Friday, August 03, 2001

(Rounding out my Trilogy of Terror: The Audition Edition...)

Now that the audition process I've been involved in throughout this week is over, I can talk about the show in detail without jinxing my chances of getting in. I got the call last night, and I will not be reprising the role of Matt in The Fantasticks for the McLean Theatre Alliance.

Instead, I will be playing El Gallo, the rogue-for-hire who acts as both master of ceremonies and nominal villain in the play.

I thought I had been called back for Matt along with three others. I've never been at an audition where all the actors up for a role were so evenly matched. I felt quite honored to be among them, and coming out of there Wednesday I could not have told you which of us would get it. I really felt it would come down to intangibles that only the director and her staff could properly weigh.

The only odd thing was, there were no actors at callbacks for the role of El Gallo. That left me puzzled and led me to form a theory on why this was. It was possible that someone had come in and nailed it in his first audition. I further thought that a certain very talented actor who's active in the DC area had been cast in the role (though I didn't know if he'd auditioned for the show or not). Having worked with him before, I can verify that you only need to see him once to be sure of his abilities.

It is only now that I see the clues that I was being considered for El Gallo. The most blatant was the fact that, when I got the call inviting me to callbacks, the producer didn't specify for which role. If I wasn't so caught up in the details of the process, I might have gleaned something from that omission.

Ultimately, I'm glad I didn't figure it out beforehand. While it would have been fun and rewarding to revisit Matt after twelve years, El Gallo was the part, and the challenge, I really wanted. Being in the dark kept me calm and focused on the audition. I wasn't nearly as nervous as I usually am at callbacks. As a result, I was able to give what was probably my best audition effort since I got active in theater again about five years ago.

Now, of course, the real work begins. Our readthrough is Saturday, and I'm looking forward to seeing who I'll be playing with for the next ten weeks. Based on the sheer bulk of talent on display at callbacks, I expect I'll be part of a very capable troupe.

This week The Onion published a second installment in what's shaping up to be series set in an alternate universe where George W. Bush is a self-effacing genius. Like the first one, the piece nearly brought me to tears. Whether it is because of the potent humor or the sadness of the stark contrast between the character they've created and the real Commander-in-Thief, I couldn't tell you.
Posted @ 10:54 AM


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