As I was headed to the Japanese market on Broome Street, my agent called.   Remember the audition for Billy Elliot a couple months ago?  Well, they want to see me again.  Oh, yes, and the contract starts Monday.  In Chicago.  Would I be willing to do that?

There goes the universe, dangling the proverbial carrot.  The parallels to last year did not go unnoticed.   Almost exactly a year ago to the day I got a call asking me to audition again for the Dalmatians tour, scheduled to start the following Monday.  But I didn’t want to dwell on that or on this.  I doubted my luck would repeat itself.  I asked my agent how many women were going in.  Only five.

I called my fiance to discuss it with him.  We are planning a wedding, after all.   He agreed I should go in for it.  I cleared my schedule.

Twenty-four hours is not a lot of time to obsess over something, especially if one expects to be sleeping for eight of them and reviewing a dance performance for two.  But I managed to cram a lot of mind-fucking into that period.  It was not lost on me that if I were to get it, I would not have to worry about our health insurance running out or going into debt over this wedding– all very serious considerations.   There’s a point where you’re no longer trying to live your dream.  You’re trying to pay your bills.  You’re trying to make a living.  You’re trying to survive.

There was no time for coaching or over-preparing the five scenes and two songs I was sent.  I had to rely on the work I’d done previously.  I was reminded once again of Every Little Step‘s Rachelle Rak, who complained during her upteenth callback for Chorus Line, “I don’t know what I did eight months ago!  I was in a different place.  I was a different person!”

The next day I found myself at New 42nd Street Studios, where we rehearsed Dalmatians.  I had to laugh.  It felt strange not having to worry about getting into stilts.  It felt quite homey, in fact.  Like I belonged there.  What a whirlwind month that had been!  Maybe I was preparing for another whirlwind.  Who knew?

The assistant director and casting director were seeing two of the five women that day on a lunch break from rehearsing the second national.  I paced outside the room while the other woman was put through the paces.  After nearly a half an hour, it was my turn. The assistant director and casting director set me at ease right away.  They really are so lovely.  We chatted for a bit, and then I launched into the mother’s song, and that’s where it got weird.  They wanted me to sing it less and make it about communicating.  (That is, not about emoting.)   I appreciate this in a way.  At this level, obviously everyone can sing, so just leave it.  And this is a tough, northern English culture.  They are not emotional.  I get it.  But this song is a ballad.  It’s hard to speak-sing a ballad.  The notes literally go on for too long.   I gave it my best, but once again I wasn’t sure if I was doing what they wanted.  Then we moved on to the mom scene.  I did that, took direction, did it again.  Same thing with the second song (pretty sure I nailed that, actually).  Then moving into the second scene.  This time, no direction.  Just “thank you, that’s all we need today.”  And my heart, which had been trying not to get its hopes up in the first place, broke just a little bit.

Now, possibly I’m jumping to conclusions.  The audition could’ve ended abruptly because:
A.  They were out of time (which they were).

B.  I nailed it.  (Doubtful.)

C.  I sucked.  (Also doubtful.  I usually know when I suck.)

But just the same I put my brave face on, thanked everyone in the room, and left.  The casting director followed me out, thanking me for coming in on short notice.  I thanked him and asked  for any feedback he could possibly give when he gets the chance.  I called my fiance.  I called my agent, who promised to look into it.  I treated myself to the buffet at the health food store on 43rd Street.  Then I switched out my heels for my flip flops and resumed my life.