Friday, March 23, 2012

Cast, Employed, and Loving Life!

This week:

I had callbacks on Saturday and Monday. Saturday was for Henry VII. I had the opportunity to read for Anne in a small scene with another woman. I had a lot of fun. It ended up that she's also acting in my acting coach's next production he's directing, so we had a lot to talk about while we waited to audition. Small world. The audition itself was short and sweet. We went through it once, were given an adjustment and then did it one more time.

My Monday callback was for The Taming of the Shrew. I was called back for Bianca, but I stood in as a reader for a male role, then was asked to read for a small male role that the director was thinking of casting as a female.  I ended up reading for this role (Biondello) several times that night. I was given a lot of fun adjustments, such as, chase a butterfly!  It was cool to read the part more than once, and with multiple groups of people (it was a 3 person scene) because it gave me the opportunity to do something new every time.  In the end, they decided against having me read Bianca at all, which I was slightly disappointed about until I realized the roles I was reading for were comedic--which is something I'm never given the opportunity to do. I hammed  it up all night. I read for another small role as well before being the last actor to be released. I was very hopeful after this callback. I got to talk to the director about what he was thinking of for the cross casting of the show (he wants to get it down to 10 people, so everyone would play multiple parts), and it all sounded so exciting.

I got the call yesterday--I got the part! I'm so excited to be a part of the summer Shakespeare in the Park season! I'm employed for the summer, getting paid, surrounded by talented/experienced Shakes actors that are going to teach me amazing things, and I get to do COMEDY. It just doesn't get any better than that. I feel so lucky. The casting director who called me was so nice, and I'm very excited to work with them.

I'll be rehearsing through June, opening in July, and running through August!

In other news: I attended a Physical Theatre Workshop this week Tuesday that focused on Suzuki and Viewpoints.

These are two techniques that I've been wanting to learn since I first heard of them and I had such an amazing time with my first taste. Luckily, it went so well that the artists teaching it want to continue the series for a really affordable price!

These are movement based techniques. We worked on finding our center, isolating parts of our bodies, and engaging ourselves with a forward motion. I learned 'the stomp' which is a popular and useful Suzuki exercise. I learned a lot of things, but they're difficult to describe. We went over the 9 Viewpoints, but we only worked on a few. Since it was a beginning workshop we did a lot of exercises involving our neutral, centered positions. These are generally non-suggestive ways of standing that ground an actor and still keep them engaged. I plan on continuing the workshops!

They were taught by a member of an Australian physical theatre company called Zen Zen Zo, and a member of Two Hours Traffic, a local Seattle company that hasn't been producing much recently. I met some cool people, and I'm exciting to learn more. It was one of the first times since college that I felt like I was on the ground floor, breaking into something new and exciting. We were creating our own art, and it was so fulfilling in a way that I had forgotten. I didn't realize I had missed it so much.

I had my first individual acting lesson today. I'm starting monologue/audition coaching with the same coach I've been working with. Katie and I ended our scene study because we didn't have the time to work together. I'm very exciting to work on audition technique through monologues because I want to audition for grad schools this next year, I think, and I could really use the help. This week I did a monologue from The Miracle Worker, and I have a lot to work on.

My Physical Comedy class I was teaching had its performance this Thursday, and it went swimmingly. The kids had a blast, the parents were happy, and I'm exciting and relieved to be moving onto Shakespeare. I learned a lot from the kids. They wrote some great material, and it's amazing the amount of hilarity that can happen in one hour. Hopefully some of the same kids will be taking my Shakespeare class! It starts in two weeks!

Good deed of the week: I donated my bike to a loving friend!

For the first time in forever, I have a free weekend ahead of me. I have some auditions to work on, but aside from that I've got a ton of free time! Woohoo!!!

Friday, March 16, 2012


So this past week and a half has brought about a lot of new thoughts for me.

That's probably because I went bungee jumping this past Saturday, and there's nothing like flinging yourself off a bridge (twice) to make a person reevaluate priorities and life goals.

In other news, I saw Freakstorm and The Foreigner, which were both wonderful productions. Freakstorm was a smaller, avante-garde show. It's a modern adaptation of The Tempest, and it was an interesting and funny take on the story. The Foreigner has a beautiful set in a lovely theatre with a cast that fits their parts perfectly.

I've also auditioned for a new play reading and Greenstage's Shakespeare in the Park (The Taming of the Shrew and Henry VIII). I've been cast in the play reading and I have callbacks coming up for both Shakes shows. I've been to an acting class, taught two acting classes, signed on for a new Shakespeare class I'll be teaching, and have been accepted into a one night class on some exciting theatre techniques I've been dying to learn. I've also been asked to come shoot some more test scenes for the film I worked on previously.

