Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The Nobel Prize

Wowza. Equity auditions on Sunday were quite the experience. 90 actors in 6 hours, with only the smallest whisper of a break in between each, and no time for lunch. It was strange to be on the other side of the stage. Yes, I've held auditions before, but when you pay, people actually come in droves, all trying desperately to make an impression. And impress they did. Oh, did they! One sexy young than even sent me a card today so full of innuendo it could barely stay in its envelope...

My personal favorite was a 6 foot tall woman named "Velvet" who came loping on stage about a third of the way through. She handed over her head shot, which included several "character" shots where she had mostly just put on slightly different tacky outfits. In one of the shots, she was wearing a wife beater and a trucker hat a la Roadside Crack-Ho, which seemed the most realistic casting possibility for Miss Velvet.

She proceeded to make awkward and odd small talk with us while setting up a stool onstage, upon which she carefully placed a stack of papers and an upside down plastic cup she had gotten from the lobby. Around the cup was stretched a gold lame hair tie. She told us she would be giving us a monologue from an ORIGINAL PLAY (emphasis hers) about the life of Madame Curie, which was created from ACTUAL EXCERPTS (again with the emphasis) from Madame Curie's own writings.

Then she goes behind the curtain in the back, twisting her hair up into a bun- you know, for DRAMATIC EFFECT, and comes back out, completely tranformed. Ok, well, her hair was up at least. She begins speaking in what I think she thought was French, expertly shifting into what was possibly English delivered in just the most terrible French accent EVER. Turns out the stool is her Podium as she is accepting her Nobel Peace Prize, which is, yes, you guessed it, the plastic cup with the golden scrunchie, which she actually picked up as means of demonstrating for us that it was indeed the Prize of which she spoke, not once, not twice, but three times in 2 minutes.

Oh, yeah. I did not hear a word she said, because my brain was shocked, absolutely frozen in perplexity.

Velvet was not the only monstrosity, far from it, just the most memorable. There was talent, for sure, and it was all entertaining, if sometimes painful. There was a woman who had understudied Uta Hagen, and had trained with everyone who was anyone for the last 20 years, who was just dull as toast. There were people who clearly had turned to acting to be able to express an inner rage, who you wouldn't want to meet in a crowded alley, and wished would just get a therapist instead. The black actors were almost to the person more vital, more edgy, and more honest than the white actors.

There were soap actors and commercial talents, young girls from Portland and 75 year old men who struggled to remember who and where they were, let alone the lines. In the words of our Artistic Director, who we threw a big anniversary party for on Monday, and who is 70 next year, "They don't want to stop. No one ever wants to stop."

Thursday, July 21, 2005


Hey, short notice but better than no notice. I'll be in NoHo all day on Sunday, helping to run my theatre's Equity auditions for the season. If you're an Equity actor friend who wants to try out, you can make an appointment throug AEA. If you are not Equity, we may still be able to work you in- so anyone interested should let me know. 2 minute monologue, anyone? Should be fun. And if notice is too short, we'll host other auditions soon.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

My Right Foot

Tonight I was watching 6 Feet Under (season 3, episode 7) trying to catch the Editor up so we can watch the rest of the current season together. It was the one where the lady gets a nose bleed and dies. Just as the blood was pouring out, I got a call from the theatre- the housemanager was stranded, the ushers had not shown, I had to suddenly go in. In my rush to get dressed, I put my right leg through my pants and straight down onto a razor sharp piece of metal on the corner of the bed. The phone rings again- the housemanager had shown up, so I don't need to come in. "Good," I say, "cause I just sliced my foot pretty bad."

The blood suddenly just poured out of my foot. There is something perversely fascinating about the sound of a large amount of one's own blood pouring onto a hard surface. Sounds just exactly like any other liquid hitting hard wood, but it came out of my godamned foot, and pooled, all dark and shiny. "Sam," I yelled, "I need help!" He came in and said we were going to the emergency room. He and the Ed wrapped my foot and got me out to the car. I guess I went white and shockey for a bit. Sam took me to the ER, wher I sat for an hour with many many people ahead of me, until the guy who triaged me said that the ER in Goleta was much less busy. If I stayed there it would be another three hours.

He wrapped up my foot and told me it was basically a vertical laceration with a flap of skin as thick as his index finger that I had managed to partially disengage from the rest of my foot. Nice. Sam took me to the other hospital, where they promptly cleaned it and dressed it, but would not stitch it, fearing infection. It sho did hurt to clean it. Wugga. But Sam is a very good hospital partner, and made me laugh. While I was there I saw 3 other people who had also fucked up their right foot/leg. Cosmic significance? Dunno, but now I get to keep mmy foot elevated for 48 hours and pop a couple of Darvosets.

All in all, I actually had a pretty good Saturday night.