Thursday, January 26, 2012

Something's Rotten in My Audition

Now that I'm back in town from the tropics, for the first time in a long time, I've got the time to spend working on auditions. In fact, in a little over a week, I'll have my first one in months. The Shakespeare Forum is putting up their first ever production: Hamlet.

Is it a sign of my generation that I want to put a hashtag on everything? Because ending that last paragraph with #ambitiousmuch? would be just about perfect.

Hamlet and Ophelia have been cast. But that leaves a couple roles I'd want wide open for the taking. I watched David Tennant's Hamlet (see above) to get a grasp of characters and to try to jog my memory of what monologues work best for two targets: Horatio, and Laertes. I think I've got a better shot at Horatio, given what I know about my competition, and anyway the character actually appeals to me a bit more. Though it's a close call.

Speaking of competition, I know I have a lot of it. The good thing is that I'm friends with the director and precast leads. Unfortunately so is almost everyone else who's auditioning. This is going to be an odd social experience for everyone involved.

In the meantime I'll be taking care of the Appalachian Trail thing, a sizzle reel another friend just asked me to submit to, and running out the door to save a student's chemistry grade.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Next Show: North To Maine

I haven't been to an audition in a good long while. I've been going out of town too frequently-- first to Chicago, then twice to Seattle, and this weekend I'll be off to Tobago. It's hard to plan a rehearsal schedule around that kind of availability.

So it came as something of a surprise to me when I got an email offering me a big role in a play being workshopped by State of Play Productions. It's called North to Maine, and it's about the adventures and the people on the Appalachian trail. Especially the "thru-hikers," the ones who take on all 2000+ miles of the hike in one shot.

Aside from growing up surrounded by the outdoors and going hiking every month or so, I like the setting because the culture of the hike reminds me a lot of the culture of international backpackers, something I have a good amount of experience with.

We'll start the workshop process when I get back. There will not be a main stage production of it just yet, but there will be something with an audience, so if you want to be a part of it, stay tuned.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

How to End a Day

I don't often get to come here. In fact I've only been in once before. Kind of strange since it's two doors down from my apartment.

The place is Creole. It's a restaurant that often feature live jazz acts during the week. There are two reasons I haven't been in much. One, they shut down before midnight whenever there's live music, meaning I'm usually home too late to enjoy it. Two, they almost always charge a cover.

But I'd come home from my friend's poetry theater show about the subway, black identity, and street culture a little before 11:30. My girlfriend was still uptown hanging out with some friends from her old work, and my friend and current couchsurfer would be out for another 45 minutes, likely getting into some kind of trouble. He was the one who actually showed me around town when I moved here, a couple days before he flew off to Cambridge to start on his PhD in biological anthropology.

What appeared to be a busboy tried to charge me a $5 cover fee before I asked how much longer they'd be playing for. When the guitarist pulled someone up for what he said was "one last song," the guy let me in for free. I got a beer from the bar, tipped the New York City unofficial regulation $1 for the $5 drink, and sat down to listen. That "last song" of course segwayed into another "last song" when they pulled another friend and musician from the audience. I kept sipping the beer.

This is pretty much exactly how I wanted the day to end, even if I didn't know it until I sat down.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Inebriated Holiday

I'm not including a picture of this one. You don't particularly want to see it.

I'd just left the low-key New Years party of a producer in Hell's Kitchen and was getting the subway to meet my girlfriend in the Lower East Side. It was about 2am, and the massive warehouse party she'd been bartending had let her go a little early. Their running out of both several kinds of liquor and even cups helped make that happen.

I have been many places for many celebrations. I don't know if I've ever seen so many drunk  people in one place. I don't mean happy drunk, I mean seriously impaired.

I reached Delancey street after passing three puddles of vomit and found a girl in what looked like a bikini and bunny ears working on number four. Number five came from a dude in the bar where I met Dana and our friends. Fifteen minutes later, he noticed my girlfriend, apparently liked what he saw, and started lurching in our direction. We moved. Quickly. He sat down and swayed at a table for a bit. We left the bar.

On the way out to some kind of food for Dana and our friend Ava (who happened to be celebrating her birthday that night), we saw about a block full of people cussing out a trio of dudes with sideways baseball hats blasting an air horn and dancing to it. A block earlier I'd spotted a taxi driving down the street with the door open and a lady sticking her head out of the open door and vomiting from inside the moving vehicle. A block before that we had passed a young woman crouched on a bicycle that was laying on its side. The young woman was crying and as I passed said to nobody in particular "I need some attention!"

Long before all this I had been chatting at my party about t-shirts. I (heart) NY ripoffs came up. Someone told me that he'd seen one with, instead of the heart, a picture of Eric Cartman from South Park pinching his nose and grimacing. I think that might have been inspired by a night like tonight.

So, Happy New Year, New York! I hope all of those crazies made it home safe.