Audition: National Tour of Young Frankenstein

Time: 10:30 and 12:15

Song: You Can Always Count on Me/Deep Love

Outfit:  Black and Blue short dress from Express, black tights, fierce black boots, feather headband

This log entry chronicles both the initial audition and the callback.  The train appears to have stopped there for me, but Scenery Chewer will keep you posted on any consequent auditions.

This first audition took place at an EPA (Equity Principal Audition, required by Actors’ Equity) on a rainy Thursday.  I managed to walk in at 9:30 and get an appointment time right away, which is not uncommon in the summer.

I was not in the mood to audition.  The monitor (who runs the audition, but does not actually audition people for the casting office) was in hyper look-at-me drive, which annoyed me.  In fact, everything annoyed me until I ran into my friend Elizabeth, who is One of Those People I Love To See at auditions, as opposed to One of Those People I Have to Pretend to Like to See, Even Though I Don’t.

I must’ve done reasonably well because I got a call from my agent the next day telling me I had a callback for Elizabeth, which is the Madeline Kahn/Megan Mullally role.

After downloading the 20 plus pages of sides, which included two full-length songs and several short scenes, I realized the particular challenge of trying to recreate an iconic performance.  In cases like these, you are never sure if they want you to just do what Megan Mullally did or create the role from scratch.  I opted for the second option, but having watched the movie to literally figure out the context of these wacky scenes, I realized I could not possibly create a character without the influence of these two women. I enlisted the help of my friend Stephanie and struggled through the weekend.

The morning of the callback I took ballet class, having been told that there might be a dance call later in the day.  I hoped I would fare better at this call than I had for my Broadway callback for Young Frankenstein, at which, during a particularly ebullient bell kick at the end of the combination, my left tit came flying out of my leotard– in front of Susan Stroman.  I tried to laugh.  “Do I get the job?” I joked.  No one laughed.  I did not get a callback.  I called my boyfriend and cried.

On the train ride down to Chelsea Studios, I put my Ipod on shuffle.  This is one of my weird pre-audition rituals, whereby I look for hidden meaning in the songs selected.  I was working with my ‘musical’ playlist, hoping for inspiration.  The first song that came up was ‘Breathe,’ from In the Heights.  It’s about a girl who leaves her hometown destined for greatness and flops.  Great.   I skipped to the next one, depressed.  It was ‘Leavin’s Not the Only Way to Go’ from Big River, which isn’t exactly cheerful, but I sang it with friends in college, so I keep it.  Next was Tommy’s ‘Listening to You.’  Hmmm.  Then ‘Big Spender’.  I was beginning to realize how stupid this ritual really is.

Once there, I realize the audition is being held in my unlucky studio.  This is the place where I blew my final callback for 101 Dalmatians.  I got callback after callback until I was auditioning for the entire creative team. I thought I was fierce, but somehow I must’ve blown it at the end because I didn’t book the job.  Still haven’t figured out how or why.  Anyway, this audition was being held in the same room.  “I may as well leave now,” I thought.

Now, I would not describe myself as a particularly superstitious person.  But every actor I know considers at least one of New York’s audition spaces unlucky.  And I’m sure that every actor has  tried-and-true rituals and superstitions, from an Ipod shuffle to a lucky outfit, lucky studio, lucky appointment time, whatever.  It’s our way of attempting to have just the teensiest bit of control in an industry fraught with rejection and ruled by dumb, plain luck.

At any rate, the studio did prove to be unlucky.  I did one scene and one song, but no more.  Possibly they wanted a Madeline or a Megan, and I can only be me.  Possibly I let nerves get to me.  Possibly, I was terrible.  Or possibly– no, probably they looked at me and went, “Isn’t that the girl whose tit flopped out of her leotard last time?  Oh, Lord.  Next!”