actors I'll be working with will not just see me as a tech person. It's worth to note that quite a few actors, in general, also end up directing at some point. Here's to a good show experience!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Auditioning for Northside Theatre: "A Christmas Carol"

Yesterday I went in for my audition for Northside's "A Christmas Carol." It's being directed by my friend, James Lucas. I met James this past summer at Shady. He played Georgette in "Much Ado About Nothing" and Antonio in "Merchant of Venice", and was wonderful. He mentioned that he would be directing in the fall and invited everyone to come out to audition. I gladly accepted the offer.

I'll be honest, this a show I really want. It pays a small stipend, will look great on my resume, will introduce to more people in the Bay Area theatre community (networking is awesome), and the timing is perfect.

I did have a few problems trying to book an appointment. Every time I called I got the answering machine, even during the office hours. And the machine starts off with talking about the Box Office hours and buying tickets. There is no mention of setting up audition appointments. And while it does say you can leave a message for a staff member, I did not initially know which staff member set up the audition appointments. The first message I left was never returned, but I didn't leave the message for anyone in particular. I just expressed my interest in wanting to audition, asking for a date and leaving my contact info. The second time, I specifically left the message for Meredith King, who sent the audition notice through bayareatheatrebums. This time I got my appointment confirmed.

Northside Theatre wasn't at all what I expected. I expected to find something like City Lights or Broadway West, a small space squashed between downtown buildings. Instead I found myself at an elementary school/community center that also has a theatre in it. The space is fairly small, but I'm getting used to that now.

I saw a couple of people there I knew from what I call the SJSU theatre group. These are people I have met either while attending SJSU or are SJSU theatre students. I'm enjoying seeing friendly, familiar faces at auditions. It helps me relax a bit. And it's always fun to catch up with people I don't see very often.

I was told to bring 2 contrasting pieces no more than 5 minutes in length. I had previously asked my mentor if I should find period pieces since it's a Dickens play, but was told "no." Instead I did a piece from Dan Dietz's "TEMPOdyssey," my comedic choice, and a piece from George F. Walker's "Tough," my contrasting piece. "TEMPOdyssey" is the one I've been working on in class so I felt quite comfortable with it. Tough was stolen from a fellow actor of the same class.

Overall I felt this was one of my better auditions recently. I'm gaining more confidence with each audition and the theatre class is definitely helping me. Also, I put some time into these monologues already so I wasn't too worried about the delivery.

After my audition James asked if I could stay to read some sides. Unfortunately, I agreed to pick up an extra shift at my day job so I couldn't stay as long as I would've liked. I did have time to get in one side, Belle's monologue. James gave me a bit of information on the piece before I went out to practice. What stuck with me was James saying that Belle is hurting, but trying not to show her feelings. That's she's strong. So when I came back to do the piece that's how I read it-strong. Belle is breaking up with Ebeneezer, but since she was the one walking away she wouldn't show her hurt. Well, judging by James's reaction I felt like I missed the mark. I had about 10 seconds of panic and my thoughts basically went, "Oh shit, I did it wrong. Um. Um. Quick! Ask him if I can do it again." So I did. I basically said, aloud, "Um. I could try that again if you want?" Luckily, James is great and let me give it another shot with a bit more direction. I tried to be a bit more heartfelt, and show more heartache. I felt like I nailed it the second time around. Right after the reading I had to leave for work. I won't find out for a few days about the casting.

What I really appreciated about this audition was getting a second chance. I'm so new and cold readings are still one of my worst areas. I really wish more directors would say, "Could you try it this way?" during an audition. I do get that there's time to consider and really if you deserved the part you'd have probably nailed it the first time, but for noobs like me these small second chances are so important in my learning curve. I just wish it would happen more often.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Currently Playing

There is a lot of great theatre here in the Bay Area. Please support your community and catch a show.

Center REPertory Company
She Loves Me
9/2-10/10 (closes tonight!)

Pacific Repertory Theatre
The Country Wife

Marin Theatre Company
In the Red and Brown Water 
9/9-10/10 (closes tonight!)

