|Posted by Mary Randolph on February 16, 2011 at 7:20 PM|
Whew. I would have to say these were the most grueling auditions ever. It occurred to me this morning when I was watching The Bachelor on Hulu (I don't watch it all~I skip to the end of the dates and to the rose ceremony) that the audition process is kind of like this show. Now stick with me here...On The Bachelor, the title character gives roses to the women with which he thinks he might have a future. Ok, so maybe he just thinks they're hot, but let's say, for argument's sake that it's because he wants to find true love. The bachelorettes left empty-handed after the rose ceremony~that's what they call it. Really~ have to pack their bags and their pride, leave the fairy tale, and go back to their real lives. As fewer and fewer women are left, the decision becomes more and more difficult for the hopeful groom.
Sometimes the choice just comes down to chemistry.("Chemistry? Yeah chemistry!" cue the consummate bachelor, Sky Masterson.) The other women may have been wonderful, but that connection just wasn't there~or wasn't as strong as the connection with, say, the petite blonde with the gap between her teeth that makes a cute whistling sound every time she laughs.
I could have cast this show about 3 different ways. However, I'm confident that the cast of women I've chosen are the best choices to bring my vision of Agnes of God to the stage. A few auditioners were my friends, all talented women. And I would have loved it if it was a match and I could have cast them. It all came down to chemistry. And, as a director, I have to trust my instinct, even if it means that people I care about don't get a rose.
I don't mean to sound~well~dramatic. I mean, after all, when all is said and done, it' is just a show in a small theater in Pittsburgh; but to those of us whom love theater and have dedicated ourselves to the craft, it is our passion. So, maybe it sounds silly to someone not involved with theater to hear us get so worked up over "just a show." And it certainly is healthier to remind ourselves that it's all just make-believe; but to many a performer director, and technician, it's an affair of the heart and soul. Be it acting, singing, dancing, directing, or building the set, or lighting the stage, we are filled with cautious exhilaration as we embark on a love affair with our cast mates, director, stage manager, technicians, and finally each and every member of an audience. We become vulnerable and yearn for acceptance and approval. When the audience laughs or cries with us, when they show their appreciation by applauding our efforts, we become almost giddy with delight. When a show closes, we need time to mourn the loss.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could feel passionate about every thing we do in life? If we could greet each day with fervor and lust for life, for our jobs, for our relationships? If we opened our eyes each morning and stepped onto that stage we call life and bask in the ardor of the breaking day? With each new show, we performers and directors and technicians get to fall in love all over again. To feel the flutter and flush of a budding romance and new adventure. Maybe I'm exaggerating; but I think not. At least that's how it is for me. And that's why I take what I do so seriously. Why, as an actor and singer I put myself out there for dissection during an audition, why, during a performance, I bare my soul in front of people I don't know, or, more terrifying, people I do; and that's why, as a director, I spend sleepless nights contemplating who gets the final rose. Silly you say? Maybe. But, maybe it's just that you've never been in love.