Thursday, March 15, 2012

Crafty like a Fox

Hello readers--are you still there? Its ok if you're not. I think we've won the "world's most anticipated blog update award"--how many months does it take for Whit or Kristi to post? Let's see...a-1, a-2, a-3, a-4...4 months! Longer than it takes to get to the center of a tootsie pop, that's for darn sure. One day, I promise, a blog post won't start with an intro like this. Little goal--huge feat--I think we can do it.

Now, looking at my title you might ask, "Oh, crafts! Is Whit going to share a fun craft we can do? Maybe decoupage our expired resumes to a vintage something and call it art? Make felt flowers with which to decorate our 16-bars? (accompanists love this, you know) Is she gonna get all Pinterest-y and post 18 ways to use old nail polish to jazz up my boring audition outfit?"


No. (Although, do the things mentioned above (and document it well with you sassy Instagram app), and you earn actor gold star bonus level-ups!)

Ok, so what am I talking about?

Audition packages.

I hate love crafting audition packages. This is why I'm not so in love with general auditions. Yes, its a great time to show your stuff, but I like being specific... for specific shows...for specific parts even. And yes, its maddening--trying to find new material to fit each audition. But what a great way to add to my collection of (almost) 25 monologues in my proverbial back pocket.

And yes, with being crafty comes risk--risk of under-preparedness, risk of cornering myself in a specific type of character, risk of my ideas not meshing with a casting director's. But aren't those the risks at every audition? I'm *learning* to accept risk as part of my artistic journey.

On the plus side, in being crafty, I find that I am reading SO. MUCH. MORE. I'm really starting to put into action our main mission with this project--looking for audition pieces in the strange, obscure, unexpected. I'm paying attention. I'm investing myself in the projects I'm interested in--whether I'm cast or not. I dare you to call me a lazy actor. Go ahead.

And guess what? Risky, crafty fox that I am, I think I've found my first "written for a male character" piece. Whether its appropriate for a specific show...not sold on that. But for a general audition--why the hell not try it?

In risky, crafty fox business, I bid you a good day. Until next time (and hopefully not 4 months down the road),


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Its that time again...

Hello readers!

Its been too long.  Let's just get it out there-I am ridiculously bad at this.

I auditioned again in September. They went...ok. I chose a piece I had done before (the Cow piece) and a new one from the TV series Sports Night by Aaron Sorkin.  I like the pieces. I was frustrated because I couldn't find a new comedic piece, and one of the auditioners had seen the Cow piece before. Part of the magic of that poem is the unexpected...and well....the unexpected was expected. Womp womp.

Lazy Actor flaws this time around:
1. Practiced right before audition (well...1 week before) (bad idea-need more time)
2. Practiced in my living room (ok idea-KK does say to use a small space--I think she said 10x10 ft. square?--but not ideal)
3. I'm tried something new (great idea in the long run because I'm auditioning for people I've auditioned for before--but bad idea in that I take too long to find material--not enough practice time)
   -->Not to mention this was my first TV monologue I've ever done. Some anxiety surrounding that.

So enough analyzing. My goal this month is to find some good comedic pieces. That are fresh. That are MOVEMENT based. I have learned something about myself: I am deeply tied to a character's movement. The more I can explore movement patterns in a piece, the more comfortable I will be.

If you have suggestions of comedic roles for ladies that I should look into, I'd love to hear your suggestions. Until then,



Tuesday, April 12, 2011

New Deadline and Deep Thoughts

Hello readers!

Yes, I fell of the face of the planet. It hurt. But 3 shows and 6 weeks later, I can say I survived with only minor bruising. Whew!

Kristi and I have talked-well we emailed-about the fact that (here comes the deep thought...) if you're performing and working as an actor (and working somewhere else to pay the bills), its not the most convenient time to find new material. Now, you may say, "You lazy actor!" Yes, I admit, we could be dedicating *some* time...but when you're trying to learn your lines, it takes alot of will to not just stop there.

So the good news: we're working! Bad news: The blog (and our monologue collection) gets all dusty from disuse.

We have made great strides so far. KK has really helped us (she's helped me alot!), and the fact that we've been incredibly lucky using the material we've found, the outcomes are positive--I think we were just a bit too ambitious to set our deadline this year.

We are extending our project of 50 monologues to next Memorial Day (2012 for those of you living under your comfy cozy rock ;)).

On a side note-I just auditioned for another musical last night and got cast! Information has not been posted on the theatre's website yet, so I won't say much--but I am SYKED....SIKED....SYIKED (however you spell it). I was so excited, that I had a really really hard time sleeping last night.

And you know what? For this audition, I had to sing. And ONLY sing. Usually, I'd rather have at least one monologue or dance number in my back pocket...but I sang. And I sang two songs. And I survived. Whoa.

And I accepted something that's been touched on here (another deep thought-you can handle it--deep breaths)--you have to ACT your song just like a monologue. So therefore, I'm claiming these two songs as part of my top 25 list. Because they worked, they were active, and they were a heck of alot of fun to perform.

Back to your regularly scheduled programming....


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Womp Womp

You guys, I'm worried. That our project is failing.