Ray of Light Theatre
Jerry Springer the Opera
9/10-10/16 (closes this week!)

Tri-Valley Repertory Theatre
My Way: A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra
9/17-10/10 (closes tonight!)

Altarena Playhouse
I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change

Berkeley Repertory Theatre

Broadway West
Dial M for Murder
9/17-10/16 (closes this week!)

Sierra Repertory Theatre
Red, White and Tuna

Ross Valley Players

American Conservatory Theatre

New Conservatory Theatre Center
Anita Bryan Died for Your Sins

Subterranean Shakespeare
The Ben Johnson Series

California Shakespeare Theatre
Much Ado About Nothing

Sonoma County Repertory Theatre
Fat Pig

Solano College Theatre
9/23-10/10 (closes tonight!)

Pear Avenue Theatre
Angels in America & Our Town

City Lights
First Day of School

Custom Made Theatre Co.
The Last Days of Judas Iscariot

The Marsh

Not Quite Opera Productions
Absolutely San Francisco

Brava! for Women in the Arts
9/25-10/16 (closes this week!)

South Bay Musical Theatre
The Music Man
9/25-10/16 (closes this week!)

SF Playhouse
The Sunset Limited

San Jose Stage Company
reasons to be pretty

College of Marin Theatre Arts
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

AlterTheatre Ensemble
Intimate Apparel

Stage Werx Theatre
Zombie Town

Town Hall Theatre Company
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde

Santa Rosa Junior College Theatre Arts Dept.
10/1-10/10 (closes tonight!)

Stage 1 Theatre
10/1-10/16 (closes this week!)

Pacific Repertory Theatre
Twelfth Night

6th Street Playhouse
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

We Players

New Conservatory Theatre
And Then They Came for Me
10/3-10/10 (closes tonight!)

42nd Street Moon
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

Willows Theatre Company

Superior Donuts

Shotgun Players
Mary Stuart

Northside Theatre Company
Scrambled Eggs

Exit Theatre
Obscura-a magic show

CatchyName Theatre Company
Mad Tom

RasaNova Theatre
Dancing on Glass
10/8-10/10 (closes tonight!)

San Jose State University
The Seagull
10/8-10/16 (closes this week!)

Mira Theatre Guild
The Diary of Anne Frank

6th Street Playhouse
Becoming Walt Whitman

The Jewish Theatre
Wrestling Jerusalem
10/9-10/10 (closes tonight!)

Lyric Theatre
Babes in Toyland & Cox and Box

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Auditions for the Week of 10/10/10

Playwright's Center of San Francisco
General Auditions
Auds. 10/11 7-10p. Email your HS/Resume to with “PCSF Fall 2010 General
Auditions” in the subject.

Tri-Valley Repertory Theatre
Bat Boy: The Musical
Auds 10/11-12 7:30p. Download aud form and & bring to aud with HS/Resume.

Pinole Community Players
The Full Monty
Auds 10/11-12 7:30p. Call (510) 233-3598 or email for info.

Raven Players
Doubt: A Parable
Auds 10/12-13 7-9p; 10/16 10a-12p. Call (707) 431-7790 for appt/info.

Palo Alto Players
Auds 10/16. Email for appointment.

Foothill College
Auds 10/16-17 12p-5p. Call (650) 949-7268 for info.

Opening This Week 10/10/2010

Here's a rundown of shows opening this week. Go out and support your community theatre.

SF Playhouse
Seven Days

American Conservatory Theatre
The Three Sisters

Climate Theatre

Marin Theatre Company
9 Circles

Diablo Valley College Department of Drama

Youth Musical Theater Company
Anything Goes

Benicia Old Town Theatre Group

Sonoma State University
Urgent Fury

Independent Eye
Hands Up!

Central Works
Penelope's Odyssey

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Auditions for Week of 10/03/10

Notes about audition postings: This is just a quick overview of info I've received on Bay Area auditions. For detailed information please subscribe to Theatre Bay Area  or bayareatheatrebums. Please do not email me for more information.

