Republic County Rehearsal
Well, I'm beat up today. I had to leave play rehearsal early to get to belly dance rehearsal on time and it was really hard to adjust from screaming and falling down every two seconds to trying to be all pretty and wiggly. But it is over now. Yay.

I am in debt to whoever invented the heating pad for were it not for him (or her), I would be much ouchier. I wonder if I can demand to be paid in painkillers. Ibuprofin can only do so much. My knees are throbbing and I have bruises all over my arms. This should make Friday interesting. Friday is Kat's wedding and I am in the ceremony, but I will also be dancing with The Tiger Lilies (the belly dance troupe I am in). Hopefully my bruised arms and knees won't be too gross to look at during the wedding. Ha!

Oh, I got my axe today! I had been doing the stage fights with a fighting stick, but since I'm Lizzie Borden I need an axe. The prop people made an awesome one, but it was still setting so I didn't get to use it much today. At least I know it will be there for me next time!

The fight scenes are getting better and better, I just suck at faking a punch. Always have, always will. The fact that I have the depth perception of a drunk Helen Keller does not help my cause. Nor does it help the cause of the person I am punching. Meh.

We have two weeks left until we open so hopefully everything will come together all cool-like by then. I am really exhausted now though. Also, fight rehearsals are making me hungrier more often. The only other thing I am worried about is that I will be wearing a dress during my fight scenes and I have only been wearing pants to rehearsals. Starting tomorrow all my costume stuff should be ready though so I am betting I will be able to start fighting using the dress, which should put an interesting spin on things.

That's it for now. I need video games and cookies. Stat!

Republic County Rehearsal & Headshots
Ouchie! :(

Today was entirely dedicated to fighting and I am really sore. Additionally, Saturday is a due date day for my online writing class so as soon as I am done posting here I need to get to work on writing an essay about ... something. Man, I should really read the assignments before they are due.

Anyway, rehearsal went pretty well and we got a lot of stuff accomplished. For some reason during one of my falls I braced myself with my wrist, which was a stupid idea. It immediately began to tingle and continued to do so for the duration of the rehearsal. Meh.

On a good note though, the blind backwards fall as been removed. I am ecstatic about this. It was the one spot where I felt like I had no control over what my body was doing. It felt unsafe for me and the girl I had to fall over. Now it has been revamped and I think it looks a lot cooler! Yay!

Yesterday I emailed my friend Emily. She is a photographer and she does really nice headshots. She has a $75 package that a few of my friends have gotten and I'm thinking about doing it. I have never had headshots before. Usually I just try to crop an old picture so that it doesn't look like I'm really at a restaurant or friend's house. I've decided that each time I don't get into a show that I audition for I'm going to try to do one thing that will make my audition better next time. This time it is headshots. Other ideas I have are new clothes, getting my hair done, voice lessons, and dance lessons (I currently take Egyptian belly dance but it is often advised that actors in musical theater take ballet, jazz and tap), I figure that with this plan each audition should (in theory) start to get a little bit better and more professional each time. Does anybody have any other ideas (no matter how little or big) that I could use? 

In a way it is almost like rewarding myself for a poor audition. However, I think the benefits of said rewards will help my cause immensely. It's not like I would purposefully do poorly at an audition because if I fail I win a new haircut! Or would I? Hmm... no, I don't think I would. I guess we shall see!

Probably not cast in Rent
About an hour ago my friend Adam posted on his Facebook that he will be in the ensemble and is understudying Roger in Stumptown Stages' production of Rent. I asked him when the theater contacted him and he said "this morning". So, it isn't looking too promising for me. I suppose there is always the possibility that they may call later in the day, but I highly doubt it. I am a little disappointed, but considering I had about 30 minutes of preparation and the fact that is was my first musical audition in several years, I suppose that I did pretty well. 

Republic County Rehearsal
Dresden Dolls
Just got home from another night of screaming and running around like a maniac. Everything went pretty smoothly. It's fun to think of new ridiculous ways to scream and just be plain weird. One of the actresses missed her cue to push me to the ground so I filled in the dead time with an impromptu tap dance... It's sad sometimes that you can't use all the silly mix ups and improvs during the actual show. I bet Lizzie Borden would have loved to tap dance! Is there any dance that is more American? Yeah, probably... square dance, hula, the "white guy" dance... those are all pretty American too.

Saturday's rehearsal will be dedicated solely to fighting, which is a good thing. It is a little rough having to do all the fight scenes repeatedly, but I know it's important and has to be done for everybody's safety (well that and so the show looks good).

I should theoretically be hearing some manner of answer from Stumptown Stages tomorrow regarding Rent, but often times when a theatre does not cast you nowadays they don't even bother to have the courtesy to tell you no. I think that is really rude; much ruder than giving the dreaded 'rejection phone call'. People make plans and schedules around shows, it's nice to not to have to put stuff on hold until you hear back from a theatre. It's also nerve wracking sometimes because you think to yourself "Maybe they didn't finish casting yet. I'll give them a couple of days." That eventually turns into "I wonder if they dialed the correct number. Should I call them?" Auditioning is like going on the scariest blind date ever. You usually have no idea who the hell these people are, but you have to be nice and try to make them like you in a short period of time. After that you have to adhere to these unspoken rules that usually no make no sense whatsoever.

