10 Minute Play Festival Auditions
2019-12-20, 6:11 a.m.
recently on Chaos Attraction
Note: the following activities happened the night of 12/18/19. I want to get this up before I hear the results since once I probably get rejected, I might be tempted to retroactively revise this. Sigh.
Well. This was....very weird on many levels.
There were not that many people auditioning on Wednesday night. Maybe it was the rain, I don’t know, but it was me, Cameron, Scott, Ana, Trent, a few other older dudes I didn’t know, and one short haired chirpy blonde lady I didn’t know either. So on the one hand, few actresses, so maybe less competition. On the other hand, they could easily cast Cameron in every single role since each show rehearses separately, so who the fuck knows?
There are eight plays but only seven of them were actually auditioning actors and for women, there were only four plays that had a woman in them (certainly not two women at once, mind you, no Bechdel here) at all, so I will only cover those. Jim and Mark (author of The Viewing Room play, not TnT Mark) were directing men only plays but I never actually saw Jim auditioning anybody (????) and poor Mark was sitting there alone a lot somehow. So I’m only going to describe the experiences of the ones I read for.
I know it’s their first time running a festival, but I was kind of annoyed that you were supposed to rotate between directors for auditions every 10 minutes and Ana (supposedly timekeeping) basically stopped doing it because she was auditioning. So whether or not to rotate or not just plain got really weird and uncomfortable and nobody knew when to switch. I kind of wish someone had been around who wasn’t doing anything (maybe Jim?) to at least have their phone timer go off every ten minutes.
I’m going to rank them from 1 (best) to 4 (worst) in the following categories:
They had everyone write on a sign in sheet their contact info and what roles they were interested in (I said “any” but named the two female roles with names, Alice and Trixie. Cameron (sick of love interests, I guess?) wrote down Trixie and Monica.
Reservations: The only one written by a woman, Kristine, so good for her there. I guess she has done this show before in other places, according to Bruce (more on him later). This was a play about a dog and a cat going on a blind date. The cat, Trixie, from what I could tell, is looking for a home to move into and was insistent on dating Rover despite him wanting a dog, saying “we both like food, and naps,” essentially. I was pretty amused reading it and thought it was fun, did some kind of funny voice for it that amused me at least. (Later, Bruce told me that Kristine is a dog person, so why does she have a cat in there? I dunno.) We skipped around and read maybe 4 or 5 pages of it. I do not think I am going to be Kristine’s favorite though, as that was pretty obviously Cameron from what I could tell after the reading was over. She was a fan of her in Coney Island. And Scott was obviously having a great time reading the dog’s part from what I saw there. Most likely both of them will just get cast in everything together as a couple already, from here to eternity.
* Niceness of playwright/director: Seemed nice, so yay there, but maybe I’m not her type, so...3?
(Note: I’m writing this on the 19th and I did get emailed from her saying she enjoyed my portrayal of Trixie but was going to see how the rest of auditions went first, obviously. I have low to no expectations, but that was nice to get a thank you for auditioning.)
Where’s This Train Going? This one was by Bruce, who has done other playwriting festivals. Bruce is a very chatty individual and I would say that most of the audition was just chatting and hanging with Bruce. Which is fun, mind you, but he started out by saying that he wished he could have sent a script to the actors ahead of time because you really need to know where this is going before reading it cold, etc. He explained that the play is about a con artist lady coming onto a guy on the train and robbing him, and the third character who’s barely in the show is her secret partner. Okay, fine, that makes sense for explanation. He seems to know Kristine from other shows, hence where I heard all of that. But after a while I had to be all, hey, we only have ten minutes, shall I read now?
So I read. I think the part of Monica (the con artist) was similar to Trixie the cat, same kinda flirty MO going on. I can flirt, but only on a stage (god knows I won’t IRL), but on a stage it’s fun. Bruce wanted to send the script afterwards, so I guess that’s positive? But this is where Ana stopped timing, so we were all just chatting for like 20 minutes until Bruce was all, hey, this is going too long, and tried to interrupt Ana....that didn’t go super great. Next time they need a neutral referee for these things.
