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The Tom Cherry Experience

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Standing Room Only

So I went down to the Civic for the general auditions today and the place was swarming with kids and teenagers. Besides One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, they were also casting for Godspell and Anne of Green Gables. I was late so I ended up having to wait a bit before my name was called. I spent my time trying to lock up my monologue into my memory. I chosen a piece from a play by Lillian Hellman called The Autumn Garden. I originally wanted to do something by David Mamet, but I was too lazy to go to the library so I ended up finding what I needed on-line. The monologue starts with this line: "I live in a room and I go to work and I play a game called getting through the day." After I read that opener, I realized I had my piece. It was so relatable!

While waiting around the box office as stage moms and their brood roamed about, I noticed a script for a musical called Smoke on the Mountain was just sitting on the counter. Bored with forced memorization, I decided to read the script and it wasn't too bad. It was about a family of gospel singers performing at a Southern Baptist church during the Great Depression which reads more amusing than it sounds. The musical was written by actress Connie Ray who I remember as the mom on the short-lived sitcom, The Torklesons (Anybody remember that one besides me?). Connie Ray has a special place in my heart because I can do a kick ass impression of her voice. On the show, she had a pleasingly Southern accent that I can match to a tee. I used her voice when I auditioned for Greater Tuna awhile back and it still lingers in my catalogue of voices that I keep in my head.

Finally, my time comes and I do my bit. It helps that I'm auditioning in front of some people I know (Hello, Judy! Hello, Jerry!) so I'm not a bundle of nerves as I stand on the stage. It doesn't go as smoothly as I hoped, but it's nothing embarrassingly bad either. I make callback and soon I'm sitting in the Studio theatre with some familiar faces (Hello, Joe!). Everybody gets a chance to read some lines from the play and we improvise a couple scenes. As usual, I feel slightly awkward at first, but I loosen up more as we progress. Soon the director tells us he's seen enough and we're officially done. It'll probably be a couple weeks before final casting is completed, but I walked out of the theatre feeling pretty pleased with what I done. It's been awhile since I last played make believe with some other people and I had fun doing it today. All in all, not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

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