"I want to hear that VOICE!!" She bellowed, as she suddenly stood up from behind the table and marched boldly over to the piano.
She said firmly, “start it again!” and she started singing WITH me as she walked around the room.
"This is an opera house! You’ve got to fill the space! You’ve got to SING!"
I wasn’t quite sure what to do with this opera diva director….She must have been close to 6 feet tall. I felt like her apprentice from the show “Masterclass” during that 20 minute audition.
She had me sing “Cockeyed Optimist” about three times through! Not letting me pull back or give up vocally. I finished the last note almost on top of the table! She kept making a pulling motion, as if she were pulling the sound out of me. I’ve never sung it like that before. All of my heart and soul spilled out on the floor in front of me.
This was my first appointment through my new agent, Cynthia. I received a phone call from her on Wednesday evening about the appointment for that Friday at 2:20 pm.
I was thrilled at the opportunity to sing and read for Eliza Doolittle! What a dream it would be to play this role! Truly a perfect combination of what I love to do! A classic Lerner and Lowe musical. A brilliant script. Fun character and dialect work. A feisty and funny lady to portray, with a huge journey from start to finish.
I had just worked on the songs a month prior with a voice teacher, so the prep work was minimal, and a friend of mine who had formerly played the role, helped me take a look at the two sides (these are small selections from the script chosen by the director and used to audition the actors).
Funny enough, the “reader” (this is the person in the room who reads the scenes with you) was a young man who had come to sail on The Disney Fantasy this summer to visit a colleague of mine. It was nice to read with someone who wasn’t a complete stranger.
The directors seemed very interested. My favorite part was when she spoke those words, “I want to hear that voice!” I was amazed that she could see beyond my nerves or my desire to “do well”. She wouldn’t let me “play it safe”. She wouldn’t let me hide. She wanted me to give everything. It was a very neat experience to have someone affirm and encourage me in that way. To spend the time (because normally they don’t) giving me a chance to lay everything on the line and sing my heart out, free from the fear of falling. I’ve never sung that song with such abandon. Not caring that every note wasn’t “what I wished it sounded like”. Not obsessing over where I thought I “fell short”. Just singing the song!
I was singing the whole subway ride home :)