When God Closes a Door…

2 Sep

5 points to the first person to correctly finish the quote, name the movie, and name the song that follows.  (I’ve missed you Anymommy!!)

One of the things that made this summer so difficult was a personal disappointment that I endured.  (Do you endure a disappointment? Or do you sustain it, like an injury?  Whatever.)  One of the theaters in town holds a “season audition” each summer.  You go, sing your songs, do a little dance, and then they call you back for more auditions if they are interested in casting you in one of the shows.  This season is 5 musicals and a straight show:  Evita, Christmas Carol, Beehive, Curtains, Music Man, and Boeing Beoing.

First, some background.   I am INSANE about audition preparation.  This is my livelihood right now, so I don’t blow it off.  I look at the shows they are casting, and choose songs accordingly.  (FYI – you don’t generally sing a song from the show you’re auditioning for until the callback.  In a first audition you pick a song from another show that is similar in style and range.)  I choose an outfit and hairstyle that complement the character for which I’m auditioning.  I read the shows, listen to the music, etc, so that I can speak intelligently about the show/role if asked.  All of that said, I take an emotional risk every time I prepare for an audition, because I put a lot of heart and soul into it, yet there  is a pretty good chance that I won’t be cast.  It’s a fairly big pond here in San Antonio…LOTS of talented ladies.  Nevertheless, my philosophy is that if I am as prepared as I can be, I won’t have regrets.  Also, I like to think that more preparation equals less nerves, although I’m not sure that theory has proven itself.

Of all the shows that the Playhouse is doing this season, I was most interested in Evita.  What an amazing role:  challenging music, ridiculous acting, and a tango.  What’s not to love?  I knew the competition would be fierce, and I started preparing more than a month before the audition.  I chose the perfect audition song, plus I prepared two songs from the Evita score after being told the director would want to hear them.  This is NOT easy music, and I worked every single day.  I familiarized myself with the character, the show, the time, the place, everything.  I was more prepared for this audition, both vocally and mentally,  than I have ever been in my life.

The night of the audition came – I was number 22.  My biggest competition?  Number 21.  Out of 130 people…what are the odds?  This meant that we sang back to back and also danced right next to each other.  INTENSE!!!  We were both called back to audition specifically for the role of Eva Peron the next night. 

I didn’t sleep…I tried to eat…it was a nerve-racking 24 hours.  We came back the next night for part deux.  We had been asked to arrive at 9 pm, but to be prepared to wait because they had to finish all of another audition before we could start.  We chatted nervously, and paced alot, and tried to keep our voices warm.  Two hours later, at 11 pm, we finally started;   pretty late, but my adrenaline was flowing and I was just glad to get it over with.  (Did I mention that for all the preparation,  I HATE doing the actual audition?)  It was tough.  We were in the theater, which was empty except for the directors and two other actors singing for other roles.  She was called first; she took the stage and absolutely rocked the two songs.  My heart sank.  It’s not that I didn’t want her to do well, but I knew I had my work cut out for me.  I tried to fight away the thoughts of insecurity.  I gave myself a pep talk (where was my Dad when I needed him?) and then it was my turn.  I breathed slowly as I climbed the stairs, telling my heart to stop with the pounding and my legs to stop with the shaking. I knew I needed to exude confidence and show a ton of stamina.  I started singing, but right away I knew – my voice just wasn’t having it.  I was tired, and it showed.  And every time I heard myself sing a note that wasn’t perfect that little voice in my head started lecturing me “You’re not gonna get the part singing like that” and it just got worse.  Now honestly, if any of you had been sitting in the theater, you probably wouldn’t have heard any major flaws, but I knew they were there, and I knew that anything less than my very best wasn’t going to land this role.  There were other facets of the audition that I did really well; I know acted the hell out of it.   But vocally it just wasn’t my night. 

The director was extremely complimentary to both of us, and let us know that he would call us the next day with his decision.  I felt good, but not great.  There are tons of intangibles that go into a casting decision – maybe one of those would work in my favor.  I drove home.  I didn’t sleep… I tried to eat…

The call came at 7 pm the next day, one of the longest days in recent memory.  “Hi Katy, this is Bill.  I just want to let you know that we’ve decided to go with Beth.  You were fabulous, I wish I could use both of you…”  

Crushing disappointment.

Tears.  Tears.  More tears. 

Deep pain.  The kind that took my breath away.  The kind that made me never want to try again. 

But that’s the thing with acting.  It’s a million disappointments for every one success.  And I knew it going in; I told myself not to get my hopes up, not to count on it.  But in spending all that time preparing I had to see myself AS Eva.  I had to focus on the goal; it was a risk I had to take. 

And I’ll do it again.  And again.  Because that’s what it takes. 

I accepted a role in the chorus of Evita, but as fate would have it, I got a call three days before we started rehearsals to audition for the lead role in a musical at another theatre.  After much back-and-forth on the moral dilemma of leaving one show to do another, I went to the audition and I am happy to report that I was cast as Judy/Ginger in Ruthless, The Musical.  I’ve been rehearsing for a week, and I couldn’t be happier.  It’s a great role in a fabulous show, I love the cast, and the director is amazing. 

He opened a window.

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3 Responses to “When God Closes a Door…”

  1. Allison September 2, 2009 at 8:00 pm #

    That would be Sound of Music and the song to follow is “I have confidence” 🙂 woohoo!!

    Sorry about your audition 😦 boo. But yay for the open window!!

  2. Patrick September 3, 2009 at 1:39 pm #

    Be sure to let me know the show dates. I’ll tray to schedule a work trip to SA around that time.

  3. anymommy September 5, 2009 at 4:06 pm #

    I don’t know the answer!! Bummer. But, I’m so very happy about your new role and that you climbed right through that open window.

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