Hillbarn Theatre
Auds 10/3. Callbacks 10/4. Call (650) 349-6411 for appointment.

Diablo Theatre Company
The Drowsy Chaperone
10/8 6p-10p and 10/9 11a-6p. Call (925) 944-1565 or email for appointment.

New Conservatory Theatre Center
Auds 10/9 11a-1p. Callbacks 10/10 6p-8p. Email HS/Resume to Jovan Olague,

Broadway West
I Do, I Do
Auds 10/9 2p-5p. Callbacks 10/10 6p-9p. Call (510) 683-9218 for appointment.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Auditions for the Week of 9/26/2010

USF College Players
The Wild Party
Seeking M. Auds. 9/26 8:30p-9:30p and 9/27 8:30p-10p. Email HS/Resume to

New Conservatory Theatre Center
Regrets Only
Auds. 9/27-28 7pm-10pm. HS/Resume to

Symphony Silicon Valley’s
Hello Dolly and My Fair Lady
Auds. 9/26 9:30am-12:00pm. Email

The Pear Avenue Theatre
Death of a Salesman
Auds 9/28-29 7pm-10pm. Email HS/Resume

Jewel Theatre Company
Of Mice and Men
Auds 10/2 1p-4p and 10/3 1p-4p. Call Mike (408) 464-3903 between 10a-8p

San Leandro Players
Charley's Aunt
Seeking F 18-25. Email

Bus Barn Stage Company
Angels in America: Milleneum Approaches
Seeking M. Email

Stanford Savoyards
Princess Ida
Seeking M. Email

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Opening This Week 9/26/2010

SF Playhouse
The Sunset Limited
Runs 9/28-11/6

Town Hall Theatre
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde
Runs 9/30-10/31

AlterTheater Ensemble
Intimate Apparel
Runs 9/30-10/24

Galtean Players
Runs 10/1-10/24

Stage 1 Theatre
Runs 10/1-10/16

Review: City Light's "First Day of School"

City Lights first production of the season kicks off their attempt to "bring sexy back." And does a great job. Billy Aronson's "First Day of School" is a great modern farce on today's marriage and our attitudes towards marital sex.

It's the first day of school and the PTA bagel brunch has been cancelled. Married couple Susan (Diahanna Davidson) and David (Tom Gough) realizing they have the day free try to come up with an activity to spend their day. After a few suggestions David casually throws out "How about having sex with other people?" After debating a minute more it's decided that Susan will go after Peter (Rich Miller), the local artist and David will attempt to go after Kim (Mandy Manousos), a very involved PTA mom.

There are amazing performances all around in this small ensemble cast. Tom and Diahanna deliver their characters with just enough cheese to remind of the classic television shows of the 1950s. Mandy's portrayal as an over-involved PTA parent is amazing and hilarious. Rich's shy awkwardness as Peter was quite believable. And I adored Courtney Walsh's use of movement and awkwardness as an uptight lawyer. This cast does well together but everyone manages to still hold their own. I didn't feel anyone overshadowed each other.
                                               (image courtesy of City Lights)

Something I really appreciated: complete facades. When doors and screens are opened it doesn't lead into some darkness or plain set. I loved that the set was fully dressed.

Overall, I would definitely recommend catching this hilarious show.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Auditioning for Teatro Vision

So I'm going to start with an update on Foothill auditions: I did not get a callback. I'm a little uncertain as to why and am debating on emailing the director and politely asking for a critique on my audition.

Onwards! I attended South Bay Regional auditions back in June and was very lucky to get an email from Teatro Vision inviting me to audition for their production of Bless Me, Ultima. I quickly emailed them back and set up an appointment. They asked me to prep 2 contrasting monologues, preferably one in Spanish.

I do not have monologue prepped with Spanish in it and didn't give myself enough time to learn one. Instead I used a monologue from a play I did called Miriam's Flowers by Migdalia Cruz. I played Delfina and used one of her many monologues that had a Spanish/Latin feel to it. I also decided to do Goodnight Desdemona (again) because I really needed a contrasting piece.

