Monday, 17 September 2012

When Divas don't call it.

I ended the previous blog entry on a meaningful ellipse...  As I was going on holiday that very Monday morning for a week I was assuming that I wouldn’t have much to post about this Monday . I assumed that I would just blog about the second audition I had had that week. I assumed incorrectly.

To get back to what I was intending to blog about today, the auditions I had attended now a week and a half ago were spread over two days. On the Thursday I did the cowgirl audition. On the Friday I auditioned to be a showgirl for the same advert. At least here they were choosing seven girls, and not just one. Any amount more than one usually gives one a lot of hope. So I headed off to the shows girls audition with a lot of optimism. Which was later dashed on on a diva's ego.

I found the venue for this audition, which was different to the first due to the nature of the audition, and the need for the appropriate floor which was not carpeted. When we had arrived we were told to get ourselves into groups of four. They started playing “And all that jazz” from the musical Chicago and we were told to create choreography in our groups of four. I stumbled into a group of three, and another dancer I didn’t know, named Tanya, made us four. Now, Tanya seemed very sure of herself, and in control. In short, rather dictating in this process of creating choreography for an audition all of us wanted. And wanted badly considering the percentage we would be getting for royalties. Now, to look good, one usually supports each other so that the entire group looks good. That’s what dancers do. Apparantly. 

When the groups started performing for the camera the casting agent suddenly announced to all that she required high kicks in our routine. It would have been quite useful to know this before the time so we could have choreographed them in. We quickly talked within the group and a hasty decision was made to work in the kicks at the end. We listened to the music to see how this might fit. Tanya had a problem with the timing. Tanya also had a problem with how long we should wait to start and where we should all be standing. It was handled. We listened as the next group performed to make sure everything would fit in with the music. We weren’t told precisely how many bars to choreograph, so we finished when our time to choreograph was finished. Tanya wanted to add more choreography. The other three of our quartet all put our T-barred feet down firmly. “Let’s rather to what we have well, then do a long piece which is ineffective and gets sloppy toward the end”.

Tanya agreed. Verbally.

We took our turn in front of the camera. The smiles and showmanship which were drilled into me from years of performing and experience came through, although the spacing was off I kept up with the decided routine, and then we hit the final pose, which I kept for a moment as is customary. I was on the end, looking away from the group, when I recovered Miss Tanya was soloing away, the other two were hitting poses, I was still standing still.
“Oh heck” was all I thought before I my body took over automatically and started hitting poses until the casting director finished the music. It felt like forever, but couldn’t have been more than 3 counts of 8. Miss Tanya finished her solo in the centre of the group striking a pose on the floor. I contained my rage, as invisibly as I could. Picked up my things with the rest of the quartet and headed for the exit. I was furious. I felt like an idiot.
As I walked out Tanya greeted, rather cheerfully and obviously chuffed with herself, having shown herself off as she did and headed out. The other two girls of our quartet looked at meaningfully, and one released a comment: “I can’t believe she did that. She literally pushed me out of the way”

The first thing I think I felt was relief. Relief that I hadn’t missed something, and relief that I wasn’t the only one who thought that the diva moment was fiercely inappropriate. And as usually happened, once an emotion is shared somewhere the logic kicks in.

“They won’t pick her. The casting agent will realise that we were supposed to finish and that she just carried on to upstage us. They won’t pick. She’s acting like a diva and she doesn’t even have the role yet. There’s no way they will take her” I said firmly, and hoped even harder. The other two laughed and we melted into conversation about how stupid we felt when we realised what was happening, how we all switched to auto pilot and how we all regretted it, and that next time we would walk off and let that person look like the idiot they were being.

Despite my own words, and the change in mood I was needless to say not exactly over-confident in my performance or my chances after the misadventure with Tanya. Hence my surprise when I say my agent’s name flashing on my phone as it wringed on Tuesday afternoon as I sat next to the pool at Sun City. My agent usually only calls when there’s big news. I dared to hope slightly.

“You have a call back. Its tomorrow morning. I’ll send you the email with specific information now. You need to choreograph two sets of eight”
I didn’t even need to wonder. I was definitely not receiving a call back for the damsel cowboy if I had to choreograph two sets of eight. I scoured the email with all the other names of the girls who had received call backs for the audition. There was no 'Tanya' on the list.

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