I think that for the most part, the only time a theatre calls you later than they were supposed to is because they couldn't get a hold of someone they wanted to cast. Say they wanted Mrs.Mastadon to play the lead in "Bacon! The Musical", so they call her and leave a voicemail letting her know that she has gotten the lead. Perhaps you were the 2nd choice to play this role, but they don't want to call and tell you no yet because they aren't even sure if Mrs. Mastadon will accept the role. Maybe she has already decided to take a part in "iPhone, Claudius". So maybe Mrs. Mastadon does call them the night rehearsals are supposed to start and say "Yes! I'd love to play the titular role in your musical". Well, it would probably be a little moot at that point to call you and tell you that you did not get a part. No duh, you already started rehearsals!

Anyhoo - I'm overly caffeinated so I have no idea if my little rant makes any sense to anyone but me right now, but at least I wrote like I said I would!

Now it's time to play video games and relax!

Hey, I'm Ashly. I act and sing and stuff in Portland too and Ravyn wants me to do this, and I do what Ravyn says!

I am not currently auditioning as I am booked up for quite awhile (and extremely thankful about that), but I am going to post a story about the best audition I had recently.

I went in to audition for "The King and I" at Broadway Rose about six weeks ago. They had me sing my first song, then a second piece, and then the lady looked at my resume and said "Can I see this Ethel Merman impersonation?" I have that listed as one of my special skills. It generally only comes out at karaoke, in this act I do where I am possessed by the spirit of Ethel Merman, who then uses my body to drink whiskey, sexually harass people, and sing the pop hits of today. Some of her specialties are "Holy Diver" by Dio and "Hero" by Mariah Carey. Well, this nice lady asked and I obliged. I said "Just so you know, Ethel Merman likes to sing only the pop hits of today." They kind of giggled, and I burst into "Single Ladies" by Beyonce. They were totally cracking up but it was a little hard to tell if it was because they thought it was funny or if they thought I was completely off my rocker. I guess it was the latter because I got cast as one of the King's wives. Whether I'll be playing the part as myself or Ethel, I don't know yet.

Republic County Rehearsal
On Monday nights I have math class until 7:20 pm, so I get to rehearsal late. I am playing the axe murderer Lizzie Borden, but mostly what I do is scream in people's faces and fall down. Yep, every scene I am in is an elaborate fight scene. I've done stage combat before, but this is in a much smaller theater in a much closer proximity. Also, most of my experience with stage fighting has been in slapstick situations (I've even used an actual slap stick), so this has been a bit more challenging. One of my falls is a blind tumble backwards over another actress.

When I got to rehearsal tonight Act I was in full swing, and I had already missed my first two fight scenes. (Damn you, math class!) Luckily, we spent the rest of the rehearsal dedicated to running the fight scenes. It was probably the first fight rehearsal that was fun the entire time. I think we are getting more comfortable and less afraid that we are gonna smack each other in the face. Well... here's the thing: the other day, I accidentally DID smack an actress in the face. I was trying to fake a punch, open my hand to smack her hand, and then reform my hand into a fist in one swell super-move of awesomeness. Unfortunately, instead of thinking about where her hand was, I was worried about opening and closing my fist correctly and I totally swatted her on the end of the nose. She said it didn't hurt, but her eyes were watering, so it probably stung something fierce. Anyway, I think we all realized that even if someone does get hurt there isn't too much opportunity for them to get hurt severely, so we are probably worried about nothing. This actually seems to be making things safer too. Yay!

In all, it was both a productive and fun rehearsal. I spent lots of time figuring out new ways to scream and yell crazily, which definitely had its toll on my voice, but it was worth it.

The Audition Project

So I'm going to try an experiment. I'm going to audition for everything that I can and then write about it.

The Rules
1) I will check the Callboard every Monday morning to set up my auditions.
2) All auditions/performance must be within a 10 mile radius from my home.
3) If cast, I must accept any role and write after each rehearsal/performance.
4) I do not have to go to auditions that are in the middle of rehearsals or school (that would be ridiculous).
5) I do not have to go to auditions that have a conflicting performance schedule to a show that I am already in (rehearsal schedules may be a different story, as it seems like all the actors in Portland that I meet are in about three shows at once and I wanna see how the heck they do it!).
6) If for any reason, I am cast in two shows, I must accept the role in the show that offered first.
7) I do not have to auditions for choirs, orchestras or troupes. There is no way I am gonna try to be in like 6 choirs at once or something inane like that.

I will do my best to write about all the details of the auditions and welcome any feedback regarding clothing, audition pieces, or anything else that may pop up!

