Trains and Typing

Today started out much like yesterday, despite a particularly infuriating interaction on the subway this morning. I live at the last stop on the F train before you get to Manhattan proper, and during rush hour (which I think is just a hint that I need to get out even EARLIER on these days), it’s not uncommon to have to be unable to board the first train to arrive in the station because it’s too full. It looked like that was the case this morning, but as the doors opened I saw that there was clearly space for at least one person, so I asked a man to please step in further into the train. He continued to read his book (which there wasn’t room for him to be holding out in front of him, but that’s a different issue) and pretended not to hear me. I asked again, louder. He looked at me, then looked back at his book. “Sir,” I said, “please step in. There’s clearly space on this train.” Nothing. Now other people were getting annoyed, but not at me. I was standing in the train doors, which were trying to close, but they were glaring at him and a few muttered at him to step in. “Sir,” I tried again, “please step in the train so I can get on.” He looked at me, and actually said “No, I’m good where I am.” WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?! I should also mention that he was wearing his backpack on his pack, stickout out and taking up the space that another person could have been standing in. Here he is, at the height of rush hour, knowingly taking up the space of two or more people and electing not to do anything about it. The MTA sucks everyone: we don’t have to do anything to add to the horror of it all. Somehow the other passengers at the door, who were fully on my side, squeezed and shuffled so that I could force my way in by holding my backpack above my head, and the doors closed. A strap from my bag fell and hit the short woman in front of me in the face, and upon my apology she just said “Not your fault, honey.”

We got to the next station and those of us by the door got off the train to let people off, and lo and behold the self-absorbed prick got off. This was a man of about 50, wearing a suit, presumably on his way to work. This wasn’t a vagrant or a druggie or some sort of punk (if I wasn’t already feeling old just saying that ertainly makes me); this was a business man on his way to work who just decided that he didn’t care about his fellow New Yorkers. What I love about this city is that even when it sucks, there’s a sense that we’re all in it together and we’ve got each other’s backs. We’re New Yorkers. But this guy was just a douche. When he got off and walked past me I looked him in the eye and said “Try not to be such a dick for the rest of the day. I hope it gets better for you!” Killing with kindness is something I’m trying to work on.

Anyway, a few stops later I got off and headed to the Actor’s Equity building again, this time to sign up on the non-union list for a production of The Bridges of Madison County happening somewhere in Wisconsin. I got there at 8:48am and signed up as #111! What the hell? This is number 111 on the list of people who only have the vaguest chance of being seen in the first place, and it’s before 9am. What time are these people getting there? 6am when the waiting room opens, I assume. From there I once again headed over to Pearl Studios, where I now sit.

There are two auditions here today, and I signed in for both of them. I’m #109 on one list, but it’s going quickly and is actually the same company, though I think different casting directors, that I auditioned for on Monday, so I think they’re having people do 8 bars again. The other didn’t have a sign in list, but instead were taking headshots and resumes to bring into the casting panel so they could “type” people. Typing is what happens when they’re going for a particular look, and though it can be annoying is actually great, I think, for everyone involved. It wastes no one’s time. I got typed out, meaning that I wasn’t going to be seen. Again- an annoying process, because everyone made the effort to be there by 9am, but I’d rather be on my way than sit there all day with no real possibility of booking the job, even if I sang my face off. So now I’m in the waiting room for the first audition I signed in for, where I think they’re already past #50. I just asked the girl next to me, and they have in fact cut it to 8 bars.

I imagine I’ll be seen before lunch (which is likely at 1 o’clock), at which point I’ll head back to the Equity building to see what the status is there. One step at a time.

Here I am, back at the Actor’s Equity building. Again, the board has been updated to say “check back after 2pm.” Fine. If that’s how these always go, I have no problem getting here early and then coming back after lunch to see what’s going on. If there are other auditions to go to great, or I can just go home and work on some other things while I wait for 2pm to roll around. I’m not going to take this as the norm just yet, but after another week or two if this seems to be what happens on a regular basis it will be very good information to have.

I was in fact seen at the other audition before lunch, and it went well. I wasn’t asked at the time to stay and dance, but who actually knows if that means anything or not I mean, I was clearly at least ten years older than everyone else there, so for all I screen_shot_2017_07_13_at_1.09.20_pm.0know they’re casting a roll that requires someone older and they don’t need to see any more from me. Wouldn’t that be cool. Anyway, I went in with my 8 bar cut but ended up singing probably twelve without being cut off, and I thought it sounded good. Chalk it up to another practice audition, to getting back out there and making sure I remember how to do this.

What’s refreshing about the holding room at the Equity building is that I see other people my age, signing up for the non-equity list with the hope of being seen. I’m not alone, and it’s not crazy to be doing this: there are other people out here who are trying to make their dreams come true as well, regardless of how much time has passed. It’s encouraging to see.

As expected, around 2:30 we were told that there wasn’t going to be time to see any non-union folks, but were encouraged to leave our headshots and resumes, which I did. There certainly weren’t 110 people waiting there with me, but there were more than there had been the previous two days, perhaps as many as 40. I can only think that the reason there were more people for this call was that the casting noticed specifically noted that some roles, mostly the ensemble, were going to be cast as nonunion. Each time I do one of these I can dig deeper into finding rhyme and reason, and hopefully figure out how to break through at some point.

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