Did it!

It’s now a beautiful day, sunny but moderate in the shade (probably boiling in my apartment). Eating leftovers from my Mr. Bento box outside the NY Public Library on 5th Ave. Celebrating. I had my first NY audition this morning in this, the new chapter of my life.

My sleep last night was atrocious, it being incredibly hot in the apartment. It didn’t cool down until 4 or 5 in the morning, so I relied on the big fan, frozen washcloths and nudity (!) to sleep. In any case, a cold bath and coffee helped me wake up at 7:30 am to leave by 8:30 am to get there by 9:30 am.

I made it to the audition location on West 54th by 9:10, carrying my purse and rolling bag.* The audition process itself was exactly like those in Los Angeles. The girls looked the same, I did my song the same. I was happy to see that about 1/6 of those signed up for the audition showed up (I was told earlier by a regular auditioner that this is common in New York), so my number fell from 191st to only 37th in line. I checked in, warmed up in the hallway and the elevator, changed and then stood in line when the 20-40 block of numbers was called.

My audition itself went exactly as it would if I was in Los Angeles. However, there was something wonderful to have the view of grey and red-tinted New York buildings outside as I sang. A reminder – I was in New York!

I finished and thanked the people in the room. As I picked up my music book from the piano, I couldn’t resist saying “And I have to let you know, this was my first New York audition. Yes!” The older woman in the room said “Oh! Congratulations!” and then looked at my resume again with a more curious look on her face. One might think this gesture of mine as unprofessional, but I just felt I needed to claim my experience and not hide my new life from myself or anyone else. It just felt good to say it, and if my enthusiasm belied my lust and zest for this craft, then all the better.

I was out of there by 11 am. Now, I’m sitting and listening to old recordings of Barbara Streisandon my iPod. Have called both Mom & Dad to leave word about this “landmark” (dramatic word, I know) day of mine. Soon, it’s off to drop off my timesheets to my temp agency (#1 of 3) so at least I’ll have money on Weds. The grind continues, but at least this career of mine is heading in the right direction.

Damn, Barbara Streisand can sing!

*see earlier blog for a description of my “Audition Kit”

My Audition Kit

For my first audition here in New York, I packed what I thought would be a well-thought out bag of travel and acting items. This was based on my own needs as well as outside advice from fellow New York actors.

  1. Rolling Bag. Really, I could use any bag, but this one keeps weight off my shoulders and makes travel to audition locations quicker and easier. I bought the Dash Rolling Hardside Carry-on (in cherry red) which is lightweight and small, with a quick-retracting handle and 360 degree wheels. It’s also weatherproof, which will come in handy when the rains start pouring. The only thing I don’t like about it is that it doesn’t have an outside pocket for quick access.
  2. Sigg Bottle. Made by the same company as the famous Swiss Army Watch, these bottles are eco-friendly alternatives to the wasteful habit of buying plastic water bottles. And every singer NEEDS to have water at auditions, especially when the rehearsal building water fountains aren’t acceptable. It’s apparently “The World’s Toughest Water Bottle,” and is made of lightweight metal – I think aluminum. Thus, I can hang it from my purse or put it in my bag and not worry about it exploding.
  3. (and bear with me, this is not an advertising list) A Bento Box, or compact lunch box containing several small lidded bowls and maybe a travel fork or spoon (or spork!). Mine is the Mr. Bento box. Bringing some leftovers or simple food in this box will help me save money and prevent lightheaded hunger if ever I need to wait in line to audition for an extended amount of time.
  4. You kind of can’t see this, but I packed my skirt and audition shoes while wearing pants and sneakers to get to the audition location. In New York, it’s common practice for auditioners (at least women) to dress comfortably and put on whatever they need to wear to be presentable once they arrive. This is easy to do at locations like the Actor’s Equity Assoc. audition location, where they apparently have a green room for auditioners to put on makeup and even curl their hair (again, I’m talking women here). I have an audition coming up soon that takes place in the AEA location, I’ll see how easy it is to use the facilities.
  5. Audition Music book. The reason I’m there in the first place. I’ve invested the last 6 years in voice lessons and coaching from Calvin Remsberg. We nailed down about 10 or so audition pieces which we feel run the gamut of audition demands, from rock to pop to opera and legit. I’m still learning new songs for future specific auditions (ie. they want to hear “This Place is Mine” for an audition for the role of Carlotta in “Phantom”), but this book means more to me and my career than anything.
  6. Headshot and Resume. Duh. My headshot was taken by Jonathan Vandeveer in Los Angeles.
  7. Actor’s Interview Log. It’s important to keep a log of each audition: when and where I audition, who I auditioned for and for what project, even what I wore and what I sang, who I might have met along the way. Plus, any notes on how I felt about the audition after. That way, callbacks become more informed and whenever I write down “ugh that audition went horribly!” and then get a callback, I can be reminded that my perception of how things go are often not the case. 🙂
  8. Journal. Just to jot down ideas, new audition material ideas, names & numbers, etc. Hey, maybe even write journal entries to include in a blog somewhere…
  9. Audition Post Printout. Juuuuuuust in case, a print out of the location, time, date, and expectations of the audition in question.
  10. Deodorant and Hairbrush. Just in case.
  11. Makeup Kit. I actually am able to do my makeup on the A train before I get to the downtown area, which shaves off some morning “get ready” time for the sake of breakfast and sleep.

Not pictured: iPod (to review audition music or hear a warmup track), Mouthwash (again, just in case) and an immeasured amount of talent and beauty 🙂 All in all, everything I packed was either utilized well or at least good to have on hand. Nothing was too heavy and the rolling bag worked in the subway like a charm.-Si

Audition to Come

So, I’ve finally pressed myself against a wall and told myself “It’s been 2 months since you left Los Angeles, and a month since you moved into your apartment. You get in that ring and give it all you got, go get ’em Tiger!” Meaning, I have put my name on an Equity Chorus Call to audition tomorrow. It’s for “Les Miserables,” which is a nice and traditional show, my voice fits the legit style so it’s not a huge stretch. Unfortunately, I’m #191 on the list, so my day will no doubt be spent in line, waiting.

This week, I worried about what might come out of my mouth tomorrow, vocally. I haven’t been to a voice teacher in 2 months. I vow this day forward to vocalize each day and resume the study of my craft. I had a mini-vacation from my career as I made the biggest career move to date. Now it’s time to get my engine restarted here in New York.