This was one of those low-key auditions I'm beginning to enjoy. Auditions were held at Hoover Theatre and we had 15 minute time slots. I met with Dianne Vega and Elsa Alvarado to perform my monologues. They both went very smoothly and I felt relaxed for the first time in a long time. I attribute this to knowing my monologues really, really well.

Elsa, who will be directing Ultima, asked if I spoke Spanish. Unfortunately, no-or at least not that well. I took 3 and half years in high school and both my grandparents spoke fluently  but I am far from mediocre. I usually understand better than I speak it. But I remain hopeful. Once I translate what I'm saying I can get it down well, I think. She also asked if I had seen any of Teatro's productions. Much to my embarrassment, I told her no I hadn't. To be fair though, I have only recently made it a priority to catch more theatre.

Teatro's production doesn't go up until next Spring, so it may be awhile before I hear back from them. But it was good practice overall.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Auditioning for Foothill College

I auditioned for Foothill College today. They will be producing The Winter's Tale. I had not read Winter's Tale previously and the audition had asked for a Shakespearean monologue and cold readings from the play. For the monologue I opted to do Mariana from Measure for Measure. Actually, this is my only Shakespearean piece I have down. I'm hoping to get a new dramatic piece and a comedic piece at some point.

Since I pretty much had the entire day free I spent it in the student center reading The Winter's Tale. I read the wiki on it for a summary and then read all the parts that had women in them. I took a shortcut because it's honestly really hard for me to translate Shakespeare well in that short amount of time.

I arrived at the audition to learn that in addition to the monologue we might be asked to sing. This is not good for me. I'm not really a singer, and certainly don't prepare anything (which I need to start doing).

During the audition my monologue went very smoothly. I was quite proud actually. Marcia Frederick, the director, asked me if there was a particular part I had in mind and I immediately answered Paulina. (Although I would be happy with any part.) So she had me read Paulina's monologue from Act 3, scene 2. I was also, unfortunately, asked to sing. Since I had nothing prepped I struggled to think of something I actually knew the words of. Finally, I blurted out with "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." Really, that was the best I had. I got through the first stanza ok and then struggled through the second. Luckily, Marcia cut me off.

Once I get my cold reading piece(s) I do my best to score them. I try to set a tone, objectives, character choices and substitutions. This is why it's important to read the play beforehand if you get a chance. It makes all this work go faster.

Since there were quite a few people at the audition and we were doing monologues plus cold readings, I spent more time than I should have socializing. But it was nice to chat with people on upcoming projects. I also spent some of my time talking to the Stage Manager about Foothill's conservatory. She was great and asnwered all of my questions.

When it was finally time for me to perform the cold reading I have to say I did the best to my ability, but I think I still screwed up. All the prep work I put into it while waiting didn't seem to show itself when it came down to it. The monologue read as quiet anger. Marcia thanked me when I was finished, double checked the information on my resume and then told me I was finished. I was pretty bummed. I wondered if I should have made a different choice, like maybe I should have been loud angry. And then I wondered why if I had been doing it wrong she didn't correct me? As in, ask me to read the monologue differently. I left the audition feeling confused and wondering if I would be called back.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Auditioning for Broadway West

