The call backs for ‘The Muny’ are today- and I’m sitting in bed in my PJ’s with a cup of coffee. Needless to say, I did not get one. Here’s what happened:
The registration time was listed for 2pm, so I got there at 1:30, and I was the third to last person (number 228). Once you turned in your registration form, resume, and headshot, they asked ‘And have you ever been a Muny Kid or Teen before?” To which I can proudly boast, “Yes I have, I was in the chorus and part of the select touring group!” (Lot of good that did me, hey I was faaaabulous when I was 12!)
The auditions were on the Webster University Campus, a beautiful facility, and about five minutes from my house, so that was nice. While sitting and
obsessively reading ‘The Hunger Games’ stretching/warming-up in the lobby (for about two hours) I met some people who had flown in from Florida and Texas, driven from Cincinnati, some New Yorkers, I count myself lucky that my journey consisted of about 30 cents in the gas tank and nothing more, compared to the people who booked plane and hotel reservations only to be cut after five minutes of dancing.
While in the lobby, the boys that had auditioned earlier in the day that were given singing callbacks came filing back in. I must say, that every one of them looked so dapper! Why is that boys get to wear black trouser pants, button downs and vests, ties, etc. while girls all wore either tan tights or fishnets and leotards of varying horrifying color, gobs of makeup and hairspray, and a big fake smile plastered on at every second? Boys look like they’re coming off the MAd Men Set and girls look work-out video demonstrators from the 80’s. (Myself included, I did go for the obnoxious pink leo. Most people were either in pink, red, or bright blue. ) The next time I go to a theatre audition, I’m donning menswear. It looks way more comfortable.
The junk from my bag: 1. ankle warmers 2. nail file with woodland creatures 3. Clinique ‘beauty’ lipstick 4. Mac Eyeshadow palette – the right-hand upper corner ‘Satin taupe’ is my go-to 5. Shiseido Eyelash Curler (I think the Mac one is better, though) 6. Blistex (I’md eathly afraid of chapped lips) 7. bare Escentuals Buxom Mascara (I think the Lancome ‘defincils’ is better though) 8. Sephora Roll-on perfume (Versace Bright Crystal) 9. Sansha Ballet Shoes 10.Danskin Fishnets 11. Target zip-up track jacket 12. Ben and Sally dance footwear tap shoes (they were my Mom’s!) 13. Capezio character shoes 14. folder containing headshot, resume, and sheet music 15. Capezio jazz shoes 16. Theraband 17. One-touch ultra blood sugar meter 18. Novalog insulin pen 19. Planner from Barnes and Noble 20. ‘The Hunger Games- you know you’re a dancer when you use a bandaid as a bookmark 21. Low blood sugar pick me up (Strawberry Creme Savers) 22. ipod shuffle 23.pens 24. Capezio booty shorts 25. extra leotard- bloch zip-up 26. trident sugar-free gum
So anyways, finally we were called to assemble and brought from the lobby, travelled underground to a separate building following a piece of blue tape (follow the turquoise tape road!) to the ‘holding area’– which was a freezing studio next to the one we would audition in. Then my group (group 4) gathered our piles of junk and headed into the studio to learn the first combination: jazz.
It was set in the style of of ‘1970’s discotech’ which is appropriate for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. There were about 16 counts of ‘improvisation’ where pretty much everyone did some kind of annoying ‘pony’ or ‘step touch’ or flipped their hair around while making sass-eyes at the audition panel. We learned this lightening speed combo in about 5 minutes facing the mirror, then turned around, and oh hi judges, didn’t see you there! There was also a camera crew. Great. Capture my fail, please.
So then they began calling us six at a time to come out and do the combo twice. I figured, hey I’m number 228, I have a second to think about what to do for my ‘improv’ and the steps and….did they just call Jessica Ruhlin? They did. I was, for whatever reason, in the first group. Unfair. Mostly annoying because there was a tricky moment coming out of a triple pirouette where the feet did , I still don’t know what before a cross-ball-change travelling to the back that I wanted to work out in my head before having to face the music. So I did not get that. To be honest, i did not see one person do it cleanly so I don’t think I was alone in the confusion. Also annoying: I noticed one girl while we learning the combination and immediately thought, ‘ok she’s in’. She had a perfect body, gorgeous, sharp clean technique, and awesome extension. I noticed all of this in the chaos of everyone together. And of course, she was in my group of six.
