To paraphrase Frank Sinatra:
If I can’t make it here, I can’t make it anywhere.
There were about 23 of us at the first audition, for I don’t know how many parts. I saw the audition call on the Medicine Hat Musical Theatre website, and was excited by the possibility of dancing again… especially on a stage, in a production of Footloose! I rented the movie (double feature with Flashdance! Yo!) and figured that I had the dynamic dancing style that they would want, as long as I didn’t have a singing part. Besides, Footloose is really about DANCE, not about singing, right?
I realized there would be trouble when they handed me a form to fill out, and it asked for my Musical Theatre Experience. Huh.
Actually, I realized there would be trouble when I walked in and noticed that the ratio was 18 high school kids, to 4 fifty-somethings, to me.
Anyway, I put my dance background down on the form. (I should have mentioned that that I was a paperboy AND a schoolboy in the St. Marguerite’s stunning 1988 production of Oliver.) I also said that I was aiming for dancer/chorus. (I should have put “willing to lip-sync” on there too.)
We were numbered and sorted into 2 groups. Group A started with the singing, Group B started with the dancing.
Lucky me, I was Group A. We went into another room, and the first person got up to sing. Eep. With only one exception (guess who?), everyone sang showtunes, and beautifully, with near-professional voices, gestures, etc. In short, they performed the hell out of them. I was literally shaking from head to toe when I got up, and gave a brief disclaimer: that I’d only sung by myself in public once before, and I had been drunk (the rest of the karaoke nights, I’ve done duets, also drunk), and that I had ‘prepared’ Leaving on a Jet Plane.
Well, it didn’t sound BRUTAL (to me), but my voice was shaky, I was way out of my league in there, and I know I had terrible stage presence/looked like I was about to fall over from fright/vomit.
Now, I’m not saying that everyone in Medicine Hat can sing unbelievably well. I’m saying that auditioners #1-14 and 16-23 do.
See, I get nervous for dance auditions, too, but at least I have that “maybe I’m ok at this” feeling when I walk in, even if it turns into “why did I think I could dance?” after. This was just pure dread, in an “I can’t sing, I KNOW I can’t sing, and now I have to show everyone else here that I can’t, because maybe they don’t know yet” way.
Well, they know now.
After the last vocal virtuoso brought the house down, we switched groups, and learned a little 6 8-count dance, fairly straightforward, and quite similar to Renegades style (and no pirouettes!). Without exaggerating, I can admit that I kicked a$$ at the dance – I was performing, I was on, I was sassy. It was nice to see the director, who had been looking at me with pity before, smile and wink at me while I was performing, so that’s something!
My only hope was that the next night’s crop of auditioners didn’t produce a singer AND a dancer…maybe I’d have a chance!
So, call-backs were mid-May, and the final casting would be done by the end of May.
The phone call came last night.