I have never been the greatest auditioner, or even a very good one. You might think this is a skill which would improve with age, or with practice, and truth be told, I'm not as bad as I used to be. I certainly walk into the audition chamber with an air of friendly confidence, whether I actually feel it or not. And I rarely give a real stinker these days, but I would have to honestly classify most of my auditions as "reasonable". I have never conquered the knack some others have; I have rarely been able to show the people behind the table my full range or capability.
Have I whined enough? Not quite. Though I rarely get gigs from auditions these days, I still attend more than my share. Since opening my New York branch, I bet I attend more than just about anybody. More often than not, I acquit myself fairly well (or reasonably), but these kinds of general call auditions are rarely held when a theater is actually looking to hire. But attending them is good practice, or so I tell myself.
This week, though, I regressed. I presented a really embarrassing stinker. I abandoned musical auditions in New York some time ago, as I find them particularly stressful. I have a collection of audition tunes I use, and am very confident with, but they are not the kind of songs one hears at a musical audition in New York. (A while ago, I wrote about that particularly treacherous audition, "the 16 Bars", which convinced me how unlikely it is that I will get much response at a musical audition in New York.)
|It doesn't matter how confident I am feeling about my rendition of "Everybody Ought To Have A Maid," that confidence whithers as I listen to the guy ahead of me blast a power ballad from Les Miz.|
|The role of the father in Mary Poppins, George Banks, has been expanded in the stage musical. There are those who think the show is really about him now, and they may be right. I hope I get a chance to find out one day, but that day will not be soon.|
From The Pirates of Penzance, here is the song I ruined at my audition. This clip contains a bit more than I sang. You will get a minute or so of Linda Ronstadt in her surprising performance as the soprano ingenue (Linda graced the Dance Party only a few weeks ago, you can see that here), as well as the policemen singing "Tarantara," which I definitely did not sing.
|This video is a bit ragged, but is|
full of life.
My song begins at 2:40, but I think the whole clip is worth a peek, if only to see the outrageous comedic talents of the late Tony Azito, playing the police sargeant. This production of Pirates of Penzance was taped in Central Park, and was so successful that it transferred to Broadway, where it ran for several years and was turned into a film as well. But I prefer this version in the Park, as the presence of the audience gives the players a lift, even if the actual video is a bit raw. If you like it, I encourage you to go here, for a very early Dance Party featuring the show's star Kevin Kline, it's a hoot.
Oh, and my apologies to Misters Gilbert and Sullivan, for butchering their song on Monday. I'll try to do better next time.