Monday, March 21, 2011

Titus Andronicus: To Be or Not to Be

(yes, I went there)

I guess it seems silly to have written a web log entry on paper before typing it into the computer. I know it seems strange to me, like I'm committing some breach of style (the MLA kind, not the fashion kind). I'm from a pen-and-paper generation, though. Truly enough, I first learned to navigate the Internet (in exciting new HTML!) at the age of about fourteen, but when friends and I needed to say something (not yet "sth"), we didn't send text messages. We passed notes, called each other on landline home phones or visited each other. There's a certain internal editorial power wielded through setting pen to paper, a power bled dry by constant instant communication.

That's the reason for being a physical writer--not a typist composer--but a writer. The honest reason for this particular pre-written web log entry is simpler and more urbane than that--I needed to vent before I could get to a computer.

Today (now yesterday) I auditioned for a show called Titus Andronicus. You either know it or you don't, and if you don't, you should look into it because you don't know what you're missing. At any rate, after a couple of days spent memorizing a pieced-together monologue (from Queen Margaret in Richard III), asking questions about it to understand it better, practicing my delivery and being struck with frightened nervousness for a few hours before the audition, I finally let loose, my anxiety getting the better of me at moments. I'll admit, I'm not top-shelf stuff, but I've improved a great deal over several years.

To my disappointment, I discovered directly after auditioning that the producers experienced such an anaemic turnout that they were very seriously considering canning the show. Gut Punch #1. Shortly after that, I learned that the role I really wanted, which I didn't have great confidence of getting but which still helped to convince me to bring a competitive spirit to the audition, had been promised to another actress. Gut Punch #2. In the end, Gut punch #1 is the kick in the ovaries. "Sorry, you can't even be cast as Roman Citizen #4 because the people who want to do this aren't capable of increasing their numbers by asexual reproduction." I at least wanted to believe that my fruitless audition was a good one, to take it away as a small consolation prize. A friend told me that, more or less, my piece was dominated by nervousness and sounded of loud bursts of lines. I know I was nervous, but c'mon?

I'm not rancorous; again, I'm disappointed. This isn't like high school, where I (with some decent acting experience) get passed over for any sizable part in a production that is fairly innocuous in the long run in favor of someone prettier and/or more well-liked. This is real adult theatre, for fun and for art. The play is not likely to happen at all, and even were it to occur, the choice role would have already gone to a hand-picked actress. At least allow me the comfort of my pretty folly that I fairly kicked ass in my audition.

Did I kick ass in my audition? I don't know. I'm not very good at judging myself. It's always pathetically black or white--either I was gold or shit. Would I have chased Tilda Swinton out of the top spot, assuming we were coeval and alike in appearance? Well, I'm not a moron. Did I earn myself some kind of slot in a play that I've wanted to do ever since I first saw it? I'd like to think so. Allow me my pretty folly.

I've been passed over before, sometimes even by people less talented than me. In this case, everyone's been passed over. Sometimes liking something great puts you squarely in the minority.

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