Sunday, August 21, 2011

Callbacks and What I've Been Upto

So let's do a re-cap on what I've been doing since April. I actually have a few back log posts in queue that I'm hoping to get to, but let's give a breakdown.

I worked with Teatro Vision from January through March, performing in their West Coast Premiere of "Bless Me, Ultima." It was a wonderful, amazing experience in which I met some awesome veteran Teatro Campensino actors and got in touch more with my heritage.

As Ultima came to an end I started working on my next show with Arclight, "Much Ado About Nothing." Really working with Arclight feels like coming home. This was the second year I worked with them and juggled Fanime at the same time. I had a great time back at San Pedro Square and playing around with my character, Verges.

As the month of May came to a close I began my work with The King's Company in their production of "Godspell Jr." I was upgraded from Ensemble member to Apostle within a few weeks and had a lot of fun working with this group's first ever performance.

I then spent the rest of my summer helping out Shady Shakespeare. I worked as summer camp counselor intern, teaching 8-11 year-olds theatre and "A Comedy of Two Errors" and then teaching 8 and 10 year-olds theatre and "Julius Caesar" (no, really), as well as giving Shady a hand with set build.

The summer is coming to a close and for the first time in seven months I don't have a show lined up. Which is kind of freaking me out, but brings me today. I had a callback today with Broadway West for "The Last Night of Ballyhoo." This callback was actually happenstance for me. A few weeks ago I was talking with the director Ballyhoo asking him how his planning was going. He then looked at me and asked if I was coming to his audition. I reminded him I had already been the company's general auditions almost a year ago and then he asked me to come to his callback. This is networking people! I was genuinely curious about how his production was going, not fishing for anything, but because we've worked together and auditioned together he knows what I'm capable of. I was genuinely surprised and flattered to be invited to his callback.

I think the surprise had more to do me not seeing myself in any role within Ballyhoo. I had read the wiki awhile back and all that really stuck out in my memory were all the characters are supposed to be Jewish. And while I think I certainly look ethnic, Jewish doesn't come to mind. However, once I was invited to the callback I began doing more research. And while everyone is supposed to be Jewish, after reading the play I really felt a connection with the character Lala. And I felt that since the play takes place in Atlanta, Georgia that the Southern accent would actually take away from any discomfort I felt about ethnicity.

So I went into the callback and actually had fun. My mentor is always telling me to relax and have fun. And seriously, it's some of the best advice I've ever been given. I always try to tell myself before any audition or callback that it's supposed to be fun. I'm getting a chance to use my imagination like when I was a child and hopefully will get paid for it. Either way, I had a great time at the callback. I was there for about 4 hours, but pretty much read for Lala the entire time. I read once for Sunny, but just didn't feel I had the right look for Sunny. Honestly, looking around at all the people who'd been called back I pretty much felt like I was either going to get Lala or nothing. Sunny is within my age range, but she's the "pretty" one. And really, I play quirky characters, which I think suits Lala. The other women roles available were out of my age range. The other young girl reading pretty much read for Sunny the entire time. I felt like we had a pretty good chemistry together and it was fun working with her. I have to say my favorite part of the audition was actually doing the scene with her about Lala and Sunny's big fight. It felt so intense; it was great. I saw a lot people I knew at this callback and that's feeling more like the norm these days. Actors I've either worked with at other companies or have seen perform at Broadway West. Another thing of note that I liked is the way the director makes his adjustments with actors. His favorite line is "Give me three words that describe your character." I like how it clicks in for actors easily to make the adjustments he's looking for.

I still have a few days of waiting before I find out whether I got the role or not, but even if it doesn't work out there's always another audition coming around. And I just remind myself the exposure doesn't hurt either.

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