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.