I auditioned for Broadway West’s general auditions on Monday. This season they are presenting I Do, I Do; One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest; Hay Fever; StarSpangled Girl; and The Last Night of Ballyhoo. I was lucky to hear about the auditions in advance from the director of Cuckoo’s Nest, John. I worked with him at Shady this last season, again one of the perks to sometimes taking a tech job instead of acting job.
Since I knew I already wanted to work on Cuckoo’s Nest as Ratched, I spoke with my mentor and he helped me pick out the play Doubt by John Patrick Shanley and told me to look at the character Sister Aloysius. Once I bought the play I figured I could piece together a monologue from the dialogue between Sister Aloysius and Sister James. I am not very good at this sort of thing so I had a friend of mine, who is not only an English teacher but also teaches Drama, look over the play and give me hand. With his help I was able to pull a monologue out by cutting Sister James’ lines.
The audition called for a monologue and song. But since I’m not the musical theater person yet I practiced a second contrasting monologue in the hope I’d be able to perform it. I choose Good Night Desdemona since I had been able to find and work a new comedic piece.
To be honest, I really could have spent more time on these monologues. I had them memorized but my substitutions and objectives were still muddy by the time auditions arrived.
The Broadway West company is a great small, intimate space. And they were very lax on their audition process, in a good way. I arrived early and ran into people I knew who told me a bit about their experiences working with the company. Everyone had great things to say about the company. Also, they were very generous on time and introductions. I was introduced to all the directors and assistant directors; the time slots were about 15 minute increments; and they allowed me to do my two monologues.
And while Broadway West treated me well this is probably one of the worst conditions I’ve ever gone into an audition. To say I was a bundle of nerves is a massive understatement. I was nervous for a few reasons. I didn’t like auditioning for someone I know. In most cases this is beneficial. If you completely mess up your audition you can hope the director remembers some of your previous work and just thinks you had a bad night. However, John has never seen me perform and I very badly wanted to impress him, especially since I seriously want to be considered for his show. When I was being introduced to all the directors, I learned that in addition to John, Bryan was also there (he’ll be directing The Last Night of Ballyhoo). I had auditioned for Bryan previously during Shady auditions, but I’m not even sure if he remembers me from it. So there was yet another person to impress. While waiting to audition I spoke with my friend, Jim, who informed me that lots of women coming through auditions were interested in Cuckoo’s Nest. This bit of news also didn’t help my nerves.
 I really tried my best to calm my nerves. (I am thinking about enrolling in some meditation or Tai Chi classes to work on grounding techniques for situations like this.) But by the time I got onstage, I had already suffered from dizziness and nausea and just wasn’t feeling well. However, I was able to get through my monologues. I got all my lines right and didn’t drop or make up anything. I’m sure, despite my best effort, I was visibly nervous. What I was most disappointed in myself about is how I lost the nuance to my acting. I never got over my nerves. Usually, if I’m nervous at some point in the monologue I relax and start really getting into character. (Yes, I know I should be in character before I start my piece but my nerves don’t always let me.) I’m not really sure how I did overall. By the time I got to my car to leave I finally fell apart, crying. I was just so frustrated with myself. (And I felt stupid for getting myself worked up.)
About the only good news I’ve heard thus far is John saying my monologue was, I’m going to assume he meant the Doubt piece.
And now comes my least favorite part-waiting. With a general audition you wait until the show comes up and hope you get a callback. Which means it could be months before I hear from anyone.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Opens This Week 9/19/2010

Broadway San Jose
Burn the Floor
Runs 9/21-26

California Shakespeare Theater
Much Ado About Nothing
Runs 9/22-10/17

City Lights Theater Company of San Jose
First Day of School
Runs 9/23-10/24

Climate Theater
Faux Real
Runs 9/23-10/9

Imaginists Theatre Collective
To the Actors/A los Actores
Runs 9/23-10/9

Solano College Theatre
Runs 9/23-10/10

The Revolutionary Arts Committee
The Longest One-Act Ever
Runs 9/24-25

Pear Avenue Theatre
Our Town
Runs 9/24-10/17

Custom Made Theatre Co.
The Last Days of Judas Iscariot
Runs 9/24-10/30

Not Quite Opera
Absolutely San Francisco
Opens 9/24

Cinnabar Theater
Travels with My Aunt
Runs 9/24-10/17

Sonoma County Repertory Theater
Fat Pig
Runs 9/24-10/24

African-American Shakespeare Company
Runs 9/25-10/16

The Western Stage
Runs 9/25-11/14

South Bay Musical Theatre
The Music Man
Runs 9/25-10/16

Auditions for the week of 9/19

Notes about audition postings: This is just a quick overview of info I've received on Bay Area auditions. For detailed information please subscribe to Theatre Bay Area or bayareatheatrebums. Please do not email me for more information.

