God certainly has a sense of humor.
Tell me, how, after spending nine months working with Disney playing Cinderella, it never occurred to me that I might be right for the Broadway production?
Last week I received an email “out of the blue” from an assistant at Cindy Tolan Casting, giving me an appointment to audition for the Cinderella on Broadway. I got the email on the corner of 81st and Central Park West, waiting for the crosstown bus to go and babysit for the afternoon. God bless all of the people around me who listened to me squeal and jump for joy right there on the street corner.
When you’ve wished your whole life for the chance to be in that room, auditioning with the pros, it’s a little surreal when it actually happens. The man who went in after me is currently in the Broadway production of ONCE the Musical. At the initial audition, I sang and read scenes for the casting director, Adam. He worked with me quite a bit.
The next day I received an email with a callback for the following Tuesday.
I walked into Pearl Studios with my backpack, trying not to gape at all of the veteran Broadway performers and trying not to pinch myself to make sure it was really happening. I felt an overflow of joy and gratitude as I stood amongst all of these actors and dancers I have seen up on the Broadway stage. My heart was gushing with giddiness.
The audition itself was more like a class. There were only 15 girls in the room, 4 of which looked like they were possible Ella replacements as well. One of the greatest gifts was having my good friend, Mackenzie, in the room with me. Her quiet spirit and gentle presence gave me encouragement and peace as we quickly learned the combination. They danced us in groups of three. Some of the women were incredible; legs for days.
Immediately after dancing, we went out into the hall and they called us in one at a time to sing the callback music. I was number 6 in the lineup.
I walked in, in my navy blue leotard, my lavender dance skirt, and my pink head scarf, and took my music book over to set on the piano (they usually ask you to bring your “book” of music along with you, in case they want to hear something in addition to what they’ve asked you to prepare)
Before I even looked up to say, “hello”, the choreographer leaned forward and condescendingly said, “yea, you can lose the bow.”
I don’t remember exactly how I responded in that first moment, but the next thing I knew I was gently pulling the pink hair accessory off of my head.
He said, “that’s better”.
I walked over and set it on the piano.
What a “Sheila” moment! HA!!!! It makes me appreciate “A Chorus Line” even more. It reminded me almost EXACTLY of the moment in the show when Zach (the choreographer) tells Sheila, “let your hair down”.
Wow. Well, I don’t know how I got through the next exchange, feeling caught off guard and exposed, but before I knew it, I was singing the last high note of “A Lovely Night”.
When I finished, the choreographer gave me a few sentences of feedback. Something about needing to be more expressive and excited, this being “the best night of her life”.
After all the women finished singing, the assistant came into the hall and asked seven of the women to stay and dance again with the men for the partnering section of the audition.
I was not one of the 6 women kept.
The hardest part is letting it go and moving on! Oh, and not taking his comment about my bow too personally. At the very least, I learned that Josh doesn’t like bows. Note taken.
Ohhhh this crazy business….