Auditions are tricksy things. Sometimes I feel so nervous for them that I’d rather run out of the room screaming than go in there and perform (granted, this doesn’t happen very often, and usually occurs when I haven’t prepared appropriately. So…that’s my bad). And sometimes, I walk out of an audition feeling great about my career choice, my acting chops, and basically the world in general.
Last night I auditioned for a huge Shakespeare festival in Minnesota, and I had been a little nervous for it. Weekend auditions are always a bit weird, because you don’t spend the day performing like we usually do here in BFA land. You just kind of take a break in your day to get up there and do it. I performed two Shakespeare pieces: one of the Queen’s from King Henry the Sixth Part II, which is my go-to dramatic Shakespeare. It’s all about love and loss, and I basically just think about saying goodbye to The Boyfriend (aka Navy Boy), as we must do on a regular basis, and I’m emotionally there. The other was a new/old piece from As You Like It, one of Rosalind’s monologues as Ganymede. It’s old because I played Celia in that show, so I’ve heard the monologue 2.6 billion times…but new because, obviously, I wasn’t performing it. I had a ton of fun working on this monologue. It plays to my strengths: a little bit quirky, a little bit funny, with a large splash of love-lorn innocence thrown in. I love the Shakespeare women that are sweet on the surface, but have an inner core of steel–and Rosalind fits that description!
There was only one man in the audition room, which is a nice change from the huge panel of auditioners you usually perform for. I find it easier to connect and have a special moment with just one person; but that is far from the usual way of things, so I’ll need to get over it! He was the sweetest, most cordial person imaginable!
I went up and performed both monologues (verdict: missed a line in the new one, but still thought it was fun and landed well. And I performed the dramatic possibly the best I ever have). I was in the moment, which is one of the hardest things for me to find in an audition. Your nervous, your thoughts are flying everywhere, and you have so much to think about that finding the person you’re talking to and really delivering the monologue to them can be incredibly difficult. But i felt that here. I sang a snippet of If Only from The Little Mermaid the Musical (it’s a pretty song! No judgement!), and then Paul invited me to the table. This was my favorite part.
He told me about the program, the history of the festival, what internship members would be expected to do, and so on. And we discussed where I was from, what I loved about Shakespeare, and he complimented my performance.
It was amazing, and I went home with a very happy heart and a skinny decaf vanilla latte. Basically, I think what I need to have a great audition is a room that I feel cares about me and the work, and I need to connect to my pieces, and not worry about the other lesser details. It’s always going to be difficult to get this mix, but last night was a lovely example of how I want to audition.