Woodside Community Theatre
The Drowsy Chaperone
Auds 9/19 6:30-9pm. Email:

StarStruck Theatre
Auds 9/19. Appt call (510) 659-1319 or sign up online.

Broadway West Theatre
General Auditions
Auds 9/19 1-4pm and 9/20 7-9pm. Appt: (510) 638-9218.

Lamplighters Music Theatre
The Yeomen of the Guard
Auds 9/19-9/21 7-10pm. Email with 1st and 2nd choice times and phone number.

Berkeley Playhouse
Little Shop of Horrors
Auds 9/20 4-5:30pm. Register

Bay Area Children's Theatre
Little House on the Prairie
Auds 9/21-22. Email HS/Resume to

Foothill College Theatre Arts
The Winter's Tale
Auds 9/21-9/22 7pm. Callbacks 9/25. Call for info (650) 949-7268.

Stanford Savoyard
Princess Ida
Auds 9/23-9/25. Email

Mary Sano Studios
My Kanrin Maru (working title)
Auds 9/24 4-6pm. Email HS/Resume to

Coastal Repertory Theatre
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Auds 9/25 11am-3pm. Callbacks 9/26. Call for info Michael Lederman (650) 726-0268.

Pleasanton Civic Arts Stage Company
The Princess and the Pea
Auds 9/25-9/26 12pm-5pm. Appt

Bless Me, Ultima
Auds 9/25 1pm-4:30pm and 9/27 6:00pm-9:00pm. Email

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Auditions for the week of 9/12

Notes about audition postings: This is just a quick over view of info I've received on Bay Area auditions. For detailed audition info please subscribe to Theatre Bay Area or bayareatheatrebums. Do not email me for more information.
Berkley Playhouse
Narnia (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe)
Auds 9/13. Callbacks 9/20. Email resume/HS to

RasaNova Theatre
Dancing on Glass
Auds 9/13 5-7pm. Callbacks 9/14. Email resume/HS to

Hapgood Theatre Company
The Complete Works of William Shakspeare (Abridged) & Imaginary Love
Aud 9/13. Email resume/HS to

Sierra Repertory Theatre
White Christmas & The Andrew Sisters Christmas of Swing
Auds 9/14. Email resume/HS/role desired to

Ragged Wing Ensemble
Youth Ensemble auditions
Auds 9/14 6-8pm. Email Amy Sass,

San Francisco Opera
Cyrano de Bergerac
Auds week of 9/20. Email resume/HS/body shot by 9/17 to Sean Waugh,

Ross Valley Players
Pride and Prejudice
Auds 9/18 2-6pm. Callbacks 9/20 Appt: (415) 507-1621

Woodside Community Theatre
The Drowsy Chaperon
Auds  9/18-19 6:30-9pm. Email

The Retro Dome
Santastic and The MeshugaNutcracker
Email resume/HS/cover letter of availability and interest to

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Auditioning for TheatreWorks

This last Friday I auditioned for TheatreWorks general auditions. It was my first time auditioning for this company but I had heard many good things about them and much more about impressing Leslie Martinson (TheatreWorks casting director).

Overall, I think I did alright. I didn't bomb the audition, but I certainly could've done much better. Honestly, I did not prep very well, which is an awful thing to not do. I had over a week for this prep, which was plenty of time to either find new monologues or go over the monologues I currently have in rotation.

Since I waited for the last minute I felt I had no choice to use the monologues in my repertoire. Unfortunately, my rep is pretty limited and a bit outdated and wasn't quite appropriate for this audition. The pieces I used were Carol from David Mamet's "Oleanna" and Constance from Ann-Marie MacDonald's "Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)". Here's why these pieces don't really work: a) I feel a bit too old to be performing Oleanna anymore. The character is in her early 20s and  I feel I make a barely passable 20-something. And b) the pieces don't contrast very well. Now part of this is my fault for not working them earlier in the week to make clear character distinctions to show my "range." But if you look at the pieces I think that both can be done as strong women in different settings. I've finally started to understand that contrasting doesn't necessarily mean one comedic and one dramatic.

