This ends my career as an actress, I did try out for one more play but I did not make the cut. I auditioned for Guys and Dolls and unfortunately did not make, this was the last time that I tried out for anything. Nothing terrible happened that made me never want to be on a play again, I think that it was just time. I thought that I had a good audition, they did not make me sing, I just danced and I thought I did pretty well but I guess not good enough. I had told a friend that I took dance classes with about this play and asked her to audition with me. She came along but she did not make it as well. We were both bummed but got over it.
My mother thought it would be a good idea to dress professional for this audition and wear all black, apparently wearing all black helps the people who are in charge of casting the play picture you as the character. She did not want me wearing the dance clothes that I normally wear to the audition, I didn’t see the point in wearing all black since I never had before and I made it into every play that I tried out for. But I did and I felt like an idiot. I wasn’t comfortable in the outfit that I chose and I feel that had a lot to do with me not getting the part. Not because I was in black but because I was not a full confidence wearing clothes that I was not used to. If I was used to wearing that outfit then I think I would have made it but confidence goes a long way when auditioning and I’m sure I was lacking it. I know that when I tried out for the other plays that I told the them that I didn’t want to sing that I just wanted to be a dancer. That would seem like I didn’t have full confidence but really it did. I was totally being myself and I was fully confident that I couldn’t sing.
I am still a little sad that I didn’t make that play, I am sure that it would have been a lot of fun and I probably would have tried out for more if I would have gotten a part. The funny thing is though, my friend who tried out with me, lied to me and told me that she got a part in the play. During a dance class she asked me if I received a call saying that I made it and I told her no, so she said that she did and that she got a part in the chorus. I was a little upset about that, I was bummed that she got a part and I didn’t. I don’t think she realized though how involved my mom and I were in theater because we went to the performance. When I looked at the program I didn’t see her name anywhere. I asked my mom if they actually put everyone’s name that is in the play on the program because I never paid attention to that. She said that no matter how small your roll or job, if you are in the play or helping in the background you name will be on the program. I thought to myself that my friend was a total idiot. At the next dance class I told her so, our friendship sort of falter for a bit. We got over it but I thought it was pretty shady of her to lie about something to trivial like that. She felt pretty stupid about it to, so after some time we got back to our friendship.
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I need to have a little disclaimer here, in the beginning I had mentioned that I was in four musicals and as I was writing post for this blog, I was trying to remember the names of the plays and I could only remember three, The King and I and Gypsy, which I have already written about and today I am going to discuss Crazy For You but I could not remember the fourth play that I was in, so I asked my mom. Who then reminded me that I was only in three musicals not four, she said that I probably got confused because I helped out on so many of her plays that I thought that I was in more. So I apologized by saying earlier on that I was in four plays when clearly, now, I was only in three. So now I am going to discuss the third play that I was in which was Crazy For You.
I was, yet again , just in the chorus of this production, this happened to be a musical with tap dancing and I was really good at tap, so this was by far my favorite play to be in. I was a dancer in the Zangler Follies, which was a huge dance troupe in the 1930s in New York. Bobby Child tried to audition for Bela Zangler but did not make it, so his mother forces him to travel to a run down town in Nevada to close down a local theater there. While he is there, he sees a lot of potential in this little town, and not to mention falls in love with a local cowgirl there who’s father happens to own the theater, not wanting to ruin in chance he has with the girl, he pretends that he is Bela Zangler and says to save the theater they need to put on a great production, so Bobby has all the folly dancers come down to Nevada to put on a great show. Good and bad things happen during this love story but in the end, Bobby’s true identity is revealed and the real Bela Zangler comes to town and sees the show and the theater remains open. And of course, Bobby gets the girl.
I really didn’t get to stand out a lot in this play, I was pretty much just a dancer all the way but there was one time during one of performances where all the girls were in line at the front of the stage doing a kick line, we had our hands on the waste of the girl next to us. The girl on the right of me stumbled a little but at the moment it didn’t mess anything up, that is until we pulled away from each other and my skirt fell to my feet. Our skirts were held on by velcro and when she stumbled she pulled my skirt apart but she held onto it for as long as she could but when we broke away from each other she couldn’t hang on anymore and so my skirt fell to my knees. Like any true performing, I just picked up my skirt and continued to number not missing a beat. But when we all got off stage we had a good laugh, I had even made some of the audience laugh at it, at least the ones that were in the rows in front of me! Be sure to visit our latest sponsors West Bloomfield carpet cleaning page.
