Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I will be singing scene 9

My sister, who is also a young actress, told me a remarkable story about auditioning and I just had to share it. We've all been there. Sort of.

My sister is truly terrified of singing.. The first time in her adult life that she had to sing a song for an audition was during her second year of college when she was applying for the British American Drama Academy in London. She lost a great deal of sleep knowing that she would need to sing alone in a room with three people staring her in the face, and could not for the life of her come up with a song that did not feel terribly embarrassing. She finally decided it would be best to just pick a song that she loved, so she settled on a selection from her favorite musical Phantom of the Opera. She grew up listening to the CD, and pretty much knew the show by heart. She knew she wasn’t a strong enough singer to do one of Christine’s solos, so she decided the best thing to do would be to sing a selection sung by the Phantom, Christine and Raul together. Once she began practicing, she realized it might get a bit confusing for the auditors. So she went out and bought a phantom mask and two hand puppets: a ballerina for Christine (for obvious reasons) and a cop for Raul (because that was the only choice other than a farmer puppet). About a half hour before the audition, she went into the room and realized she didn’t know the song title because she had only been practicing from my memory, not from the book. She called our mother and had her hunt down the CD we had at home to find the title of the selection. It took her a few moments, but finally she said, “Here it is Briana. It’s called Scene Nine, Beyond the Lake.” That’s when she realized she had not chosen a song; She had chosen a scene. When she got to my audition, she carried her props inside a plastic bag and set them in a back corner of the room. After her monologues, when the auditors asked to hear her sixteen bars, she ran to the corner and retrieved her mask and puppets. As she did this, she recalls them looking a bit worried and confused. There were a few moments of silence while she put on the mask, which was broken by them asking, “What song are you singing today?” She answered as confidently as she could, “I will be singing Scene 9. Beyond the Lake.” She sang the selection and when she finished there was a moment of silence in the room. She then decided to explain by saying, “I could only find a cop and a farmer,” in case their confusion was in regards to Raul being a police officer. There were a few more beats of silence before the Dean said, “We ask each actor to sing so that we might see a different side of them, and I suppose you have done that…” Then they thanked her and she left.