Sunday, September 30, 2007

A New Record

Taming of the Shrew
The second audition at Tulane Shakespeare went well. Today was the callback, a much smaller pool of actors, the most-likelies. Some prominent local actors in that room, and I'm grateful I was among them. I feel very good about my preparation and delivery. Pretty sure I'm in, probably the character Hortensio, which is not a large part in number of lines. But of course, there are no small parts, right? Whatevs. I'll accept just about any part in this production (almost any part) because I want to be inside the Tulane Shakespeare organization for future productions, foot in the door. Also, Tulane and Southern Rep are the only New Orleans theatre companies that earn an actor points toward Equity Union membership. I need 50 weeks, and Taming of the Shrew earns me 6. Gotta start somewhere.

Voices of the Big Easy
Sadly, I did not perform as well last night. I was in the line-up for a spoken word variety show, Voices of the Big Easy. Chuck Perkins, marine-turned-troubadour, invites accomplished performance poets and other writers to participate in his variety shows, usually in bars and cabarets. He also invites Jazz musicians and even an authentic Mardi Gras Indian. It's very "cool". Chuck is a break-out talent, humbling even (and a smokin' hottie). He travels with an over-the-top group of talent, and I'm honored to be included, even if I did die on stage last night.

Ok, maybe not "die", but I had a myocardial infarction. I rehearsed, rehearsed, rehearsed. It was my own material, and I'm happy with my delivery, except for the part where I FROZE. Completely blanked on the next line, had nothing in my head to grab onto, suffered an eternity of stage time clearly lost. Of course, the strategy should be, "Breath". But I was way too nervous. Instead, I whispered into my mic, "Uh, I gotta look at my script." But before the script was even out of my back pocket, there it was, the next line. Not my worst performance ever, but not the greatest either.

Sadly, my roommate and friend, Sean, had his ass handed to him. He also performed, actually, work very similar to mine in content (about Baptists). But the audience did not care for it (I didn't either, honestly). He asked me via email for feedback this morning, and while my instinct is to merely say "it just didn't work, Buddy," instead I'm sculpting a response, more along the lines of "how to make it work next time." He says he values my feedback, and I'll honor his respect.

Eat Pudding and All Night Service
Thursday night I appear on stage again, Opening Night of a couple one-act plays written by Brian Sands, a theatre reviewer for Ambush Magazine, and I think, a peer, if I may presume. We're both on the Big Easy Theatre Awards committee, both writers, and have both presented work this year at DramaRama, an annual performance art festival. Two plays, one a vignette about French Quarter hustlers and another a comedy about Egyptian vultures. Fun cast, especially Lisa Davis, a spritely vixen I've worked with twice before. I hope we have an audience. There's been zero promotion, and we open in 4 nights!

Before rehearsal tomorrow night, I also have an audition for Valhalla, a comedy written by Paul Rudnick about "Mad" King Ludwig of Bavaria, the castle builder, who built (among other confections) the fairy tale castle that Walt Disney used for Sleeping Beauty and the Disneyland theme park. It's a mightily "operatic" script, very funny. I'm going for Ludwig, but may also read another part if the director's interested. I very much like working with Glenn Meche; he's an "actor's director", and I expect a fun cast. I'm crossing my fingers that I get in, and that a couple other actors I know also get in.

Any wonder I blanked last night? Let's see, that's FIVE scripts in my head at once. That's a new record.

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