Thursday, January 21, 2010

HAIR Auditions

But let me tell you WHY I'm angry.

I woke up at 5:00 this morning, getting ready to catch the 6:29 bus to the Port Authority in NYC (and if I miss that one, there's the 6:49, no worries). I calmly collect myself, slowly rolling out of bed. I note the darkness still lingering outside. It's very quiet in the apartment, only the sound of the vent in the living room whispering faintly through my closed door.

It was at this point that I began my morning ritual of checking my personal, school, and professional email, Men Who Knit, Ravelry, and then (of course) facebook. With the first five done, I logged onto and began to skim a few of the statuses near the top of my newsfeed. As it turns out, my one friend had a status up- "Hair, hair, hair hair hair, hair hair haaaaaaaaaaaaair- 3:17am? I think so =/"-3:17am. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? I texted her immediately asking if she was going. Well, suffice it to say not only was she going... she was there- and she was number 195 in line to audition.

I dropped my coffee mug in slow motion; it shattered and splashed everywhere sending shards of broken off-white ceramic across my bedroom floor. I sprang into action ripping my pajamas from my body and replacing them with a very stylish substitute (black printed t-shirt and tight Lucky Brand jeans with argyle Tommy Hilfiger slip-ons). I threw my audition book, headshot/resume, diabetes supplies, and food into my bag, brushed my hair, threw in my contacts, and ran out the door (forgetting my iPod... UGH).

It was now 5:45am- No shuttles in sight to get across campus so I began running to get to an ATM for the bus... That's when the shuttle drove into my apartment complex. After I'd gone. Life is cruel.

So what was I to do? Why, keep running of course! All the way across campus to the ATM, and then all the way down the road to the bus stop. I made it there by 6:00- thank god I'd gone on the elliptical the night before! And at 6:11 the bus came early, much to my shock and pleasure.

Long story short, I was in the city by 10-to-seven and at the Public Theater at 7:00am. I walked down the line, looking at the crowd of people that stretched all the way down the block and around the corner. I followed the labyrinth, fought the dragon, saved the princess, and got a spot in line on the NEXT BLOCK. THE NEXT BLOCK. THE LINE STRETCHED TO THE NEXT BLOCK. Didn't hear me? Don't understand? Let me break it down- THE LINE STRETCHED TO THE NEEEEEEEXT BLOOOOOOOOOOCK.

I got in line and waited at approximately spot number 720. The doors were due to open at 9am... it was 7:10. As my extremities slowly lost feeling, I began to wish I knew where in line my friends were so that I might join them (this, unfortunately, never came to be), but here I was stuck behind a short, portly blond girl fresh out of AMDA with a big dream and a big mouth. As she did her Shtick for the sidewalk, I tried to focus on figuring out what was going on.

Long story short, again, I waited in line for a little while- say, 4-and-a-half hours waiting to get in to sign up. Along the way the amazing Kate Hoover met me in line (remember that name, she'll be noteworthy some day) and laughed a lot, snaking around Lafayette street to the front of the Public. Eventually a very pleasant woman came outside and calmly announced to the remaining 3-400 people who hadn't yet signed up (including me) that they had filled all of the audition spots with many awkward people who were totally wrong for this show, and probably most others.

Alright, I may have embellished a bit upon her speech, but let's face it, it's true... and thus we come to the point of this post. I wouldn't have been upset if I'd been late and unable to get to the front of the line. I wouldn't have been upset if I'd gone in and nothing had come of my audition. I wouldn't even be upset if they'd typed me out in line (for those of you who don't know, "typing out" is when they go down an over-crowded line and expel the people who don't have the look they want, thus judging you based on "type"). What upsets me is that I went to such extreme measures, spending something in the neighborhood of $50 in transportation/food/etc., waking up so early, doing so much preparation, and went crazy trying to get to NYC at the ass crack of dawn only to lose my spot to a teeny-bopper "HAIR-Head" that had camped outside the Public all night with her Musical Theatre Anthology and polaroid headshot.

Why don't people understand this is a business? Sixteen year-old girls, in most cases, do not belong at these calls taking up space and time. And then you have people who are obviously not appropriate for the show taking audition spots from people who might have been very good. And all of this occurs because there is no organization, no sense of order at these cattle-calls that can separate the people who are there for a real audition from the teenagers who have a bizarre obsession with a new show, but have no idea what they're doing or what the audition process or being in a huge show really entails.

I had to think that someone like Kate who is non-equity and needs a job, who graduated with a Bachelors of Music and a concentration in Musical Theatre and has studied extensively how to be a real performer is much more qualified than a girl who's going to sing "I Can't Say No" and is wearing a head band with peace signs and an outfit that looks more like a dead Cherokee than a hippie. It's so sad to me that people think that so many starving actors are people who are soooooo talented, but they just can't work at all. The truth is, while many talented people do struggle to find work, it is also because these daft people with no place in this business make it impossible to get seen.

Long story short- This is professional theatre, not American Idol. Stop crowding auditions.

The end.

1 comment:

  1. Here Here! I'm sorry people suck!