I’ve just come home from my first audition in nearly a year and I can safely say that a new era in theatre has begun for it no longer matters.
Mind you, that’s not a negative statement. This has actually been the moment I’ve been fighting to reach for years. The moment where I could enjoy theatre in its fullest. The moment where getting cast was no longer a dire necessity. The moment where winning and losing no longer matter.
Don’t get me wrong. I still hope to do as much theatre as I can handle, but I’m no longer going to be devastated if I don’t get cast. The Miracle Show aka Leaving Iowa has forever transformed my outlook on theatre.
I auditioned for the Omaha Playhouse’s production of Boeing, Boeing under the direction of Carl Beck in his final solo directing project. (He’ll co-direct Young Frankenstein: The Musical with Susie Baer-Collins as their swan song as both are retiring at the end of the season). The thrust of the play focuses on Bernard, an American architect living in Paris and his old friend, Robert. Bernard is engaged to 3 airline hostesses who all fly different airlines and routes which is how he’s able to juggle the three relationships. Robert’s arrival to visit Bernard coincides with the airlines beginning to use the much faster Boeing airplane which now means that all of Bernard’s fiancées are going to be at his home at the same time and hilarity ensues.
It was a fairly good crowd with 17 people showing up to audition. It was certainly a fine “Welcome Back” to the theatre world as I found myself facing some very heavy hitters on the community theatre circuit. Among them were:
Nick Zadina, a versatile performer who can handle comedy and drama with equal aplomb
Anthony Clark-Kaczmarek, a top notch comedic actor who is highly experienced in farce
Monty Eich, a talented funnyman and a founding member of the Weisenheimers, an Omaha improv troupe
I was honored to be able to test myself against these guys and I’m proud to say that I was more than up to the task of holding my own with them. It became quite clear early on, that the 4 of us were the frontrunners along with another young man whom I’d never seen before. He was a little slow getting out of the gate, but once he got going, he gave a pretty impressive audition and I hope to see him continue in theatre.
The five of us were the only people who were called up to read multiple times and none of us were able to really gain an advantage on the others. At one point or another we all shined, so it’s really going to boil down to who comes to the second round tomorrow and the uncontrollable factors that Carl needs for these characters. Although, he hasn’t done it the last few times I’ve auditioned for him, there is a possibility that callbacks may be needed. I really wish there was more flexibility in the casting because all of us would fill the roles nicely.
I was particularly pleased with my two takes as I made Bernard slightly prickish and I made Robert a timid, Nervous Nelly. I felt good, relaxed, and at peace and I believe those qualities communicated themselves. More importantly, I didn’t treat the audition like a competition. I was able to sit back and really appreciate the work the other performers were doing.
Honestly, I felt a bit like a director myself, as I started piecing together who might work well where and with whom. It was interesting seeing the whole for the first time and trying to put the puzzle pieces together to come up with the ideal cast. It truly is a difficult process.
For the first time in years, I’m going to sleep peacefully without concerns of whether I get cast or not. If I do, great, I look forward to the adventure. If not, it isn’t the end of the world. There will always be another show. I now know who I am as an actor and the peace of mind that comes with that is a far greater prize than all the future roles I’ll earn. And that is why. . .
It no longer matters.