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I’m going to take a break my writing about the plays that I was and use this post to discuss some of my mother’s plays. She has been in numerous plays, too many to count actually, some musicals (she could actually sing) and some not. She started out acting in plays in high school, then in college and went to perform in the local theater guilds until I was in high school, you can ask her at any moment what plays she was in and she will remember each one. I actually forgot the name of this play that I am about to talk about so I sent her a text saying “what was the name of that one play you were in where I got to help out behind stage?” She came back within a minute by replying “Rumors by Neil Simon.” Ahh, yes Rumors, I couldn’t remember Neil Simon, I had Arthur Miller stuck in my head but I new it was the tyoe of play that Arthur Miller would write, Rumors was a little more lighthearted than a Arthur Miller play. Rumors has Neil Simon written all over it.
For those of you who are not familiar with Rumors, it is about a husband and wife who have invited a couple of their friends over to dinner but before the first guests arrive the wife goes missing and the husband has shot himself in the head. As each set of guests arrives more and more things start to happen and rumors about what has happened to the wife and husband spread around the guests. No one knows what is really going on and everyone has an opinion about it. The are arguments, confusion and drinking all night long. We don’t found out what has actually happen to the wife, Myra, until the very end of the play, the last line of the play is actually Myra’s, it’s her first and only line. The one line at the end always is received with a big gasp from the audience and sometimes followed by laughter. After all this is a comedy.
My mother played Cookie Cusack, the eccentric wife of Ernie Cusack who is a psychologist. She had so much fun playing this character and she generated many laughs with her performance, I was so proud of her. I mainly worked back stage for this play, I was not really in charge of props since I was so young but I was the assistant to the props person, I got to go on stage during every scene change and remove and add things, I actually liked this better than being on stage. I believe this was my first time helping behind the stage of one of my mom’s plays. I got my big break during the complete run through before the dress rehearsal. I got to be the voice of Myra, the lady that had been doing didn’t want to do it for the actual shows, so they needed someone else and I was one of the only females always behind the scenes so they had me do it. It was awesome, the only thing that I got to do was banged in the basement door and when asked who is it i would say “It’s Myra!” then the curtains closed. I felt so important, I took that role so serious, this is me being in middle school thinking that that role was so great. I guessed that I am easily amused!
One final thing before I go. I have to say thank you to the guys at Canton Plumbing they helped me out big time this weekend and want them to know how grateful I am.
Like I have said before, I acted in plays while I was in middle school, this next play I am going to discuss is Gypsy. Some of you might think that this play is not very appropriate for a younger audience and you would be both right and wrong. It does delve into the burlesque scene but it does so tastefully. I believe young children would be entertained by this play as long as the parents could be it into perspective for them and of course there are children who are actors in the play. It starts with a mother who has her daughters in show business and one of them is not as highly regarded as the other. As they grow up in the business the one realizes she will never make her mother happy and decides to be apart of a traveling burlesque show. I was not one of these little girls before they grew up, I was just part of the dancing chorus line.
I had quite a few different roles in this play, the first appearance I made was as the Balloon Girl. Rose as in Gypsy Rose Lee was auditioning for a spot in a show with her mother and so was the balloon girl, it was obvious that Rose’s act was better than the balloon girls but the balloon girl’s mother had a thing going with the man who was in charge of picking the actors and he choose me over Rose. Rose’s mother was quite upset with this and before they stormed out of the audition she popped a couple of my balloons. My customer was a leotard with balloons safety pinned to them. It was a humorous scene and they audience laughed every time.
I also played the back half of a horse and even though they no one could see me, this was one of my favorite rolls that I got in the play. There was another girl in front of me who was the front half and we had to dance with a person, it was really difficult to get the moves correct because I couldn’t see anything. The other girl and I had to be in sync with each other and with the person that we were dancing with, we got it done but it took many hours of practiced. Weird as it sounds, it was my favorite outfit too, I just wore a pair of brown fuzzy pants with suspenders! I was also a Torra Torra Girl, there were four of us that got to be apart of this dance number. It was anther act that was in the show as Gypsy Rose Lee, this act was terrible and needed to be fine tuned. We only had like five minutes on stage, we were supposed to all run out at the same time but with one of us, me, who was slow was supposed to be lagging behind, I was the second in line but came out at the end and rushed to get in my spot, whilst knocking the other girls around. This was the act, this was not because we were not able to get the scene right. Thought I clarify that.
