#25 auditioning by my own free will

i took a performing arts class in the eighth grade. we were required to audition for the school play by singing rather moving renditions of "where is love?" from oliver! i wanted to play the artful dodger - he was funny and charming and, well, artful! instead i was cast as oliver, who is nervous and wussy and monosyllabic except when he's singing. always singing. freaking oliver.

fast forward to today. first of all, looking back, i'm really glad i was cast as oliver. it's much more fun to tell people i was oliver in oliver! than it would be to say i was dodger in oliver! people instantly think i was the lead. i wasn't really. second of all, i still love musicals. i'm no actress, but there are a few roles i know i could do well and love if given the chance and a little help: little sally in urinetown, lucy in you're a good man, charlie brown, and logainne schwartzandgrubenierre in 25th annual putnam county spelling bee. (basically, i'd like to act like a child.) therefore, when the opportunity to audition for spelling bee at a small community theater in virginia beach arose, i knew i needed to carpe diem my way over there. i figured i would either a) totally bomb and be humiliated and have excellent blog fodder or 2) i'd get to be in a fun show!

the audition notice said for girls to prepare two one minute songs - a belting song and a ballad. for the belting song, i wanted to do something funny and a bit childish, so i picked "shy" from once upon a mattress. i listened to it for the first time on monday and learned the words and rehearsed it over and over and over in the car and a bit at home. for the ballad, i wanted to simply find a not love song, since the kids in spelling bee don't really fall in love. finding a not love ballad is tricky, but i settled on "home" from beauty and the beast. i have been rehearsing that song since 1997, when it came out on classic disney volume 4, so i didn't spend much time on that.

when i arrived at the audition, it seemed like everyone knew each other. that made me super nervous, and i briefly considered making a run for it. i stayed though. then i found out that we would all be watching each other audition. that made me yet more nervous, and i again entertained the thought of bolting. i stayed though. we went in and the first few people went. i won't go into detail about other people's auditions for various reasons, but there was one guy who forgot his words, and i thought "well, my acting might not be great, and my voice isn't amazing, but at least i'll remember the words."

oh, me.

the director called my name (well, kind of."emily...faaah. uhhh. how do you say your name?) i got up there and sang two lines of "shy" and promptly forgot the rest of the words. i laughed it off, threw out a "15 years since being on stage!" and continued from behind the piano. i wasn't quite as humiliated as i thought i would be, but it was fairly embarrassing. it helped that the other forgetter went before me though - kind of lessened the blow. then i sang "home" and that went fine. i thought of california. my eyes brimmed. i'm sure everyone was just so moved and went home and cried themselves to sleep.

next was the cold reading. this was just fun. also, there was another emily auditioning, and the director started referring to me as "red dress emily" (the dress is really more of a pink, but i wasn't going to argue), and for some reason, "red dress emily" made me feel a little more pizazzy than just plain emily. don't worry - just plain emily who was standing beside me did not need extra pizazz. she was super talented.

in conclusion, i had an thoroughly entertaining evening for just the cost of some sheet music. 

stay tuned for my next first, which is "going to a callback." because i got one of those. get excited. the director didn't indicate which role i was being called back for, but they're all pretty great, so i'm happy. even if i don't get in, at least i didn't completely suck. holler.


  1. wo! congrats on the call back! i wish there was video attached of you performing these songs - or better yet, i wish i could have been there to see your audition, cause then i'd be there to see you.

  2. goodness now this was quite a step!...many many points for bravery AND for realizing that you could DO this;)... let's see what happens, it'll be fun!
    love you and are very proud of you...(never heard THAT before...) xoxo