We suck at blogging, let's just put that out there. I can't speak for Whitney, but I honestly haven't been putting in the time that is really needed to do this project. And when I get even more honest with myself, the reason that I haven't been putting in the time is that I'm lazy. Which is ironic because this whole project is about NOT being a lazy actor.

I need to be real with myself and recomit to working on this. Even if the full 25 monologues doesn't happen, if I can get 10 I'll feel good.

I'm crazed with rehearsal for a workshop of a new musical right now, but I'm going to commit to using my lunch hout at work this week to work on some pieces.

Let's do it!

Thanks for understanding friends.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Done and Done

Midwest Theatre auditions are over.


Seriously, I was putting a lot of pressure on myself. I think a big part of that stems from a surge of wanderlust that struck me right around Halloween and has only gotten swifter and swifter as the months go on. Although Chicago is lovely in the summer (free concerts from the likes of Mumford and Sons and She & Him? Yes, please!) I would like to be elsewhere this year. As I mentioned before, Midwest is bascially a cattle call audition for many summer and year-round theatres, so it was my golden opportunity and I hope you'll allow me this moment of ego...

I nailed it.

My song never sounded better and my monologue was right on track. I LOVE it when you can walk away from an audition and know that, even you don't get called back for anything, you still did the best job you could do and you had fun while doing it.

One of the things I think makes Midwest so great is that you are on an actual stage. Back in the day (and even as recently as the 70's) that was how all auditions were conducted. These days, you are usually in a tiny room somewhere and "overacting" is a serious concern. But not at Midwest. You are on a stage, with house lights out and stage lights up. You can't see the people you're auditioning for (which I love) and you get the added benefit of being on the set of whatever show is currently running in that theatre. All of this helps your audition. A lot. What better way to audition for a theatre job than on a stage? If it was up to me, all auditions would be conducted this way.

I ended up with 4 callbacks (although one of the theatres was not actually attending the callbacks, so I don't count them) Funnily enough, I got a call back from the summer theatre at my alma mater, Hope Summer Repertory Theatre. For various reasons, I was never available during the summers while I was in college, so I never had a chance to work with them.The other two theatres were Tibbets Summer Playhouse in MI and Missoula Children's Theatre in Montana. Most of them start the hiring process sometime in March, so fingers crossed I'll hear something soon.

Don't think my auditions are over though. Next week is my audition for GreatWorks Theatre Company (a children's company) as well as Remy Bumppo (a pro company here in Chicago). The following week is the national tour of Mama Mia, Mason Street Warehouse (in Michigan) and the Marriott Theatre (again in the Chicagoland area)

WHEW. Life is busy, friends.

I hope you all have a wonderful Oscar weekend! King's Speech is my vote for Best Picture!

With love and gratitude -

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Its raining...

...rehearsals, y'all! So my plan to be in one show this year happened...three-fold. For the last two weeks, and into the next 4 or so, I'll be performing and rehearsing 3 shows! One has past already--the theatre co I work for partnered with our city's symphony. Whilst they played excerpts from Prokofiev's Cinderella, we acted out the story without words. I was an ugly stepsister--it can't be better than that! ;) (And if you're looking to listen to some GORGEOUS classical music-check out this music.)

I'm now in the works of Charlotte's Web, and Sunday I start Bat Boy rehearsals. Whew! When it rains, it pours.

So- I am working on getting you that lovely KK checklist. I promise. And I'm also venturing more into the TV show monologue realm. If y'all haven't watched "Big Love" get thee to your Netflix queue (or your local library). It. Is. Grrrrreat! Now not all of the actors are totally with it (some are amazing. Hello, Jeanne Tripplehorn), but the characters are fascinating, and there are some awesome hunks of text to explore.

Alright-onward and upward. Have a great week, friends!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Where are we? What day is it?

You guys, I'm gonna be frank.

I'm am going batshit crazy.

I have had a string of several auditions for various summer and year round theatres lately and every audition has required something just a little bit different. As my voice teacher's 6 year old daughter says, "Well. That. Is. Just. SILLY."

I get it. They need to find the right people and they want to see something that will let them know if you will fit into their season or not. I get that. I do. But it's made preparation hard because I can't prepare the same song or monologue for every audition. I guess this is actually the truth about most auditions, but most auditions don't come one right after the other and leave you no time to prepare in between. And that makes for some very half-assed auditions and a very frustrated me.

I must admit, I'm getting nervous about this project. Our deadline is rapidly approaching, I feel like I have no time to put the work in and I'm starting to wonder if we're in over our heads. And then two seconds later, I kick myself and think, "This is your career, you have to make the time." And then I feel lazy and remember that this project is all about not being a lazy actor and the circle just goes round and round....

Once Midwest Theatre Auditions are over this weekend, I'll be able to breathe a bit before the next auditions. Then I'm going to try to AM going to commit some serious time to working on this project. 25 monologues don't find, edit, learn and memorize themselves.

Deep cleansing breathes....and.....GO.


PS: I got cast in a TV pilot at Columbia College here in Chicago! They have a crack team of kids over there in the film school and I'm excited to get started. More info when I have it....