Whatever you do…

Work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.
- Colossians 3:23

The more I audition, the more I become aware of my deep need to be accepted, which often manifests itself through a desperate need for approval.

Not that the praises and accolades of directors and colleagues are inherently bad… On the contrary! Every person, regardless of their chosen field needs voices of encouragement along the way. But to the degree you place your hope and your value in that affirmation, to that same degree will you feel the devastation of not receiving that approval or praise.

So how does the artist move from caring so deeply what other people think of them and their work?

I suppose it begins with remembering that these talents are merely gifts, entrusted to us for a brief time. We shepherd those gifts, but we remain to a certain degree detached from that with which we so strongly identify.

My Fair Lady

"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 :)


Seville, Spain (by loic80l)

take me back…
this was part of my daily walk through El Centro :)  my heart aches for Sevilla


Seville, Spain (by loic80l)

take me back…

this was part of my daily walk through El Centro :)  my heart aches for Sevilla

A Successful Audition!

Today was a victory indeed! 

I was overjoyed to have a successful audition for Gateway Playhouse! (summer season includes: South Pacific, Mary Poppins, 42nd Street)

Last night a friend mentioned she was going, so I tagged along for the ride :) Auditions are always a great excuse for sitting around and hanging out/catching up in the waiting room with friends in the business. This morning it was the Actors Equity Building (above the Times Square McDonald’s ;)

I didn’t show up quite early enough to get a time slot (they were all taken by 8:45 am (appointments started at 9:30) but I ended up being 28 on the “alternate list” (for this who are curious…when people with appointments don’t show up, they fill in the no-shows with people from the alternate list) and I managed to get seen right before lunch! 

One of my most treasured moments of today was standing in the small holding room, gazing out the window with wonder at the neighboring skyscraper, taking in the rows of cubicles and fragments of the manhattan skyline. How do I get to live here!? What a dream come true! My heart bursts to think of the many actresses before me who have come to the city with dreams of being in show business.

My song came from a place of joy and honest love for musicals. I had so much fun singing “I Got Rhythm”, letting the catchy little tune take me on a ride, and grinning on the inside as the panel of three scribbled notes on my resume (this is usually a good sign ;). I felt confident in my acting and singing, and like I brought a simple but solid audition selection. 

It’s the little victories! Feeling proud of my work today! 

Hard lessons I’m learning…

You must be prepared before you go into an audition room. “Winging it” is risky business.

Getting into a rhythm of auditioning is hard! It’s such a strange thing…. You wake up and try and beat the crowd to midtown to get an audition slot. Sign up usually starts around 8:30 or 9 am. (There are generally about six people for every 20 minute time slot) By the time I got to the front of the long snaky line, the earliest appointment was 12:10pm.

I passed some time with a friend at a coffee shop (made friends with a couple Argentinian tourists) and headed back to Telsey (on 43rd street) around 11:30.

I’m thinking about adopting some sort of pre-audition routine or ritual. I didn’t warm up for this one, and come to think of it, I didn’t ever really practice the song in front of someone. It’s one thing to sing it out loud for yourself in the apartment. It’s something else entirely to stand 12 feet in front of two people sitting behind a table. It’s so strange…

I sang my first song, and afterwards, they asked for a second “more-contemporary” piece. Well, I was taken by surprise, and thankfully had a song to match the style they were looking for. I hadn’t sung through it, though, in over two months! Eeeek. It started and ended weak, with a couple good moments in the middle.

Moral of the story: Discipline. I need to spend some time brushing up on material and organizing my binder, so that I can put my best foot forward.

Glory. Looking down 110th street.

Glory. Looking down 110th street.

An agent!

Last week I had the opportunity to meet with an agent from Gotham Talent Agency. This is a huge step in the business, having an agent who can submit you for projects and set up audition appointments! I’m so looking forward to freelancing with Cynthia!

An actor friend of mine and former Gotham Talent client had given me her name a few years back when I first came to New York. While answering emails last week, I came across her address and composed an email to see if she was, by chance, taking on any new clients this year. Lucky for me, she said she was just thinking their office needed a young soprano! I’ll count my blessings :)

Today I sloshed through the piles of snow in Times Square to drop off a stack of freshly stapled headshots and resumes.

"Let the storm rage on"
- Frozen (but, literally. It’s 10 degrees.)

Newsies ECC Dance Call

10 am, Pearl Studios. The assistant choreographer of Newsies taught a portion of the tap number from “King of New York”.

He was very kind, giving us plenty of time to pick up the steps, and thoroughly breaking down each section, answering any questions along the way. I had it, but when I danced in my group of 5, I got on the wrong foot on the 3rd count of 8. I struggled to get back in step and finish strong. Well…It was a great free tap class … ;)

Out of my group of 30, they kept 5 of the ladies to sing. My friend Jennifer being one of them!

3 Bucks… 2 Bags… 1 Meal… 

And these are the days we’ll remember…

#gypsies #harlem

3 Bucks… 2 Bags… 1 Meal…

And these are the days we’ll remember…

#gypsies #harlem

Nuns spotted in Bryant Park :) These ladies can skate!

Nuns spotted in Bryant Park :) These ladies can skate!