Monday, 30 May 2016

My Brother's Show

Before boyfriends and husbands came to watch my shows and helped me pick out what to wear for auditions there was my brother. Who came to watch my shows and help me pick out what to wear for auditions. He also brought forgotten hairclips and shoes to theatre back doors. Brought home made macaroni and cheese to late night rehearsals and made many late night cups of tea and coffee as either he or I or both of us sat and worked. Last year he started coming into his own right as a performer.

I started going to his shows, arranging flowers for his accompanists and making sure that there was infused water after his exam performance. Last weekend I watched him perform what will be his last performance in his home town before he heads off to America to start his Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance at Missouri State University.

The concerts he held over two weekends were to raise funds for his studies across the ocean and on another continent. We always knew that he would relocate to the Northern hemisphere eventually. He’s wanted to be an opera singer for many years and has dedicated seven years of tertiary education to studying music and the voice. It has always been on the cards, but watching him perform and knowing that he is leaving soon made it so very real.

Theunis Botha will be hitting the American shores in July and I can’t wait to see the first video/live stream/youtube clip of whatever I can get my digitally inclined hands on of him performing there!

It was an honour being a stage-hand, video-coordinator and general gopher for my little brother. It was an honour to be the one sitting in the audience watching him do his thing. And a big thank you to my poor long-suffering husband for doing technical work for another Botha on the stage.

Monday, 23 May 2016

30 Minutes Played 3 Ways.

I’m always about 30 minutes early for an audition. It’s about one third a matter of etiquette, one third fear of traffic and one third trying to control how long I will wait. So I always arrive about 30 minutes early so that I am one of the first few ladies arriving for an audition, and I get to audition and be on my way. Just in case there are a 100 or so other ladies who want to the role. I’m not exaggerating. I’ve been to castings where more than 100 hopefuls pitch up for a handful of roles.

In the space of a week I had three auditions. All of which I arrived my usual 30 minutes early for. In the space of a week I went from vintage vixen to exercise girl to young unspecified professional. I also went from waiting an hour and a half  to start auditioning, to being done before the slot was set to start and being number 30 despite being 30 minutes early. You just never know.

Audition One: Vintage Vixen.

After arriving early I was fourth in the queue. I also had a headache which made seeing out of my left eye rather difficult. As I sat waiting with an ever growing number of ladies arriving we inevitably started chatting. It turned out that Number One and I were from the same agency. Number One also offered me a painkiller before my eye started watering. Maurtiz messaged me as I waited, asking me how it was going:

“We are still waiting to start, but I have a headache that’s making me spin.”

“Do I need to pick you up after your audition? Will you be able to drive?”

“I’ll be fine. One of the girls just gave me a pain killer”

“And you’re sure it’s not a roofie?”

I couldn’t help but laugh.

After being at the audition venue for two hours Number One went in. I followed shortly. Of course the day that I looked my best I had to crawl around on the floor to audition. As I left the queue of girls still waiting to audition kept on growing.

Audition Two: Exercise Girl.
30 minutes early I was number 30. The venue was crawling with girls in crop tops, hot pants and other over the top exercise gear. Despite the audition brief insisting on shorts, a t-shirt and sneakers. I was huddled into the first group of performers to audition. Thankfully we started early and despite being number 30 I was finished within an hour of the auditions starting.

I had to do an aerobics routine hitting specific emotions as I went. I left sweating. 

Audition Three: Young Unspecified Professional.

Upon arrival I was Number Three of four. The casting director is a lot of fun at this particular casting venue and was showing us clips of what he was watching while we waited to start. The audition didn’t require me to roll around on the floor, or run around the room. I left the casting at 12:10. As I left only 4 more girls had arrived. I called Mauritz as I walked out.

I look nice, I’m not sweaty or dirty and I’m finished for the day. Let’s do lunch.

Monday, 9 May 2016

Finding the Fun!

As actors we get our get our highs and lows. Part of the job is the quiet periods in between the jobs. And when you are an actor auditioning is part of the job. And it does become work sometimes. Like when you receive a full page monologue at five in the afternoon for an audition at nine the next morning and you spend half the night pacing up and down your living room learning technical jargon. Finding the fun can be hard sometimes.

“You need to stop taking it so seriously.”

My mother’s advice while we were on holiday.

“When was the last time you enjoyed an audition?”

Admittedly it had been a while.

“Just have fun with it.”

When I saw Mauritz for lunch after an audition last week he asked me how it went:

“Uhm. I think I blew it, but I actually enjoyed auditioning this time. Which is good.”

During the audition the casting director had asked me if I’d ever seen a kid throw a tantrum in public sphere. The youngest kid in my family is currently in his second year at varsity and only one of my friends has a daughter. She has yet to reach the terrible twos. I froze a little:


The guy auditioning with me had. I kicked myself a little for not just saying that I had. But despite this, I had fun. I had auditioned with someone comfortable and professional and we had made the casting director laugh.

A few days after the audition my agent called.

I was first option for the shoot. The audition I thought I had botched apparently hadn't gone as terribly as I thought it had. And the director saw something he wanted to work with in me.

This week I’m waiting for the phone to ring. And for the next audition I’ll focus on acting and finding the joy in what I do.