Don’t put all your eggs in one basket… and other things about eggs.

Liz Chirico 

  • OnStage Massachusetts Columnist

We’ve all heard it. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. This way if you trip and fall, smashing all the eggs on you in the process (anyone else remember that scene from Summer Stock?) you still have those few, precious saved eggs and breakfast won’t be ruined after all. Yeah. That’s pretty much impossible to do, theatrically speaking, for me anyway. 

Last fall I auditioned for 2 great shows, with companies I’d head only good things about and featuring people I respected. First came audition prep 101. Picking the right audition song to show off my voice type, AND in the style of the show. The 2 shows and companies were drastically different so I couldn’t just pick one song and be done. Fortunately I’ve been involved with musical theatre a few years now so I was able to reach into my repertoire and brush up a song I’d sung before leaving only one entirely new song to learn.

Because of all my prep work, I rocked the auditions. Both of them. In fact I rocked them so much I was offered a part in each show. Of course one offer came slightly before the other making for an intense couple days of email watching. Then came the “which role do I take” game with pro/con lists, ROI talk, tears and when all else fails, coin flips. (I’m kidding. I’ve never decided what role to take based on a coin flip. Yet.)

Ultimately I picked a show and I truly believe it was the right decision for me. But bottom line- I tried divvying up the eggs and it became a stressful, harried couple weeks. Why didn’t I just do both shows you ask? Not only did the rehearsal schedules overlap far too much but I tried that back in 2012. Being in 2 shows simultaneously isn’t horrible if you don’t ever want to see your friends, family, the inside of your home (except to sleep-barely) or your cat for 8-10 weeks. I happen to like my friends, family, and my cat and I love my bed (and sleep) so being in 2 productions wasn’t going to work for me this time. If we’re continuing with the egg-metaphor, I believe this method is called keeping all the eggs for yourself. 

Fall audition season is now in full swing and I have firmly put all my eggs in one basket. One very lofty, basket of a bucket-list show. Back to Audition Prep 101; I scheduled some voice lessons. I’m speaking with a former director/choreographer of mine for tips and advice on how to nail the audition. I’m putting more into preparing for this audition than some work related projects. (Except if my boss is reading this. Then I’m totally focused and will nail the calendar year-end solicitation piece. Promise.) This time, if I don’t make it into the show there’s no back-up, no other musical theater outlet on the horizon until well into the winter. I don’t know if I can survive that long. (I do know that there will be lots of visits from my friends Ben & Jerry to have any hope of surviving.) But I knew that I didn’t try for this show, this bucket-list show, I’d always wonder. I’d always wish. And I’d never forgive myself for not trying. So I’m putting all my eggs into this show’s basket and hoping for an omelet.