Monday, April 23, 2007

Christian Protest at American Repertory Theatre performance

I just read an article on Playbill.com about Mike Daisey, a monologue artist whose show was walked out on by a Christian group because of foul language. Because the show is extemporaneous (off the cuff- he does not script or memorize) he tapes the show each night so he can see what he did. Mr. Daisey decided to post an excerpt from the show on his website, including the walk out and footage of one of the protesters coming down to the stage and pouring water all over Mr. Daisey’s performance notes. It really is amazing what happened- you should take a look at the clip:

Mike Daisey on YouTube

Bravo to Mr. Daisey for his poise and for going on with the show. Bravo to the rest of the audience for helping him feel so at home after such an awful episode. And Bravo to American Repertory Theatre for bringing edgy theatre to US audiences. Hopefully this altercation brings him a ton of publicity so that he is better off for them walking out!


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I have a meeting with an agency

Don’t have much time to write, but I wanted to let you know that I got a call today from an agency I submitted to, and they are bringing me in for an interview this Friday. Please pass positive thoughts my way, as the agent hurdle has been the biggest one so far since moving to NYC. My main focus will be to embrace my new personal mission, which is to live a life of joy and fearlessness, and I want to be sure that I am interviewing the agent as much as they are interviewing me. They would be working for me, after all!


Friday, April 13, 2007

Callback...

I have had some luck in the past few weeks submitting for local auditions and getting called in. Today I am going to callbacks for an original musical which is set in 1940s Germany. For the original audition, they asked us to prepare a 32 bar song in the style of Kurt Weill or general cabaret. They also asked for us to have a monologue ready in case they asked for it. Upon reading the audition notice, it seemed as though it was a dramatic musical (it’s about a German man’s guilt for working in the army during and after the war). But based on what happened in the audition, it became obvious that the story was less serious than I had anticipated.

I walked into the room, handed the director my headshot and resume, and went to the pianist to hand her my music and describe was I needed for the accompaniment (“Someone to Watch Over Me.”) I started singing the song, but instead of watching me the director was looking at my resume (which is pretty typical). I saw him look down towards the bottom, and then he burst out laughing. This could only mean one thing- that he had read my special skills and lingered on the last one: “Can slip out of handcuffs easily.”

Because he laughed so loud, there was no way I could ignore it. So, as I was singing (and in between phrases) I demonstrated, physically, how I would be able to slip out of cuffs- my thumbs are double jointed and allow my hand to contort to become the size of my wrist. But imagine this scene while I am singing a sweet and loving Gershwin tune. Something was a little off, for sure. But, that is actually a cabaret style of singing- responding to your audience, even if you are mid-song. I thought, “Well, if they like goofballs, then maybe I have a shot...”

After the song, they asked me for another contrasting song, and then I did my monologue. The monologue, I was certain, was nowhere near the style they needed. But, how many 1940 cabaret style Holocaust monologues do YOU have in your back pocket? After the monologue, the director asked something that took the audition in a whole other direction, “If I were to ask you what circus act you would be able to perform, what would it be? Can you actually slip out of handcuffs? Do you have anything else circus-like?” Clearly, this was not the dramatic musical I was been expecting. I directed to him to another one of my special skills listed on my resume: “short and tall flag twirling.” (Believe it or not- I was not even accepted onto the flag team in middle school- it was for the popular girls only- so my experience was twirling in my driveway WISHING I could be on the flag team. Very, very sad...)

I also said, “Truly, all I can do is be funny. I would be the person in the circus who didn’t have an act, and just tried to do what everyone else was doing, but failing miserably. I can’t put my legs behind my head, but I would be damned funny trying.” (I guess that person is called the clown.)

That must have done it, because the director said, “Well, I would like to call you back. Here is some music to learn. We’ll see you on Friday.”

So, now I am in Starbucks, waiting for the callback to start. I’ll let you know how it goes...


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Another compelling audition notice...

