The Open Call Audition: Why I’m Glad I Went
A few weeks ago I auditioned for an open-call show. It was my first time venturing out to one, and I had no idea what to expect. The website gave the roles and mentioned that sides would be provided. It all sounded simple enough, so I dressed in some nice clothes, hopped in the car and headed over to the theatre. I was feeling excited and ready to shimmer and shine my face off when I arrived. I approached a desk to find a friendly woman signing people in. Her first question was, “Do you have a monologue prepared?” I thought to myself, “What do you mean? The website said sides would be provided,” but I didn’t say that. A little embarrassed, I quietly answered no. There I was, unprepared. She said it wasn’t a big deal and that I would be provided a side before going in to audition and put me down on the list. I was twelfth on the list–Not too bad. I thought it would give me a little time to get comfortable with everything before heading in behind the closed doors. My misstep wasn’t going to deter me—I was still going to have a great audition. I found the last seat left in the room, surveyed the crowd of familiar and unfamiliar faces, and quietly listened to others quietly chat as we all waited. “It shouldn’t be long,” I said to myself, but then I started to notice something… as more people started pilling in, I heard them say they had appointments. Hmmm… I thought the appointments were only if I couldn’t make the open-call time. Or at least that’s how the website made it sound. “It’s a good thing I’m only twelfth on the list,” I mumbled. What I didn’t realize is that the list only started AFTER all those with appointments were called. As the minutes turned into hours, there I sat.
Uncharacteristically of me, I didn’t have a book to pass the time, and I had foolishly forgotten my phone at home, so I swung my feet in the lobby chair, twiddled my thumbs and stared blankly at the wall across from me. Ugh! It was now dinnertime. My stomach rumbled with hunger as I watched a gazillion people with appointments (who waited only minutes) whizz in and out of the audition room. (By the way, most of them didn’t come prepared with a monologue and found themselves caught off-guard like I had!) Of course I didn’t bring anything to munch on either, and I began to feel a bit cranky.
As the appointments came to an end, it was finally time for those on the list to be called and sides were passed out. Only, the theater company had only printed a handful, and I didn’t get one. As those from “the list” began making their exit, I asked for a copy of the side and was told I would be handed one soon. Well, as it turned out, I was only handed my side as I was being called in for my audition. There I was yet again, feeling unprepared. I gave it my all despite my circumstances. As I headed home, I wondered if all that time spent was worth it. Then, I decided most definitely, YES. Oh, I was pretty sure I wasn’t getting a part, but the experience was invaluable. Now I know to be ready for the unexpected. Now I know to call ahead and to make an appointment if they are at all mentioned. Now I know to be ready with a monologue even when I don’t expect to use it. Now I know to bring my knitting, my phone, and especially my books. And I also now know to pack a few munchies. Now I know… just a little more.
-A kid who likes to shimmer, shine, sparkle and glimmer!