Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Shopping and The Tonys

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

I just got back from 2 auditions (The Glass Menagerie and Seattle Rep), and they both felt really good, so that is also cause for celebration! Ole!

Every time I audition, I learn so much - about myself, the character, the process. It's definitely fascinating! And I've entered a neat realm where it feels like the directors and casting directors are really looking at me. It's like they're trying to figure out where I'd fit, how they'd cast me, and this reminds me of my recent shopping spree with my Mom last week.

Mom and I hit everything from thrift stores to major brand stores, and we had a blast doing it. We'd load up on clothes and shoes that caught our eyes, and then we'd go try them on.

Now, this makes me think of the first phase of auditions, except that we, the actors, are the clothes, and the casting people are seeing if they want to try us on. Bonnie Gillespie likened this to a wine bar, but more along the lines of what kind of advice to "drink in," which is a really cool reminder that we're all in the same boat here, meaning it's not "us vs. them" or vice versa. Every aspect of show business is a group effort - even one person shows!

And this takes me to The Tonys.

Who knows how many tryouts there were for the shows that have been nominated? Or any of the shows on Broadway! I can imagine the lengthy process it's taken some of these folks to get to where they are.

The gang from Title of Show were part of the New York Musical Theatre Festival, just like I was with The Tragic and Horrible Life of the Singing Nun, and we actually all intermingled at the NYMF Awards. They performed and I was a recipient, and now Hunter Bell is up for the Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical. Very cool!

I actually know two other people who are nominated or associated with nominated shows this year, and I guess that shouldn't surprise me because the same thing happened last year! I'd either worked with or been in classes with people in last year's Tony Awards too!

This year, Billy Elliot, the musical about the little British boy who is sent to boxing class but just wants to dance, has swept the nominations, earning 15 nods!BT McNicholl, my director for last summer's comedy KABOOM at Cherry Lane, is the Resident Director for Billy Elliot, and he was actually working on Billy at the same time as KABOOM, which had to be an intense stretch, but what a fun ride!

BT was always the epitome of professionalism and high energy, and I would work with him again in a heartbeat.

My other Tony-nom-blast-from-the-past is Christopher Sieber, who is nominated for his hilarious turn as Lord Farquaad in Shrek The Musical. I went to AMDA with Chris, and though we were in different sessions, I do remember him from when our groups would intermingle. He was very funny, charismatic and talented even then!

I believe he stayed on for a second year at AMDA, but I was offered the role of Rita in a regional production of Educating Rita, so I missed my second year for that role, but boy, it was worth it.

It's thrilling when someone you've worked with gets kudos for their work. And it's always encouraging to see one of your classmates making their dreams come true.

I know that every time I put myself out there, I'm making it happen too.

Congratulations to all of the nominees! :)

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