All in all, I enjoyed being in this play more than I did being in The King and I but not as much as I enjoyed being in the next played I plan to blog about!
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The first play that I tried out for and got a roll in was The King and I. I was in six grade and fortunately I did not have to sing for this audition, I was cast in the chorus and jsut ending up with the dancing rolls. There were many other children in the play because the King had many kids, so I got to enjoy all the down time with kids that were my own age or close to it. We had to come to every rehearsal even if we were not participating in the scenes that the director planned to rehearse, so we had a lot of time to goof around. They tried to keep us all in check but when you have that many kids around and the adults we busy with the scenes, it was hard. My mom came with me every time and get frustrated that I wasn’t taking it as seriously as she thought I should but hey, I was a kid and if they weren’t on a scene that I was in then who cared?
I felt really important though when the main people who were in charged got all of us dancers and chorus people up on stage to determine who was going to be the lead dancers for the play that the King’s new wife presents to him in an attempt to show him how unhappy she is. The one called The Small House of Uncle Thomas, I got picked to be Uncle Thomas. This was huge to me, in this number there were many main characters of the ballet and the fact that they picked me to be Uncle Thomas went straight to my head. Here I was in my very first play and they pick me to be a lead character in one of the dance sequences, in the grand scheme of things this was not a big deal but to me it was huge. This was a small number compared to the whole play, it was just a ten minute scene, if that.
I got to wear a mask with this scene which made me stand out from the other characters and boosted my ego a notch higher. My mom couldn’t understand why I thought that this was so great, she was proud that they picked me but she could see the whole picture and I just saw my little world of being Uncle Thomas. After each performance all the characters were hang out in the hall and greet the people in the audience, this was a tradition for this theater, even the actors who played Anna and the King would go out and say hello to the audience. I was always one of the first actors out in the hall along with many of the other kids that were in the play. We all thought how cool it was that the audience got to see us up close but the people weren’t as excited as we thought they should be to see us. They gave us nods and some even said hello but they were there to see all the other characters who actually made the show a great play to watch, such as all of the main characters, not the chorus people, like me. That was not good for my little ego but still every night I went out there hoping some one would acknowledge me. No one did. 🙂
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My mom loved acting so much that she thought it was going to be so great that her and I act in plays together or at least that I get into acting as much as she did. We never ended up acting in any plays together and it did turn out to be fun for a while. When I was eleven, twelve and thirteen she got me to try out for some plays at our local theater group in Novi, Michigan. I ended up being in four plays, all musicals. I am a dancer so I tried out for the chorus type rolls, never a roll that required lines. I cannot sing, I cannot carry a tune. I was always so embarrassed trying out because I just wanted to dance in these plays, not sing. I enjoy singing, by myself, not in front of people. I even told the people who were in charge of casting the plays that I did not want to sing, that I probably wouldn’t sing during the performance because my singing voice is completely horrendous, I told them that I just wanted to dance. They were really nice about it but still made me sing, without music, up on stage in front of a couple people. They said that I had to because that was the rule.
So I did and even though I could not see my face I knew that it was as red as a tomato. I could feel how red it got, but I did and I ended up being cast in four plays. Since I only tried out for five, that’s pretty good. It helped as well that my mom know all of these people, don’t worry I didn’t get any special treatment, I never got a roll with lines, they just stuck me in the chorus. I am a pretty good dancer, so all the good dancing chorus rolls went to me. I did that on my own, I danced for twenty years of my life, so I could totally hold my own in that regard.
I did really enjoy acting in plays, it was always so much fun. I got to be so many different people from so many different time periods, the costumes were my favorite part, there were times were I could bring my own clothes to wear with a few modifications but mostly I got to wear clothes from the theaters wardrobe. Meeting all the different people to was great, I made some really close friends during the plays, we didn’t stay in touch afterwards because we usually didn’t live near each other but we had fun together when the rehearsals were going on.
After a couple years though, it got old to me. It felt like it was never going to end. My mom wanting me to try out for play after play after play. I didn’t always want to be in a play, I just wanted to try out when I wanted to but not for every musical that came to town. The auditions were my least favorite part. I never got over hating to sing in front of people, I just wished that they would have let me slide in that part and just dance for the audition. It wasn’t like I wanted a major roll or even a roll that had lines. Just stick me in the background and let me dance. But I guess rules are rules, so I just stopped trying out. That didn’t go over well with my mom, we had some fights but eventually she understood and my acting days were over.
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