I'm currently in the process of searching for new monologues, but til then I'm stuck with those two. Like I said, despite my lack of prep I was glad Leslie and her assistant at least laughed/chuckled during my comedic piece.

My very dear friend/mentor, Larry Barrott, gave me the best piece of advice, "Just relax." It's so simple and I've heard it before but it really struck me this time. As I drove to my audition I pumped myself up by reminding myself why exactly I was doing this audition. I love acting. It's an escape for me; to pretend to be someone else for awhile. So I just kept telling myself that someone was giving me the chance to play. To use my imagination and play. I had done enough of the work to know that I knew my lines and even though I was doing ridiculous things like making last minute cuts on my drive to the audition, I was finally able to relax and have fun.

One thing I saw this summer was actors having fun onstage. They knew their character well enough that they could play and it made for some amazing performances. It's something I seemed to have forgotten. But I'm glad to finally start bringing it back again.

I won't really know anything about the TheatreWorks auditions unless they want me for a show. So this means I'm out of their running until sometime next year. The way most generals work, from my understanding, is they put on file. When it's time for the show they're producing to come up they either know who they want for the roles, hold additional auditions and then start sifting through the files for additional callbacks. I'm pretty sure they do all three of these at certain points during the process. But essentially since I went to the generals I'm ineligible to go to the individual auditions since they've already seen me. If they have a part in mind for me they'll call me. (Please some clarify and/or correct me if I'm wrong.) Here's to hoping...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Shady Shakespeare

My last day working with Shady was today. It was quite a sad day; I actually cried. This whole summer has been an amazing experience for me.

I auditioned for the Shady 2010 season back in Spring. I was not surprised I didn't get cast. I was (as usual) ill-prepared and just always seem to bomb at call-backs. (By the way, are there any cold reading classes out there? I could use one.) But everyone cast was extremely talented and fit their roles perfectly.

A little background for the actor on Shady: typically they run two shows during the summer. Rehearsals run 8 weeks long and you are usually double cast. Shows run through Labor Day weekend from Thursday thru Sunday nights. No understudy roles are available. It pays a small stipend and is performed in an outdoor theatre in Sanborn Park. You are also expected to help build the set, participate in set up during the run, and take down the set. It's certainly a lot of work, but I think it's a great experience as to what it's like to run a small theatre company. Everyone, actors included, work together to create the experience.

In speaking with Shady's artistic director, Larry Barrott, suggested I could ASM for both the Shady shows this past summer. Typically each show has a separate SM and ASM. I knew it would be a daunting task and I honestly had very limited ASM experience. But I figured my responsibility, the SMs, and my theatre knowledge would keep me afloat. And did.

Rehearsal started in late May and I jumped in sometime in early June after I quit my "day job." Early rehearsals were conducted at Independence High School, which has an amazing theatre space. Late June we moved into Sanborn and spent the rest of the summer there.

We had a record breaking year as far as attendance, which bodes well for next year.

Since I was not performing with them I used this time to brush up on my technical knowledge, start my  networking, get some great advice, and pick up some great acting tips from professionals.

There is a slight con that comes with an actor working in a technical profession, which I'll save for a later blog.  Otherwise it has been an amazing summer.

One last thing, Shady also offers a range of classes from children's theatre performance to combat training.
Shady Shakespeare Facebook

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Obligatory first post

I was born and raised in the Bay Area of California and have been interested in theatre all my life. While I chose to study Psychology in college, I did earn a minor in Theatre Arts performance and have been acting since I was in high school. In 2005 I took a break from acting because I didn't believe I was good enough to earn a living from it (a decision I deeply regret). Recently, through encouragement from friends and family I have begun my journey to try and "make it." Unfortunately the institutions I've studied at thus far have left me ill-prepared for becoming an acting professional. Wondering if there were others like me I've decided to blog on my journey as well as throwing in theatre happenings in the Bay Area, and reviews on theatre related books and shows. Hope that this journey proves fruitful. I cannot even guess how this will turn out.