Chaos Attraction

My First Online Audition

2020-05-16, 10:31 p.m.

I dreamed or hallucinated--I'm inclined to say the latter since I was a bit more awake at the time--that a medium-sized white poodle somehow got into my room and hopped on the bed and I freaked out because HOW THE HELL DID A DOG GET IN HERE?!? WHAT ABOUT MY PERSONAL SAFETY?! Then later I dreamed I was at my mom's house and went outside--clearly forgetting about quarantine in this one--and I started walking around the corner and everything was fine until some girl walked too close to me (even in the middle of the street) and I freaked out.

Ugh, dreams suck. Well, at least I got over 9 hours of sleep before the Lawn Guys started up. I am getting used to that, sigh.

Woman Spends Entire Day Getting Ready to Take a Walk and Calm Woman Has No Idea She’s Developing Lifelong Agoraphobia Right Now are my life.

I also played Scavenger Hunt in my freezer again and found some more frozen bread, which I was quite happy about, and I managed to get open the pickle jar. So I just ate peanut butter and pickle sandwiches all day. I'm still drinking "blackberry liquor and brandy" watered down, but then I started throwing Otter Pops into them. Grape turns out to go really well with that! The More You Quarantine.....

From noon to three I did a finding stories workshop with David Crabb, which went great. It was a pretty small class--about seven people. I'm impressed that the other girl in it just graduated from high school and signed up--good job. She also had a ton of stuffed animals, so of course I approved. I am confused as to how she and her boyfriend are (still?!) planning on traveling around the country, though. Also weird: her school is still insisting on having an in-person graduation in June or maybe July. David was politely all, let's see what happens in a few weeks. Uh-HUH. (Not unless they go virtual.)

David actually remembered me from the previous open tell thing a few weeks back and I think he liked the story I did--"I can't wait to hear about all the nutjobs in your life," specifically. Hah. He thought it was fascinating. I continue to be amazed that people think my apartment manager is straight up crazy. To be fair, I don't think she's insane, just a slacker, but that does seem to be everyone's impression there. He said I had a very good grasp on my psyche and what triggers me, so I should really dig into scenes.

We did a game called "I'm The Kind Of Person" game, in which you describe what you're like. He seemed surprised that we mostly stayed on the same topic instead of wandering off, but oh well. More like, slow segue-ing.

Random notes I'm putting in one spot:
* People like specifics.
* Use your emotion to connect with people.
* Compression and expansion.
* High stakes--how do you make a story feel like it has them? Internal/external.
* Emotion, and then come up with a story based on emotion.
* Scenic elements--have some
* A lot of the compelling work is your costars.
* "We all have a solo show in us."
* Find stories from the inside out.

Next thing: talk about your first kiss or worst injury--I did the latter one because I broke my leg when I was about five and my parents had no clue what to do about it for HOURS and seemed to be in some kind of weird denial about the whole thing--I wouldn't stop screaming and I couldn't stand up, those seem like hints--but it took them TAKING ME OUT TO GET ICE CREAM and I didn't want to eat it that finally made them think something was wrong. Someone asked why and I was all, yeah, I'd like to know that too! I always thought it was because they were first time parents, but now I wonder if it's just like, Mom's whole "I don't believe anything Jen says' thing, which I have always suspected came from my semi-jerky grandfather.

Then David gave us a list of extremes and we were supposed to come up with ideas from them (examples: happiest/saddest, richest/poorest). I ended up making up my own: most shocked (the anonymous letter trying to get me fired) and most accepting (when my last ex broke up with me and I was fine with it after like, an hour).

The next exercise we did was on traits. He talked about how once storytellers get past the big major stories about big things happening to them, they wander into "Sedaris Country," i.e. you've written so much that you have to blow up stakes out of tiny circumstances.

We were supposed to name three traits about yourself ("I'm a weirdo" and "I'm easily scared"), then add sentences afterwards that start with "But," "Because" or "And so," and then try another one with "And one time" and/or "But one time."
So for me it was like, I'm easily scared because I'm an easy target for people (see weirdo) and my parents had bad tempers, and so I'm easily triggered into bad places and it takes a lot of work/time to get over. I ended up halfassedly talking about how I almost killed a butterfly in a butterfly garden and then wouldn't go into one for years until I had to. (Quote from David on this: "I was fucked up for life because I almost stepped on a butterfly.")

Possibly the most amusing story coming out of this was from a guy who I did not realize was wearing a hat. He had on a black one, looks llike he has naturally black hair, and the way he was sitting, I couldn't even tell he had a hat brim on the hat. But he was all, "My trait is having good hair..." but he lost a bet in quarantine and had to let someone else cut it. "Don't worry, I watched a YouTube video...." Now "I haven't worn a hat since I was 12."

He gave us a list of prompts to work on tonight, and to make a little list of anecdotes that you don't think could work. I have written up the butterfly story for tomorrow, at least.

