About a year ago I started getting e-mails for this class taught by one of the major casting directors here in the city. He casts almost every non-eq tour there is, including Hairspray. I responded to one of them asking how I had been put on the e-mail list, and someone responded saying that Bob sent them out to people that he liked in an audition setting (i.e. people he's called back before). I thought this was pretty cool, but the timing never seemed right any time classes were offered.
Once I even went so far as to hold a spot, but then the money fell through so I couldn't take it at that time. Plus, I think I was mostly just scared. Going into an audition is one thing. The best is, "great job, can you come back later/tomorrow/next week/whenever for the call back". The worst thing they say to you is, "thank you". That's it. No feed back, nothing. You don't necesarrily know WHY you get a call back, what you did at that particular audition that was better than the one the day before. Sometimes it's comforting. You can peg it all as oh so mysterious. You were just "more right" for that one role than you were the other.
I wanted to prepare myself for the class first. I wanted to get some new songs from my voice teacher, perfect them before I could have them torn apart, but money and time just seemed to get in the way. I mean, this class is taught by a Casting Director! Not some schmo off the street. A Casting Director who could feasibly cast me in a leading role of a national tour!
Two weeks ago, I went to an audition he was running for the Nationl Tour of Drowsy Chaperone with my friend Sarah. Sarah had taken his class before and LOVED it. We accidentally went to the Male audition instead (long story), but he made sure Sarah was seen because he knew her from class. That's when it hit me. I need to just suck this up and do it. The next e-mail I got for the class, I made sure I had a space reserved.
Today was the first day of class. I was all kinds of nervous. I didn't know what to expect from him, from the class itself, from the other students, etc. I was also nervous because the first day he wanted 32 bars. I don't really HAVE a good 32 bar cut of a song, so I thought he'd tear me apart. Also? My book kind of sucks. I don't have enough songs and half of the ones I DO have I photo copied wrong so the bottom notes of the bottom row are all cut off. Whoops. I was expecting to be torn a new one for that too. As a performer, I need to have a song ready to go at any second.
We go into the room, and he talks about his philosophy of auditioning. A lot of the stuff I already knew mentally, but always seem to fail to apply in an audition situation. It was kind of a kick in the pants. I need to step up my game. Just hearing him talk about how he used to tour and all the roles he got before he went into casting made me salivate. I want that so fucking bad. SO bad.
After that, he took us into the room one at a time where we sang our song for him. I chose "Not for the Life of Me" form TMM because it's very Tracy-Like without being directly from Hairspray. He seemed to enjoy it and gave me some pointers to make it better. I used what he gave me and it seemed to work. I only sang it through twice for him in the room (others seemed to work on theirs a bit). Later, we all went into the room and sang our songs for the group. Some people were really good, others...well, quite mediocre honestly. I'm not gonna lie, it was a bit of a confidence boost (hey, I never claimed to be a good person, damnit!).
Finally, it's my turn to sing. I made sure i did every little thing he told me. I put everything into it. It felt fucking amazing. I enjoyed it so much. There's nothing I like better than owning a song, making it my bitch. and Oh my friends, that's exactly what I did. He didn't even have me do anything over again. There were only 2 of us that only had to sing it through once. Honestly, if I were skinny, she and I would be competing for roles. She's short, blonde, can play cutesy, but has a big voice just like I do.
I totally bonded with some of the other students already and yeah. I can't wait until the next class. It just made me so excited to get back out there and start auditioning again. Sadly, I only found one to go to this week, but I submitted a hell of a lot of stuff on nycastings so hopefully someone will take notice.
I love this job. I love this city. I love singing and acting and combining the two. I love kicking butt. :)