Gotta hand it to Craigslist- their post-ers are creative...

“Do you have what it takes to inspire new writings for my next book? It pays $40,000.00. Author/publisher is seeking a female to be my eros companion. Nothing about you directly will be used in the works. So if you are Black, you might be Spanish in the book. If you are Asian, you might be Italian in the book. Let me make you into a piece of art that will last forever in the bookstores. Interested?

1. Please send a photo.
2. A little bit about yourself. ”

I’m so tempted...


Saturday, April 7, 2007

That blog I promised you...

Ok, so it has been more than a month since I blogged about 30 Rock. By neglecting to post Part III in a timely manner, I have sufficiently built it up which makes what really happened come nowhere near the story you have, no doubt, created in your mind 9was that a run-on sentence?)

My sincerest apologies- because Part III is really not THAT interesting. With that said, here is the finale...

I was on a bit of a high after that day of shooting. I mean, come on. Alec, I mean, AB, I mean A, made me blush. I confidently gave my business card to a TV mega director... all the while getting PAID. Life seemed pretty good, until my actor nerves started to get the best of me (and they always do)...

Erin’s Brain: “Was it too forward of me to hand my business card to the director? Did that make me appear desperate? No, I’m sure he took it for what it was worth- an actor doing some basic self promotion. But, what if he was just kidding about wanting to see me come in for auditions? Or, what if he doesn’t event remember saying that to me? What if he thinks I’m stalking him? (Gasp!) My demo is not up to date- I don’t have any recent film work on there, and there is nothing but cabaret stuff to show my comedic chops. Argh!”

I immediately logged on to my website and started making changes, most notably to my Demos page. I cut together some clips from some theatre audition I had on tape, and uploaded “The Manager,”my 10 minute one-woman show. I spruced things up in case he did, in fact, stop by.

I also prepared a submission for the casting company that handles “30 Rock.” I fretted over what wording I should use in the cover letter, and after about 30 minutes finally settled on this:

“I have worked several times with Don Scardino on “30 Rock,” most recently as a stand-in for Jane Krakowski. After being selected for a featured background role in an intimate scene, he pulled me aside to say that he would like me to read for him for a principal role. So, I wanted to be sure to give you my updated information in case he asks to see me for an upcoming episode.“

About a week later, I got a call from the background casting director, who asked me if I would be available to go back in for a day of stand-in work for “30 Rock.” Of course I said yes. I was excited to see all of the people I was starting to get to know. I got to the set, grabbed the sides for the day, had my (free!) breakfast, and waited for things to start. I heard someone say hello to me, and I turned to find Don, the director. Then he said some magic words, “Hey, I looked at your stuff. Very impressive.”

Jaw dropped.

Unfortunately, being around him still made me very nervous and when I feel that way I have a hard time holding an adult conversation. I replied, saying something like,:

“Oh. Wow. Thanks. My web counter thanks you for stopping by.”

What??? My attempt to be funny instead appeared awkward.

“So, yeah, wow. Thanks again. You know, I figured, what the heck, right? I didn’t know if I would see you again, so I just thought that I could pass on my info in case you needed it, for any reason...”

He cuts off my psycho-babble: “That’s what you have to do, you know? It’s good. I’m convinced that that is what you have to do to get ahead. I mean, if I know your work, if I know who you are, it makes it easier when I am casting a role and I see your headshot come across my desk. Then I’m like, ‘Oh, I know her. I’ll call her in if she is right for the role.’ So, it’s a good thing.”

Bingo.

Crisis averted. And I stopped babbling. I think next time I will be able to just say, “Thanks. How are you doing today?” like a normal human being.

I worked for about 4 hours that day, then got to go home mid afternoon to enjoy the rest of my day. And, of course, the SAG contract stipulates that you are paid for a full day of work, so I was pretty happy. AND, my promotional efforts seemed to have paid off. I haven’t gotten a call to audition yet. I’ll be sure to let you know when that happens. And I won’t wait so long next time...


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