All in all, as slow as it seems around here, I seem to be staying fairly busy with the theatre industry.

However, since I bungee jumped I've definitely been looking at the last couple months and thinking more and more about the direction I want to take. How much of my career am I willing to leave up to chance at this point? Do I want to just continue to audition for everything I can and hope for the best? Do I want to look into grad schools this next year, already, instead of sticking it out a while longer? Do I want a different market?

It's hard to answer these questions at the moment, but I have an entire summer ahead of me to figure out everything that I want.

I know that I miss feeling like theatre is the largest part of my life. I know that I want to do more meaningful work than I've had the opportunity to do here so far. And I know that I need some more life experience before I can figure out what roles are me, which will help me along significantly.

Either way, it's been an exhausting week and a half, and I couldn't be more excited for this weekend in which I get to relish having two days of nothing but acting filled fun!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Here's to nights off!

Successes of the last two weeks:

1. Had a fun general audition. I don't remember it, but I felt great about it.
I actually ran into a man last night at the theatre where my roommate's show is going into production this week. We were helping set up and they were holding auditions down the hall for another theatre company. This man saw me walking along and turned around and said "You look really familiar." I said, "The only time I've been in this theatre was for general auditions. I'm the girl who exited the stage the wrong way. I hear I was the only one." He said, "Oh, I promise you weren't the only one. But no, I saw your audition. I remember you. You were really good. What's your name?" I introduced myself and he congratulated me and walked on.  It was surreal and pleasant, and strange.  It's nice to have some form of feedback (no matter how subjective it is) since the theatres themselves don't get back to the actors until necessary. Or at all.

2. Auditioned for Wooden O's. This is a company that performs Shakespeare in the park in the summers. I was ridiculously sick for the audition and thought strongly about cancelling. In the end I decided it would be a year before I had the opportunity to audition again and I wasn't willing to give it up. I went, forgot my headshot and resume, and ended up blanking out on my monologue the first time through. I've never EVER done that before, but I know it won't be the last time in my career that it happens. That's life. The auditors ended up being so friendly. They drew a picture of me to remember me, and they let me redo my audition. The second time I felt fabulous about. Granted, it wasn't a great first impression, but I ended up having a good time and I don't regret the decision to attend.

3. I have an audition next Monday for the other Shakespeare in the park company Green Stage. I hear there is a friendly rivalry, but I would love to work for either. Or both. Someday. I love the classics, and it's fun to be auditioning for them in succession.

4. Last night I attended my first play reading for The Endangered Species Project. They were doing a staged reading of Terrence Rattigan's The Winslow Boy which is based off a true story. It was a phenomenal piece. It's not often performed because it's longer than most plays, and it has a larger cast. It's difficult for many theatres to perform plays with large casts because of the monetary expenses. I fell in love with the piece and I'm determined to read more of Mr. Rattigan's work in the future. A friend from my murder mystery was performing in it, and she was nice enough to introduce me to some great people. I'm excited to see the next show they produce next month.

5. I've seen two shows since Oklahoma. I saw Tartuffe at Taproot Theatre  which was fantastic! I loved it so much. I also absolutely adored the theatre itself. The space is one of my favorites. It's a thrust stage (audience on 3 sides, as the Warehouse Theatre was in college) but it manages to have a large audience area that stays intimately close to the stage itself. There's not a bad seat in the house. I would love to perform there one day. I also recently saw Freakstorm at Ghostlight Theatricals. I ended up only being able to catch the second act because I couldn't locate the theatre, but I really enjoyed what I saw. It has an alum from my college, and I had two friends performing in it as well. It's a modern adaptation of Shakespeare's The Tempest. I hope to catch the rest of it this weekend.

Last week I did a lot of research to pick my favorite Shakespeare monologues. I hadn't auditioned Shakespeare in a while, and so I learned some new pieces. Katie and I ended up putting off our acting lesson for the week because she was crazy busy with The Foreigner which is opening this weekend, and I was busy rehearsing for my auditions. It's been nice to have a little time to relax, and some great auditions to focus on.

There's a part of me that's really worried about being bored this summer, especially when all my friends will be busy doing theatre at one of the places I love most in the world. But honestly, I'm so happy to have time to save money and really orient myself to see what direction I want to go next.

I'm almost finished writing the skits for my Comedy Class. I've signed on to teach the Spring Shakespeare class as well. All in all, I've been busy but not too crazy. What a nice change of pace!