- OnStage New York Columnist
This one is for the actors who move well.
For the ones who make their way into the singing portion of any audition with all the confidence in the world.
Who leave the house with a tea in one hand, a carefully selected outfit, a dose of determination and a well-stocked book of familiar tunes and monologues safely tucked under their arm.
Who know the contents of this book in and out, backwards and forwards. Who have comedy, drama, and classical theatre firmly under their belt. Who have perfect 32-bar cuts of ballads, belters, and rock tunes galore. Who are ready for literally anything those behind the table will throw at them. Who are hungry, prepared to show their best, and make their way to the first part of every audition with confidence and bravado.
Who smile big and belt bigger. Who speak the prose of Ibsen, Shaw, and Mamet as if they wrote the words themselves. Who shmooze, chit chat, and crack jokes. Who use whatever short time they have in the room to make a lasting impression. Who thrive in an opportunity to play to their strengths and who have the confidence to put it over. This is for the ones who, after a successful read, think, “No matter what happens, I am meant to do this.” and who are emboldened in their endeavors in such moments.
This is for the ones who have but fleeting seconds to celebrate the success of being called back, knowing that while they haven’t quite booked it, someone saw their potential and wants to see more. Who accept that with every successful audition, there will always be the dreaded second component that could send them right back to square one.
Who see the vocal audition as the opportunity to put their best foot forward and the dance call as the time to shoot it all to hell and use their bodies to say, “I don’t have a best foot. I don’t even have a good foot. Forget everything you liked about me, I actually have no understanding of how legs work.”
For whom terror sets in almost instantly as they lie on the floor of a dance call, doing some stretch they saw a really fit girl doing at the gym once, winded, and attempting to improve upon the nonexistent elasticity of their hopelessly taut hamstrings. Who stand in H&M leggings and nine dollar Hanes men’s undershirts in a room full of vibrant leotards and Lululemon separates. Who stare in awe as future Stro-girls effortlessly stretch their legs in a perfect 180 degree angle against the nearest wall while boredly checking Twitter.
Who start to sweat long before the choreographer enters the room. Who are nervous to their core but trying not to show it. Who stand facing themselves in the mirror, quietly judging their physiques against the sea of ab-baring crop tops.
Who are met with what is usually a deceptively simple combination that will inevitably blossom into a complete horror show of an eight-count. Who feel like crying in the bathroom when the choreographer says things like, “Let’s add arms” or “Now we’ll do it with the music.” but who summon the strength to persevere.
This is for those who step, change, kick, turn, kick, change their way through many a harried afternoon and vow to never be broken by the inadequacy they feel on those days..
Who spend their time fumbling their way through beginner dance classes, hoping to achieve even the minimum standard of grace and technique.
This is for the ones who, despite cruel voices of self-doubt, fling themselves into each and every routine with all the enthusiasm and personality they can muster. Who understand their shortcomings and never stop trying to get better.
For those who know what they bring to the party, and who put themselves in these embarrassing and awkward situations, time and again, knowing the outcome could be disastrous.
This is for the ones who know that, while they may not be dancers, that there is a place for them in this business as long as they do the work.
For those who feel like they’re at a terminal disadvantage but who never let it stop them.
This one is for actors who move well.