Friday, March 7, 2008
A Feel Good Audition
I was excited about attending last week's audition, but also apprehensive. I hadn't seen most of the people regularly involved with East West Players, "The nation's premier Asian American theatre," for a few years. I was sure that I would look older and heavier to any familiar faces.
Call it 'dancer's pride,' semi-retired or not.
I shouldn't have worried. Those that I recognized were also older and heavier. It was both comforting and sobering. It was comforting to relax into the old, familiar sense of family, a sense created by the usual theater camaraderie, underlined by the pan Asian American solidarity (not always automatic among different Asian peoples).
It was sobering because our increased ages and waist sizes were only highlighted by dancing alongside a new generation of performers, some of them literally half our age or even younger.
The audition was for "Pippin," a show that has been around long enough to be considered a classic, right? Bob Fosse! Seventies style dancing! OLD SCHOOL!
But as I have mentioned, this production is going to be a contemporary adaptation--an Anime hip-hop version of "Pippin."
Oy, I'm old.
But I was also feeling very relaxed at this audition, during the dance portion, anyway (hadn't sung in years--felt the shakes during the singing portion!). What was different? I didn't have much to lose by auditioning this time, that's what was different. This is the first audition I've attended since working at my first full time day job.
How strange to not want a gig so desperately because I need to depend on it for income to support myself--and to get a breather from waiting tables. How refreshing to leave the former and pathetic attempt to extend and validate my desired status as a working dancer/performer.
And also, how wonderful that I could still dance. I still "had it." JOY OF JOYS! My body can still pick up the steps and move in a strong and confident fashion!
I am simply exuberant whenever I find that my body can still dance, no matter how much it may wear me out. I used to worry that each show would be my last, even before I entered my thirties. During the run of a few gigs I had wondered if I might never be cast again, and doomed to resign myself to the ennui of finishing my education and finding a real job as a consolation prize.
So, I left feeling good about the audition. Exhausted and sweaty, but good.
It's a been a week, now, and I still haven't heard from the theater. Rehearsals don't start until next month, so I may still have a chance. If they call and offer one of the ensemble roles, will I take it? You bet! The rehearsals and performances would be almost three months of hard work and incredible fun!
And if they don't call will I be disappointed? Maybe not. It's been one of my first thoughts this past week when I wake up for work before 6:00 am. Do I really want to do this every day on fewer hours of sleep after pummeling my body with grueling dance rehearsals?
At my age?
Yes, at least, just one last time. One more show. I've got it in me.
I still have over a decade to rest before I'm old enough to audition for the Palm Springs Follies.