Yesterday I was cast in my first off-Broadway play (in TIMES SQUARE!), and I turned it down. It was a last minute fill in for a small role in a 10 minute play that was showing amongst 5 others as a showcase. A few lines, a few minutes on the stage . . . could have changed my life, but I doubt it.
One of the things I am grateful for - having begun this adventure at a more 'experienced' point in my life - is that I have learned to trust my instincts.
I submitted and was cast directly from my photo - due to the time constraints I am assuming - the show runs this week-end. I was asked to come to a rehearsal last night and, when I emailed asking for more information on the project, the director responded by saying 'all of the information you need is in the breakdown.' Most people who are actively auditioning know that you may submit yourself for anywhere from 25-30 projects per week and you don't usually have the energy to memorize the details for each. I have started to paste the details of the project into the body of the email I send if it is a direct email submission (which it usually is not). Mandy.com sends you an email with the post, but if they remove the post then all you have is the character description. Anyway - it sounds like i am making excuses, but I am doing this to illustrate the nuances of the power struggle that often occurs in non-professional situations - which this email demonstrated - was going to be from the start.
I decided to go anyway - even though I had had class, a lunch meeting, and an audition just prior (this may not seem like much, but I am still learning to navigate the city). Each of which required a trip to either 34th street or 12th so I am getting to know these areas well. The last two days have been really exhausting - so by the time I got to them at the New School (another reason I decided to go - I was hoping they were going to usher me into a taping of Inside the Actors Studio) I was worn out. Oh - did I mention that AFTER I texted him to let him know the audition had run long (they kept me in the room for 15 minutes - I'm pretty sure we shot the whole short while I was there) then he texted me back to let me know they had changed locations to the East side - I was on the West of course. No big deal, but another sign of an un-organized group.
Once I arrived he started to launch into the details of the role (the name of the character he wasn't entirely sure of). I interrupted him and asked him to please tell me the times of the performances and rehearsals (the dress would be my first time actually rehearsing). When he did I realized that two of the shows conflicted with my Strasberg classes. I told him. He then said to me 'You didn't know this when you read the breakdown?' to which I responded 'I did not know the times - which is why I emailed you asking for more information.'
If this were ten years ago I would have done anything to get on stage. Today I feel I have learned the difference between those who are legit and those who are not. Not to say that this person won't have a great career in community theatre, or may even become a sub-par agent or manager (seems to be the place where abusers like to hide - the good ones are wonderful and truly respect the craft of the actor, but the bad ones are only in it to belittle others and aggrandize their fragile egos and don't last very long). Even if he does become something really big in the industry - that doesn't mean I have to work with him or anyone else who does not seek to elevate and create. Success lies in the journey, not the destination - and I won't sacrifice my joy for anything.
On a more positive note - I got a call back for the NYU comedic film for this Thursday. I liked those guys and it was a fun audition. Fingers crossed!
'As you grow older, you stand for more and fall for less.'