So, as it is Monday I will get cracking. I went to an audition yesterday, so first I'll write about that!

Sunday, April 11th
Show: Rent
Theater Company: Stumptown Stages
Audition Piece: Touch-a Touch-a Touch-a Touch Me from The Rocky Horror Show
Outfit: Black pinstripe pants, black empire waist shirt with see through bellsleeves, black skull socks and black chuck taylors.
Hair: Down with clips
Makeup: skyblue eyes with black eyeliner, foundation & lip gloss

Even though I had a belly dance rehearsal to get to at 3:30 pm, when I read in the call board that Stumptown Stages was putting on a production of Rent, I figured I should probably go. The audition notice asked for something 'in the style' of Rent, but as far as I can tell the only sheet music I have that meets that requirement is the actual Rent sheet music. Most of the sheet music I have is pretty over-the-top musical theater. Oklahoma! Jekyll & Hyde, Cinderella... that kind of stuff. And although I love rock operas, I don't have any of the sheet music. The main reason is that I am a terrible belter. I never got the hang of it and it just sounds silly to hear rock songs that normally are belted sung in a smooth, controlled voice (unless you are listening to Richard Cheese or Max Raabe).

When I called the theater to squeeze in an audition time, it was 12 pm and they set me up for 2:05pm. Another thing to note is that I have not auditioned for a musical since Toxic Avenger, which was like 5 years ago or something. The best I could do on such short notice was whip out my sheet music to The Rocky Horror Show. I had often sang "Touch-a Touch-a Touch-a Touch Me" at karaoke, but never with a live pianist or without a touch of liquid courage. Whatever. It was the best I could come up with.

Lawrence's keyboard is set up in the office, and all I wanted to do was play an E flat so I could make sure the key was right for me, but as soon as I pressed the red button that said "start" a cacophony of drum n' bass beats from 1985 blared from the speakers and almost made me pee my pants. I immediately pressed the button again and decided that I will never touch that thing again.

I resorted to going online to find a virtual keyboard to find my E flat, and as far as I could tell everything was as close to my range as I could hope for.

I headed over to Theater! Theater! on Belmont, listening to Modest Mouse, but trying to sing my song over the top of it. It sort of worked.

Once inside the building, I walked to the front desk to sign in and immediately heard a "Hi! How are you?" from behind me. It was my Group Vocal teacher from PCC. I should say my Group Vocal teacher from a class that I dropped after 2 sessions. She didn't refer to me by name, so I'm not sure if she knew where she remembered me from. I had remembered talking to her during one of her classes and she said that she was on the board of directors for Stumptown.

As I moved toward a random bench, a voice called out to me again, "Ravyn?!". I turned around to see Helena. She played the Minister in the production of Tommy that I directed. I was surprised to see her, but when I thought about it, I probably shouldn't have been. I don't think there is one Portland audition that I haven't seen her at! She certainly is one determined lady.

Helena got called in to audition in the middle of our reunion, so we quickly said goodbye and I resumed my seat on the bench. I could hear Helena's operatic voice from the lobby. She was singing Sensation from Tommy. I tried to eavesdrop on some auditioners' conversations but I think I started spying too late because I have no idea what the hell they were talking about; some manner of burlesque show I'd guess.

I was called directly after Helena, which I hope looks good because my name should also be on her resume as her former director. I handed my sheet music to the pianist, who happened to be wearing a Rocky Horror shirt. The song went okay. I had a little trouble with the timing because I kept forgetting that the pianist is supposed to be following me, not the other way around. I also had an annoying nervous knee that kept wobbling, but my nerves thankfully stayed mostly out of my voice. No cracks or anything embarrassing.

When I finished my 32 bars (actually 32 & 1/2, but don't tell), the director said, "Great job! That was fantastic" which I hope is something they don't say to everybody, because if it was that would kind of suck. He didn't mention anything about callbacks, but he said that they would be making a decision by Wednesday. Right then, my former teacher came in and sat down with the other 'judges'. I guess she had been on a food run so I have no idea if she heard any of my audition at all.

For the most part it was a pretty painless audition. I didn't have to wait around and everyone seemed to know what they were doing. The only thing that concerned me is that there was no discussion at any time with conflicts or even when rehearsals would be, besides from the fact that they were to start on a certain date. Republic County (the show that I am in right now) closes one weekend before Rent opens, so I don't know how that would work, especially since I have school in the evenings on Mondays and Wednesdays until June 9th. 

Today's Call Board
Comedy Of Errors - Portland Actors Ensemble - I cannot go to this audition because of Kat's wedding and Republic County rehearsals.
King Midas & Murder at the Orient Express - Beaverton Summer Theatre - Audition is during Republic County rehearsal
Present Laughter & Murder in Green Meadows - Magenta Theater - Theater is too far away
Lend Me a Tenor - Cascades Theater Company - Theater is too far away

That's it for now. I will try to be good and write an entry tonight after Republic County rehearsal.


Log in

No account? Create an account