Rainy NYC Days

It was a very rainy day here in NYC, which of course makes everything just a biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit harder, because all of a sudden precious hand-real-estate is being taken over by an umbrella, you have to frogger the shit out of some puddles and hydroplaning taxis, and your meticulously coiffed hair for your CATS ON BROADWAY AUDITION is melting. Because of this, it was very lucky that I only had one EPA today, the aforementioned CATS revival.

blog pic backpack

Typical cargo on an audition/work day. Plus Umbrella.

Even with the rain, it was a pretty standard EPA/CAP21 work day. It started the night before, when I got home from work around 11p: I immediately doused some chicken breasts with coconut aminos and threw them in the oven, chopped up a bunch of carrots, tossed them with coconut oil and some free sample Penzies seasoning blend (Tsardust Memories, I believe- it ended up suuuper tasty), threw those in the oven as well, and  steamed a bag of frozen broccoli. I wanted to make sure I had food prepped for the next day. Knowing I have food in the fridge to just grab and go greatly lowers my stress levels.

After food was done and laundry folded, I slept like a rock until 7:30a, packed bfast and trekked downtown to Pearl Studios to wait in line and get the time I wanted for later that afternoon. The call was super chill, and I got my time no problem. After walking over to the Equity Building to sign up for a couple ECCs next week, I went home, chugged more coffee, and then exercised with my beloved Kettlebells. Coiffed the hair, beat the face, warmed up, made lunch, packed dinner, then headed back downtown to check in for my time. Again, the holding room was incredibly chill, and I was seen first in my time slot. Because it was not crowded at all, there was no sense of needing to rush. It was just a lovely audition experience and everyone was warm and friendly.

After that, I could take my time walking down 7th ave, enjoying the rain, and practice a bit at CAP before my work shift (a great perk of working at a rehearsal studio).
Sometimes when I see one of my actor friends who I haven’t seen in awhile, I ask how things are, and they respond, “just living the dream.”  However, it is very ironic and a bit, dare I say, cynical. I always respond, “That’s right. We ARE living the dream.” It’s true! This is the dream, because these kinds of days are part of the dream job. It’s all in service of that moment when you ARE in the show and working on stage. It’s all the dream!

Dropped in NYC

Countrywo/men!

I am freshly returned from Sarasota, Florida where I played Pauline in FST’s One Man Two Guvnors. It was a wonderful, fulfilling experience (more on that later, plus… Harry Potter World pilgrimage! ah!), but my head is so full right now with settling back into the city and back to getting after some auditions, picking up shifts at CAP21, and gazing lovingly on all those beautiful faces I haven’t seen in 2 and a halfish months.

aea build

Actor’s Equity Building

Right when I got back to the city, I was given a big project for my first week: my first real deal agent appt for a Broadway show. Getting these types of appts was a specific goal of mine for the new year, so getting it was very fangirl-squeal inducing. This audish was what is called a “pre-screen” for future replacements for a pop/rock show currently running, and I was only asked to prep a song and a scene from the show. The week leading up to it involved me working and memorizing the sides, a session with my acting coach, and some late night youtube research. I went in the most prepared I could be and the audish went well! The best thing you can say is that you went into the room and did exactly what you wanted to do. The only thing you can control in this business is how prepared you are (wise words from my mentor, Mana Allen), so knowing and doing THAT makes auditions so much less about “not being good enough” and infinitely more a matter of “here I am, this is what I love, nice to meet you/see you again. See you soon”.

Something to also keep in mind with auditions is that you may hear the next day if you got a call back, and you may hear next YEAR. It’s important to remember that an audition is not a “no.” It’s a “not now.” What is important is being “seen” by the person behind the table, because you never know what they may be writing on your resume for later, the other things they are currently casting/working on, or the things that will come up from that audition in a few months’ time. The important thing is just to always be ready for the opportunity. To be consistent and professional, and to take every opportunity you can to express your talent in the room (read: go to all the auditions you can and practice all you can and take class all you can). One my vocal coaches, when asked about success in this industry, said, “You just have to be ready for when the opportunity comes.”

Here in New York, we are currently in what we call “Audition Season,” meaning that a bunch of regional theatres from all over the country are coming to NYC over the next few weeks and casting for their 2016-2017 seasons. So I am filling my mornings, pretty much Monday-Friday, now through March, traipsing in EPA/ECC land. Just so this doesn’t get all “inside baseball-y,” here’s what that means:

EPA (Equity Principle Audition)

Equity regional theatres and Broadway shows are required by Equity rules to have these open calls for Equity actors, so even if the show is already cast, they are still required to hold these auditions. These are where you go in the morning an hour before the call starts (earlier if you want to be towards the front of the line) and sign up for an appt time that day. It is really nice to have a guarenteed slot that you can plan your day around. You never really know who will be in the room and whether or not they are looking, but if you are right for the show, it’s always good to go. You just never know. Some people think if you have an agent who is submitting you for things, don’t waste your time going to these. But, people do get call backs and appts from these. AND, agent appts don’t go out until after the required EPA, so if casting sees you at the EPA, they may decide to give you the agent appt.

 

ECC (Equity Chorus Call)

This is specifically for the ensemble parts in musicals. The list starts a week before the call. Broken up into female singers, male singers, female dancers, male dancers. I always go to the singer call, and to the dance call if they invite me after singing. For this one, you sign up a week before. The list is called a half hour before the start time. If you are not there when they call your name, you are at the end of the line. Depending on who shows up, your number may change from 200 to 30. At these, everyone who has a number before they close the call will get seen. If it is crazy busy and they are forced to “type” (that is, decide who gets to audition based on your look/type), you at least get to walk into the room and be seen. You stay until your number, so it is more like an open call situation. What is beneficial with an ECC is someone from the music team is required to be behind the table, so no matter what, you are seen by a member of the creative team. (With an EPA, only someone from casting has to be there.

 

Appointments

These. are. the BEST. This is where casting calls you in from an agent submission or self-submission (or EPA/ECC). They give you sides (songs and scenes from the show) to audition with (EPAs and ECCs, you sing from your book-as in, your personal repertoire of songs). Appointments are great because they are so much more chill, you don’t have to get up crazy early in the morning, you have something specific to prepare, you know they are definitely looking and think you are already right for the part cause you were called in from a submission. I personally love preparing sides much more than singing from my book  because it’s fun to be working on new material and to have that mini-chance of actually performing the role you are in for.

Okay my friends, hope you all are living happy and staying warm. Love.
Xtina