I kept getting the emails: Landmark Musicals was holding auditions for 1776 this weekend. Hm. I hadn’t performed in 13 years. The idea was intriguing.

   I’ve experienced auditions from a variety of viewpoints — as an auditioner, as an audition coach, as a director, and as an observer. The nervous energy in any audition room could power Times Square.

   Last year, I watched auditions for the production of My Fair Lady that came through Popejoy in February. Just before auditions began, I spoke with director Jeff Moss and asked him what he would be watching for. He said all he wanted to know was if they had the necessary skills for the job. He would read them for specific characters at call backs.

   Inside the audition room, Moss checked with his stage manager to find out the ground rules. She told him that because it was a non-Equity production, there were no ground rules.

   In auditions, if you're the actor, you step into the room with your music. You give it to the accompanist, set the tempo, and step up to sing your song. That song you choose should be your A game, and you should show that you love performing it. Professionals have their songs in an audition book.

   At the My Fair Lady auditions, one young woman sang her best song, and sang it well. Moss asked what else she had in her book. She offered two titles. Moss chose one and she started to sing it. Moss stopped her and asked her to sing it in an entirely different way. She couldn’t overcome her nervousness so she wasn’t able to follow Moss’ direction — a key skill for any actor — so she failed to meet his first requirement. She did not get called back.

   I described that audition to Albuquerque native James Mills, now an Equity actor performing with the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players. He told me one of his own audition stories.

   James auditioned for the Barter Theater in Virginia. They saw on his resume that he’d performed the lead in Bat Boy here with Musical Theatre Southwest. Since the Barter was going to do Bat Boy the next season, they asked James whether he had any songs from that show in his book. As fate would have it, he did not. He did not get called back.

   So, was I going to audition? There were a thousand and one reasons not to: my job, our summer plans, the audition process. Still ...

   I looked at the calendar. Two weeks to the auditions. I hadn’t sung in 13 years. I had nothing prepared. I have no book, not even a shred of sheet music. I knew I wouldn’t be able to give them my A game. Still ...

   Ultimately, reality overtook fantasy. I have a lot of conflicts on my calendar during the next few months. As a director, I know how hard it is to set a rehearsal schedule around everyone’s conflicts, so I finally decided not to audition.

   For everyone who does audition this weekend, breathe. Focus. Bring your A game. Sing your song as though you love performing it. If the director asks you to try something, listen very carefully. And I hope the fates are with you.

Terry S. Davis
Popejoy Hall

Photo: James Mills in the Musical Theatre Southwest production of Bat Boy

Views: 117

Comment

You need to be a member of Duke City Fix to add comments!

Join Duke City Fix

Connect with Us!

Community Forum

The May Cafe lumberjack 5 Replies

Started by Skip in General Discussion. Last reply by misterhinkydink on Friday.

Where to Vote: 2016 Primary Early Voting

Started by Maurreen Skowran in General Discussion May 21.

What is up with dogs in stores? 14 Replies

Started by Maurreen Skowran in General Discussion. Last reply by hettie May 19.

Where to have lunch in Albuquerque 10 Replies

Started by Gretchen Winchester in Food & Drink. Last reply by Gretchen Winchester May 17.

Hot Green Chile? 5 Replies

Started by Ron Da Bomb in Food & Drink. Last reply by Sophie May 16.

Latest Activity

Sylvia Williamson updated their profile
3 hours ago
Debby S liked Dee Cohen's blog post ABQ Pics: Flags & Flowers
5 hours ago
Dee Cohen's 2 blog posts were featured
7 hours ago
Dee Cohen posted blog posts
7 hours ago

Regular Features

Anyone can blog on the Duke City Fix, but here are the folks who blog most often:

© 2016   Created by Duke City Fix.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service