I REALLY wished I could have talked to Cameron about Bruce after that audition to see what she thought of that whole thing (from what I saw she was just having Chat Time a lot too), but alas, did not happen.
* Niceness of playwright/director: Seems very nice, I’ll say 2. I dunno if I hit it off with him on the geek level like I did Nicholas, but in general we had fun chatting...a lot.
Astronauts in Love: My favorite from title alone. Two astronauts, an American woman and a Russian man, are stranded in space, haven’t heard from Earth in 100+ days and fall in love over the radio. Way up my alley even though I only saw three pages of it. I liked Nicholas (who appreciated my Captain Marvel sweater I had on), he said it was Alice’s story really, so that made me rather psyched. I’d like to do a love story...no comment on how I’d like it cast, but guess who and guess who read together for that later, so we know how that is going to go. I really enjoyed reading this one, but who knows since Ana and Cameron also read for it and I think he hit it off with them too.
* Niceness of playwright: I’ll say 1, because I hit it off with geeks. Unclear on the director bit, as he said he had one but she wasn’t there tonight (Linda?).
Life of Trees: The playwright, as far as I saw, doesn’t live around here/wasn’t here, so this one was just the director, Rodney. I don’t know Rodney already and frankly, he seemed far more interested in his buddy, the short haired blonde woman, and talking to her. Despite having not seen her in three years, I guess he already cast her in the other show he’s directing (so nobody auditioned for that one). I think her name was Catherine or something? Anyway, this play features a mom, a dad who’s estranged from his dying brother over a piano, and his precocious daughter Maddy, who’s seven and loves birds and trees and wants to meet her uncle. Clearly, Maddy had the best female part in this one, but I have no idea how they’re gonna deal with a kid part in this if no kids audition for this. Also, Maddy seemed a bit too sophisticated for seven, so I would say to age her up a bit... but yeah, nobody here should be doing this one.
Anyway, to be fair, Rodney did have me read Maddy and then Erin the mom, but he never even got my name, much less contact info, and spent the rest of the time chatting with his blonde buddy. Catherine lives in Sacramento and he was interrogating her about whether or not she could make it to rehearsals and she basically said she can’t even do rehearsal very often “but just trust me!” and he was all, “You have to read with other people SOMETIME.” Now, I can see why she’d audition for this if it’s only about a 4 week rehearsal time and “it’s only one weekend, I can do that,” but if you can’t even do a few rehearsals for a month, maybe you can’t do shows (which is why Redhead Sarah isn’t doing any any more)? Or should do them in Sac? I dunno on the wiseness of casting this girl, but clearly it’s not gonna be my problem to deal with.
* Niceness of director: 4, mutually unimpressed with each other there.
I really wished I could have had a nice post audition gossip afterwards with Scott and Cameron about this outside (as we tend to do), but he kept on going because there were more guy parts to read for, she and I were out of parts to read for, it was raining out, and hell with it, I just left. Sigh.
Anyway...for the record, he always pays attention to her first and not to me (though she and I were hanging out together chatting about yarn and Star Wars and going, “Where is Scott?” when he walked in), it’s very hierarchical. I will also point out that when greeting her, he has to stand from a distance and wave because she is not a hugger, but then he hugged me. Seriously, if the guy’s love language is touching (which is obvious), how the hell would this work with her? Just saying. I felt like that moment summed it all up, really.
Oh, and she is going to go to the cast party this time, so...more of the same there, I assume. Sigh.
I also showed him and her and Kristine the Baby Yoda I was making, which got various reactions of “cute!” from the girls and laughter from Scott.
They said we could come back tomorrow if we like, I don’t think I see the point though. I think I will stay home and make more Baby Yodas. We’ll see if anyone wants me after night 2.
Oh, and I finished Baby Yoda!