So we did it twice and I felt..ok about it. I did a pretty good triple which was surprising for me, but my axle jump wasn’t very good and i did a lot of slower, smooth movement during the improv section. I also think I had my eyes down too much. There were a lot of really talented dancers there as well, I’m happy to say. If I’m going to be beaten, I want it to be by someone good.
So then we went back to the ‘holding’ area where they announced who they wanted to see for tap. I did hear someone named Jessica Bu-something called, and for a second I was paranoid that they did call me and maybe my writing wasn’t clear, but honestly, Jessica is a common name and it’s not such a shocker that I wasn’t invited. Surprising, the girl that I thought ‘Yes, hired!’ was also not called. Most of the people who I saw strapping on the tap shoes were the ones that during improv I thought ‘wow, they are really going for it/ how many redbulls did they drink/ they are going to have serious whip-lash after that’. owell.
I saw a few people who I knew; the first person I ran into was an old friend from my Muny Kid days, Erin Moore. I asked what she was up to these days, her reply, ‘Well, I just finished the tour of Follies and I’ve been in New York.” Oh great, so that’s what I’m going up against? She is really amazing anyways though, my bets are now on her. So if you go and see ‘Erin Moore’ in the program, you can tell me how right I was. I also saw two friends from Missouri Ballet theatre, they weren’t in my group so I don’t know how they did, as well as one girl from um…the company that collectively seems to hate me because of that one review, who even though the cluster of us were standing and talking together at one point, did not seem to address or look at me. Oddly enough, I hear she’s also interning at the Magazine that I write reviews for- small world. Maybe i am imagining said snub- I don’t really know this girl individually so I can’t make a character assessment.
So there you go- there’s my tale of humiliating ‘didn’t last the first cut’ auditioning experience. I’m just not good at that spazzy movement that is necessary for ‘Joseph’. I remember doing that one in theatre dance class, and our instructor used to say ‘it should look like you’re having a party and your smile and energy should invite everyone in’. Then he would go around the room and say , ‘i’d go to your party, I wouldn’t go to your party, I’d come fifteen minutes late to your party’…i will never forget one of my friends boldly retorting ‘you wouldn’t be invited to my party!” haha. I guess i didn’t extend an invite to my party, and therefore was not extended an invite to embarrass myself further in the tap portion. Too bad the ballet was third. owell,There are other things to do, other parties to go to, on this glorious Sunday.
In all honesty, I care about the Superbowl happening today as much as I do about celebrity tweets, any new books coming out from author Dan Brown, or any new versions of i-puddings coming out, mostly in the last case, because I won’t understand it anyways.
I actually like football and think I understand it pretty well. I used to watch games with my Dad. We had something in my family called ‘the Ruhlin Family Football poll’ where we kept track of who was playing who throughout the season and placed bets on winners. Whoever got the most right at the end of the season got ten bucks and bragging rights. I won pretty consistently by going off which mascot would win in a fight. A Panther would eat a Dolphin. A Viking would slaughter a Cowboy and a Ram…would bleat pathetically at the opponent “please don’t take my pigskin!” we just can’t beat anyone it seems.
Poor St. Louis football fans. So I’m going to take this moment to remind everyone that St. Louis houses the 2011 World Series Champs, the Cardinals….as well as a giant stupid big-bird wannabe mascot named FredBird.
And because I am an artist and terrible at pretty much every sport, I bring you some cardinals or baseball related artwork.
This pen gives me St. Louis pride. (Anthropologie )
These neat pieces of art, created by Sharon Horvath, feature interesting representations of a baseball diamond. Check out her website for more here- she also shows closer looks at small sections of her work to see the detail.
So if you’re a St. Louisan feeling down about our sports stars, just remember that we have Baseball, which is as George Carlin so eloquently points out, so much better than Football. You can bet on that!