I find myself back in the waiting room at the Actor’s Equity Building, hoping to crash the same audition that I didn’t get seen for yesterday. Now that I’ve done it once I was way less intimidated by the process. There’s a dance call that I plan to go to at noon a few blocks away (wtf?) so I figured there’s no harm in waking up early to come over here and sign-in. I got here at about 8:30am and am #19 on the list. Better than yesterday, but it looks like things haven’t changed since years ago—if you want to be at the top of the list you’ve got to get here before 7. I’ll try that soon and see what happens. If this was a call I’d definitely be seen for #19 would be great, but since the hope is that they have time to see some non-union people, in reality they may only have time to see five people, so being near the top of the list for something like this is imperative.
So the dance call… yeah. I’ve only ever really been to one dance call before, and it was kind of as a favor to a friend, and it was fun but mostly a disaster. I didn’t feel TOTALLY out of place, but I was clearly the least experienced dancer there. That said, today’s call seems like a good chance to dive right in and see what’s going on in the scene nowadays. It’s a non-union production in small town Pennsylvania, so I’m not terribly worried about embarrassing myself in front of people that I’m likely to encounter again in the future. Also, and I know it doesn’t really work like this, I’m hoping that all the best dancers will either already be union or think that this project is below their pay grade. The thing about dancing is that I’m good at it—I just don’t have tons of formal training. I pick up choreography well, but it largely depends on the style. I figure I’ll go to the call, learn the combination, and if it’s totally out of the question just bow out. There’s no shame in that. But if it’s something I can do, why not? If all goes well they’ll ask me to stay and sing, at which point I’ll likely be one of only a few real singers amongst a batch of dancers who can carry a tune well. We’ll see.
The casting notice for this dance call also notes that dancers must be physically fit, and will be asked to dance with their shirts off. Even six months ago this probably would have been out of the question, but I’ve been eating properly and working out like a crazy person and I’m not intimidated by this. I don’t think I’m stretching to fit the call, either. I think I actually am physically fit and can dance with my shirt off without a bunch of stuff jiggling around that shouldn’t be. The part of the call that I am stretching a little bit is the age range. It calls for men 18-25. I am two days away from turning 37. That said, I definitely look younger than I am, and I think on stage read even younger. Is 25 a stretch? Probably. Is it out of the question? I don’t think so, but I’m going to be found out.
I’ve just been told to come back after lunch, so now I’m off to sign in for the dance call!.
Step one: not taking sign ins for men until the women clear out a bit, but when I inquired with the proctor he didn’t look at me like I was a senior citizen. Hooray!
Step two: just signed in, and am #2! Wow. This is going to be… interesting. Also I’ve literally never been this high on the list for any audition, so of course it’s for a dance call.
Well, I’m back at the Equity building waiting to see if they’re going to see non-union people. The board has been updated to say basically the same it did yesterday, which is that they MAY see people but to come back after 2pm. We’ll see. The dance call… happened. It did not go particularly well, but you know what? I didn’t embarrass myself. At all. I didn’t get the combination quite right for like, the entire middle section, and I was cut immediately, but there were other people there in the same boat as me. It served exactly the purpose I wanted it to, which was to see what dance calls are like these days and if it’s totally insane for me to go. I won’t be crashing any union dance calls anytime soon, but if something like this comes up again and I have nothing else going on I think I’ll go. I’m also going to look into taking some basic dance classes—Steps on Broadway has a good ten pack of classes that comes down to about $15/class, which is totally reasonable. Like yesterday’s experiment with the Equity call, now I know what to expect from a dance call and where my abilities lie in relation to what’s expected.
Shortly after 2pm the monitor let us know that they wouldn’t have time to see anyone, but today they were accepting headshots and resumes if people wanted to leave them. I literally left a headshot and resume one time ever before and was called in the next day, so hoping for a repeat I did the same today. More learning, more growing. It didn’t happen today, but it might be tomorrow. When it gets tedious, I need to remember: it could happen any day.