Thursday, January 26, 2017

Theatre Audition

So earlier today I was privileged enough to attend an audition for a short play that shall be staged at the end of February at Damansara Performing Arts Centre. I found out about the call to audition through twitter and decided to give it a try.

That decision was made, however, rather late. Like 24 hours before the auditions were held was when I told myself that I would give it a go. After recording the book review I wanted to record and uploading it to Youtube, I looked for monologues to use for the audition.

The poster for the audition asked for a five-minute-long monologue, but after googling monologues for an hour, I found out that most contemporary monologues last 1 minute, 2 minutes tops. The longer ones come from Shakespearean plays, something I wasn't too psyched about having to read and perform with less than 12 hours to practice.

I settled for two one-minute monologues, and hoped that the people on the other side of the audition table would understand. The first one I settled on was a monologue from the movie V For Vendetta, when the masked character, V, introduced himself to the lead female character. I chose it because it seemed challenging to execute, but at the same time not too tough that I would struggle too badly with reciting it. I wanted to showcase my ability to articulate and enunciate dialogue clearly.

The second one I chose was from the movie Dead Poet's Society. I chose that one because Robin Williams is great, I love that movie and I was already a full-time teacher, so to put myself in the shoes of a teacher being in front of a class would be easier for me and I thought I could pull it off convincingly enough, given the limited time I had to practice.

I spent an hour or so going over the lines of the two monologues and tried to determine where the louder and quieter bits were so that my reading would seem dynamic and look more like a performance than just a plain reading of text. I listened and adjusted for pauses while doing the monologues and went to bed really sleepy.

This morning I woke up and went over my lines again. I recorded both the monologues before going out of the house so that I could listen to them during the drive there. That helped a lot, I think.

When I arrived at the place of the audition, one other person was already there, a person I knew from programmes with EnglishJer. He was a cool guy that was inclined towards the arts as well, so I knew he liked this sort of thing. I had to wait for his session to finish before going into the audition room. I was given the play script in the meantime by a producer and was asked to pick a scene to read for the audition later.

By the time the other guy's session finished, I heard claps and cheers from the people on the other side of the table. They seemed to like the dude's work, so that added pressure in my mind. I had to calm myself down by saying to myself that it's okay if I don't get this thing pun. Just give it a shot and leave the results to those who were supposed to make that decision. I told myself that I just had to do what I had prepared to do, and that was it.

When I went into the audition room, the producer was cool enough to have a short interview session with me to know me and my background in theatre a little better. He asked questions that were pertinent to the work such as "why do you like theatre?" and "how did you prepare for the audition?" I think they were good questions because from the answers they would get a feel for my attitude towards the work and how dedicated I was or wasn't in trying to pull it off. They needed dedicated people in their team, so asking these questions were important to understand the people that they were going to potentially work with.

After answering the questions, I performed my monologues and did a scene from the script they gave me. I think it went okay. The people on the other side of the table thanked me and I thanked them in return for the opportunity. They said that they would contact me in a couple of days if there were any updates. I left feeling alright. Credit goes to them for making me feel comfortable doing what I had to do. They were welcoming and warm. They put on a serious front, of course, but made it clear that they wanted me to be as comfortable as I could in order to execute the monologue and scene the best to my ability. I have to remember to do the same if ever I am in their position in the future.

And now I'm at a coffee shop typing all this out. Getting hungry. Kena pi cari makanan.

Here's to being warm and welcoming in a serious environment.

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