Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Wallowing in the Moment

Every student on a "performance track" in both the UH undergraduate and graduate theater programs auditioned for the fall season, with callbacks to follow over the next three nights.  In mine, I got into trouble by overcorrecting for the biggest problem with my "Big Ten," with which I failed to make any kind of visceral connections.  So, I threw myself into the scene, with this piece, and as always happens, the forward drive of the piece petered out while I ambled along connecting with the imagery and event of the scene--that is, I was 'smelling the roses'--so I got called for "time" a full two sentences from the end.   So, as the piece went, it didn't have an ending and the tempo and forward drive petered away the fascination an audience member might well have for the character i was working to inhabit.

Walking into place I was working to make a good picture by finding an aligned, centered profile, undisturbed by odd tricks one's hand and arms can play on an actor in this position.   When I said, "Hi, I'm David Millstone," I hoped to show that I was genuinely present, not skittering through on adrenaline.    I almost did what I wanted, but not quite.  I thought sure as hell I'd not start talking before my body fully came to face the audience, but, nope, once again--I scooped.

When the timer called "time" I felt the small shock of dread, not much in it self, but enough to disturb my "outro," which was polite, but suddenly clipped as my eyes couldn't quite stay off the floor.  A fault I'd watched 25 freshman actors make just the day before in their own audition.

UPDATE:  This audition was even worse than the above post lets on.  It was a real crash-and-burn catastrophe.  "Over-thinking it" seems to be my root sin, though the lack of focus I mentioned in an earlier post is as much to blame.  This would not be the first time that I've had to 'fail' first, before being able to collect my energies to take on a task with the right energy.  Often, I need the 'worst that could possibly happen' to happen, so I can get by it.

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