Thursday, January 27, 2011

I will be me week...well...the past few months I have spent sort of sitting around and wallowing. I watch videos, read blogs, even dream about what I want to do with my life but have had zero inspiration to get up and do it. I will watch a video of someone else singing or an amazing dance routine and not get up and sing a single note (seriously) or as much as stretch for weeks at a time. I am having such a hard time pursuing my dreams actively and I guess they just seem so far away. During college, I got so jaded. I didn't feel very talented or valued in that atmosphere and that made think "Well if what I have to offer isn't valuable in a setting of 2000 people, what about a setting of 2 million...or 2 billion!" Things slowly went downhill from there. Now that I am out of that world and into the "real" one I find myself falling back into that way of thinking to the point where I physically can't move to begin to do something about it. Then there is the whole money issue. Should I spend money on food for my family or a dance class to further my career? Should I audition for and accept non-paying gigs that cut into my work schedule therefore cutting into my income? Should I just take these two years off and just work to live and support my family?  So many many questions that I just sit around and think about all day. Literally. With work being so slow during these past few months I have nothing better to do than to sit around.

The first thing I really need to focus on is valuing myself as a talent and an asset to the theatre world. That is so hard for me. I could hardly even type that sentence without inserting some catty remark in parenthesis.
Well, today I have spent the whole day trying to upload videos from a production I directed last spring and I have been singing the lyrics to the opening song in my head all day. They are so inspirational. I think that thinking about these lyrics is what is responsible for getting me up and in the shower and out of the apartment for an hour today and it felt great to be out! The drifts of snow taller than me were a little annoying to handle but other than that, it felt great to outside. If only I could make myself do that everyday. Anyway, here are the lyrics. I hope they can inspire someone else too whenever they are doubting their worth.

I will be wild. I will be wise.
I will not ever compromise.
I will stand firm. I will walk tall
And when my back's against the wall
I will be strong. I will be proud.
I will proclaim myself outloud.
I will be fuel. I will be fire. I will be free.
I will be me.

I may be overly romantic. I may set my heart up to break again.
But this is who I am.

You disapprove of what I'm saying, so I lack the grace of subtler men.
But this is who I am.

I'm sure as hell not getting younger, well I'm not the boy that I was back then.
This is who I am.

**And though my flaws they may be glaring, I'm past the point of caring.
Cause here's the way I see it. I am me. That's all. So be it.
This is who I am.**

I will not fail. I will not fall.
I will rise up above it all.
I will not sink. I will not drown.
I will not think of looking down.
I will fly far. I will fly fast.
I will be who I am at last.
I will be fuel. I will be fire.
I will be free. I will be me.

This is who I am.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The other side of the table

So lately I have taken part in a lot of auditions. Let me clarify... I have been watching a lot of auditions. I have been on "the other side of the table." I still have yet to decide which side I prefer, but that is a whole entire blog in itself. So auditions. I really do enjoy being on the casting end of things. I feel like that is when I learn the most. For some reason it seems easier to watch people screw up and think "Wow, I will never do THAT in an audition," than write down a bulleted list of all the right things to do! Here are a few things I observed in the past few auditions I have been involved in....

Some people think it is ok to come to in and actually use sheet music during the audition. No matter what, it isn't an acceptable choice. It would be slightly understandable for the sheet music to act as a security blanket of sorts if it was held by the auditioners side, but looking at it to the point where it is covering your entire face because you have to hold it that close because you don't know the notes or

So many people are very unaware of their A) Age range. If you are 20, you can NOT play the mom in Next to Normal. If you are 20 and you look 45...maybe. If you are 20 and you look 20...never! and B) If you are get discounts at movie theatres, gyms, or other facilities because you are elderly and you look elderly, you probably aren't a good fit for a contemporary show about teenagers/young adults. 

Mack the Knife in German is almost never an appropriate song choice for an audition.

Do not walk into an audition wearing jeans, a tacky sweater, and moccasins and then BLOW me away. That is just too confusing. You are talented but don't care enough to dress properly? You are unaware that you should dress for an audition? You think all the shows are about grungy teenagers? Or are you actually just a brilliant hipster that I should forgive for your lackadaisical attitude towards dress code for auditions because you were THAT good....

Please, please, please do a tiny bit of research about a show before auditioning for it. A song "in the style of the show" means just that. It doesn't mean that if you are auditioning for a rock musical that you should audition with any ole musical theatre song. It's just silly. 

When auditioners get too close to the table it actually is a frightening thing. So frightening, in fact, that I just might gasp out loud!

And finally...look confident! I saw so many people who looked like they were about to die of shame because they were so embarrassed to share their talent, when they turned out to be really good!

Though these things seem crazy, they actually did occur! I'm sure that mishaps like this happen more often than not. There is something so weird and unnatural about an audition. We performers get all worked up and in our head that what comes out is these odd behaviors that make us look foolish. I'm sure all of the people I witnessed doing these things are all wonderful people but I couldn't help but take their experiences and share them. Hopefully I will remember these things the next time I go in and audition.