I had such a positive experience rehearsing for and performing in the premiere workshop production of The Bully Problem, a brand new musical written by Michael Gordon Shapiro. I was so thrilled to work in a group of such strong performers– everyone was so talented, focused, hardworking, and had so much respect for one another. We’ve all been in creative collaborations where some people are not giving 100% to the project and know how easily that affects the group, and so it makes it all the more sumptuous when you are working with real pros.
I’m very attracted to working on new projects and helping with development (and do so frequently), yet I still can’t find the right words to describe the weird/awesome energy of working on something that feels so FULL– so close to being a real thing. Our director Joshua Finkel mentioned that we “birthed” a new musical, and yes, after a VERY short and intense gestation period, we did birth this show baby together.
Much like the “nerd” kids in the show, I think we musical theatre kids don’t get nearly enough credit. Yes, we can be really loud, and yes, our knowledge of the MT oeuvre is borderline obsessive, but we are soooooooo frickin’ hardworking. When you really think about needing to be able to act and sing and dance and follow blocking and smile and hold for laughs and remember where the mics are and read your script without putting it in front of your face ALL at the same time… EVERYONE who was involved in putting this performance up was a total rock star, and I’m so thankful that I was a part of it.
The audience reception was great, and I think that the afternoon was very entertaining and enjoyable for everyone. I look forward to seeing how to show continues to take shape!
I was invited to an audition last month for a what I thought was a new theatre company. I figured I would give it a shot and at least see what they were up too.
When I got to the audition site, it ended up being a completely different company, one with a very negative reputation in the LA theatre community. I was shocked. What a bold-faced lie to tell the actors auditioning! Did they expect us not to notice when we got to the audition and it was someone else entirely?
The person leading the auditions went on to tell us that instead of just believing what we may have read about the company online, supposedly written by “bitter actors who can’t get any acting work,” we should just see for ourselves (of course, after we are cast in a show with him). The fact that he even felt the need to say that to us was very telling.
There are SOOOO many people out here whose business goals are to prey on the unknowing, hopeful, naive, I’ll-do-anything-for-my-career actors who come out to LA. There is a lot of money to be made off of actors in this town, partly because there are so many of us, and partly because we can be so desperate to get exposure, credits, meet people, etc.
I left the audition post-“why we aren’t so bad” speech and pre-“instead of a monologue or reading from sides, your audition is to walk around the stage in the dark and act like vampires.” I knew from lots of friends and from resources at The Actors Network that these people were super sketchy and so I took off. However, it was a tough decision in the moment when I was already there at the theatre and had spent money on gas and had given them a headshot and resume. Plus, I know I generally shouldn’t say no to opportunities since they are so hard to come by.
Where should the line be between saying yes or no to an acting opportunity?
“Whatever hidden, personal motives led you to the theatre now that you have entered that profession you must find there a sense which goes beyond your proper person and fixes you socially in the sight of others… If the fact of being an actor means all that to you, then a new theatre will be born.”
Filed under Acting, Quotes
I went to a typing class at The Actors Network yesterday (no, not like computer typing we had in elementary school where you’re not supposed to look at the keyboard and you do anyway– typing as in casting for actors/what type of characters can I pull off). As a group, we circled words from lists of adjectives, personality types, occupations, etc that fit each actor based on their look and how they introduced themselves. I would love to share some of the data I received as I think it speaks to how widely varied people’s perceptions can be.
This is out of a group of 18 people, and is just based on me sitting in a chair:
Despite the fact that 10 people said I looked wholesome, and 4 people thought I could play a virgin, 2 people thought I could play a slut and another 2, a prostitute. I don’t know if that’s better or worse than stripper, which no one marked me down for.
2 people said I could play a mom (I almost threw up when I read that), yet 13 people prefer me as a babysitter.
11 people said I looked sweet, and 10 said kind, but 5 people said I looked like a bitch (I get that a lot, actually…).
No one thought I looked like a biker or criminal, but 2 people did say I looked like a homewrecker.
4 people thought I looked like I could play an intellectual while another 4 people thought I should play an airhead.
Unfortunately no one thought I looked like I could pull off someone from the FBI or CIA, but 4 people thought I could play a princess, and that is all I need in life.