In the Making

My Kind of Town, Chicago is.

Posted by cjaxon on January 29, 2011

I’m sitting at the snow-frosted corner of Clark and Berwyn, watching the Chicago traffic waking up, eating my breakfast wrap  and sipping my Starbucks. I know, I know, of all the quirky-cool places in the neighborhood, I picked Starbucks?? It’s the only place I knew had free wifi. So even if I had gone to the Women and Children First feminine bookstore or the Swedish Bakery, I couldn’t have told you about it.

At any rate, I’m here in Chicago for the next day and a half for some summerstock auditions. But first things first:

Audition Results!

Showcase: I got in!! And I’m definitely excited. At the advice of the accompanist I coached with, I changed one of my audition songs at the last minute, swapping in “Giants in the Sky.” This was actually a really good idea, because Mark and Arnold (the guys casting it) really liked that one. Most importantly, I realized afterwards that when I went in for the audition, I actually wasn’t nervous. I want to keep that . 

So the next day we had a “preparation session,” basically a pep talk/masterclass. And by “pep talk,” I mean they broke us down pretty hard. The first thing Arnold said was “Guys, the auditions last night really were not very good.” The proceeded to tell us that no one really stood out, and in general they weren’t very impressed. Then they told us about how they actually hate showcases, they see them all the time, they don’t like putting them together. They’re really not there to help get our careers started, they’re there because they’re getting paid to put the showcase together to make OCU look good. Which makes sense. And then if it helps us along the way, that’s great, right? (At the same time, our kids consistently get good feedback and sign with people. They’re hard on us so we don’t start feeling entitled and so we keep working.)

At any rate, it was an interesting evening. I think they liked me alot. I know I’ve still got a lot of work to do before May, but they told me I have a good energy, they liked my rep and said I had several options I could sing for the Showcase. I tried to show them I’m good to work with and take direction well.

And here’s the really cool thing: I’m also in the Theatre Showcase!! They had callbacks/workshop on that Saturday, and cast it after that. Someone told me at dinner that I had made it, and I thought they were pulling my leg. But sure enough, the list says I and another guy from the MT showcase are “additional partners.”

I really didn’t know what that meant, but it was exciting. That night I spoke very briefly with Lance, the director of the theatre department who’s putting that showcase together, and he implied that since we were in both, it might mean that we do less in each. I’m not sure how I feel about that yet, but I’m excited and grateful for the chance. The theatre showcase had their prep meeting yesterday, but I missed it because I had to get to the airport. I’ll keep you posted as I find more out. I do know that the showcases are back-to-back, for the same group of agents, so I think they’ll see me enough.

Wedding Singer: I had a great audition. In fact, that’s the first time ever at an OCU audition that I went in and said “Forget it, I’m going to have fun and do my thing,” and didn’t worry about what anyone behind the table would think. Another personal victory. I felt good about it and the other people in my group said it was pretty good. (I sang Frankie Vallie’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.”)

And… not even a callback. Which was really frustrating for the first day or two, but I’m close to over it. There’s really nothing to be said about it. Except that there are lots of people who got leads that are getting their first real chance to shine. I’m very excited for them, and it’s gonna be a good show. Oh well.

ITA: this is the Illinois Theatre Association, and this is why I’m here in Chicago this weekend. Today at 3:20 I’m auditioning for a group of theaters from across the state (and neighboring states) looking to cast their Summerstock. It’s alot like Strawhat or Midwest, which I’ve done before, so I feel good. I find auditions like this fun, because instead of trying to fit myself into a specific show or season, I really just go in and show them what I do best. I think that’s why I wasn’t nervous with the Showcase audition.

UPTAs: This is a big one in Memphis next weekend, a nation-wide audition for year-round work. You can’t even go until you’re a senior or graduated. And I got stuck on the waiting list. They have so many people apply that they say if by January you’re still on the waiting list, then don’t bother. They don’t see walk-ins, so don’t bother. That’s okay, because I haven’t missed the deadline for

NETC: This is the New England Theatre Conference. It’s held in Boston at the end of our spring break. So I’m planning to turn in my application when I get back to OKC. I’m going to NYC for spring break anyways, so I’ll catch a train up to Boston at the end of the week and fly back from there. Oh, and the weird thing about this one: they don’t tell you if you get the audition spot until three weeks before… which means I need to buy the plane ticket before I’ll actually know if I get the audition… which is okay, because I’ll plan on it anyways, and if I get the audition, awesome, and if I don’t, I’ll spend Sunday and Monday morning seeing Boston. I’m a senior, and I don’t feel bad about it.

Sorry if that last bit was all technical and boring. But this blog is about the life of an actor beginning his career, and cattle-call auditions are a crucial part of that. We gotta start somewhere!


One Response to “My Kind of Town, Chicago is.”

  1. NaNa said

    Just checked your blog, Chas, and found the new posting. All sounds exciting. We have you in our prayers. Pap and NaNa

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