In the later afternoon, I did the Femme Fatale theater festival auditions. This was three hours long and I had a really good time. They had nine shows up, I think I auditioned for five out of nine--I skipped the one involving a lady wanting a baby, the military one, the one involving android replacement mothers (the depressing ones, I think!) and I ended up not auditioning for the Cyrano de Bergerac sequel since upon reading it I didn't quite think it was for me (and a bit abstract, perhaps, even though I like me some Cyrano). The directors did a section apiece and you were to turn your mic/camera off when you weren't on and back on when you were, so pretty easy. I think it was around 15-16 people in there, half being actors and half being directors, more or less? Ish?

Stuff I read for:

"In The Woods:" Two couples go camping in the woods and it changes their lives forever. Appears to be one guy/girl couple and one girl/girl couple at the start of the play and ah, sounds like the "straight" lady and one of the gay ones are having an affair. The first scene that everyone did featured Courtney, the "girly girl" with nails who can't stand camping and actually thinks The Blair Witch Project is a documentary, and her girlfriend/wife (not sure which?) Trish, who is totally exasperated with her wussiness. I wanted to read Courtney and was disappointed I didn't get to read that one at first (as we've said about Helena, Courtney is very "extra" and that was hilarious to me), but the director did have everyone read Courtney's Blair Witch monologue, at least. I guess I did well enough at Trish's exasperation because I got asked to read a second side in which Trish is trying to get Lynn (who she's having an affair with) to leave her husband. We'll see on that one, but I guess that's the one I did best at. Surprise there.

"Deanna and Paul:" Monologue about a waitress in a diner who does past life regressions and a man who 'works for himself." I was never quite sure where the heck that one was going. Don't think I'm right for that one or vice versa, which is fine. Sometime when you read the descriptions, you don't know how it's actually going to go in execution.

"Dropping Bombs:" This was another top favorite for me upon actually reading the script, featuring a mother who is not great at dropping bomb news on her daughter. I wanted to read the daughter, but got told to read the mother (sigh)... However, I ended up having fun with it, in the "oh hell, I think I'm channeling my mother now" sort of way." Conveniently, I had a wine glass sitting around with actual wine in it, which worked out great for surprise props for stuff like this.

"Heart of Oak:" This one involves ladies on a pirate ship, the head pirate being a runaway princess. I thought that one sounded cool. We read the ladies on the ship and then each read one scene between the princess and her first mate. I fear the director didn't really like any of us for that one (note: there's four days of auditions for this and I was doing it on day 3) as I got cut off early and she stopped pretty fast. Ah well.

"The Way You Made Me:" a one-woman monologue about the nature of love, parents, exes, etc. I read a page in which the girl is watching a new mom with her baby and accidentally says "Fuck" in front of the baby, and then freaks out... and then realizes, hey, it's not like the baby knows what I did, but she thinks it's pretty funny anyway. So that was pretty cute. (The narrator also really loves to refer to the baby as foods.) I finished a Baby Yoda (I'm back to that again) during the audition process and I pulled out the Baby Yoda during the mention of the baby, which went over well!

The lady running the festival said "You were amazing!" to me, so that's awesome. (Though note that I did not audition for her show since that was the one I found confusing once I actually read it.) Supposedly a cast list goes out Wednesday, though given how auditions usually go for me, I will be amazed if I hear at all. If I was taking bets, I'd say I have better odds on "In The Woods" and "Dropping Bombs" (in that order) and probably not on any of the other ones. But who knows? I sorta thought I had a shot at the play festival in January and look how that went, so no getting hopes up! Today I shall just enjoy that I enjoyed auditioning. And I hope I don't get all whiny about it later in the week.

But folks seemed nice and it was all fun and I got a kick out of various people and how they read, so there's that. One girl's boyfriend got roped in to read some male roles and thus auditioned, and he did a really good job. I bet he gets multiple parts since I have the impression that not a lot of guys at all have auditioned for this even though there are guy parts (five that I saw). One girl in particular did well at reading a ruthless salesman position (she did so well she read it twice) and she said that sales is her job and "I hate my job so much, but I'll play it on TV."

I got out JUST in time to go watch Maximum Occupancy (local improv show) online again. Tonight's theme: jury duty! Though at the start of it, they announced that one of their employees tested negative for coronavirus, and her father's fiancee doesn't have any antibodies, which is good and bad news? Who knows any more. Then they discussed how unlikely it was that theaters would return any time soon and two people logged out! Awkward!

Back to jury duty: it involved a lot of meth and penises, Lorena Bobbitt- style. "A penis will haunt you if you don't bury it!" I really enjoyed the guy faking orgasms while playing a 12-year-old girl, that was great. Also, "That's a very good photo but you need to not show it to a 12-year-old girl." (of a bloody knife). And the discussion of burying it. And the "I don't want to live without my penis!" going into actual murder. I did enjoy the flashback scenes. And discussion of whether or not people who suddenly discovered they're related can date. As far as they're concerned, yes.

previous entry - next entry
archives - current entry
hosted by