I auditioned for Music Man last night. I thought I was simply going to audition for the chorus, but they had anybody who wanted to, read lines. And I, by the purest chance, got to read for Eulalie MacKecknie Shinn. I say the purest chance because the coordinator of the auditions told us to line up in four equal rows. I started a row, partly because I like to go first in auditions to get it out of the way (and to not let my nerves start to get more and more anxious as the auditions go on) and partly because I abhor a vacuum and people were fussing around in the back not wanting to be at the front of the line. Anyway, I started the fourth row. Stewart handed out the scripts, identifying which row was to read which part, and when they got to my row he said “And you’ll read Alma.” Okay, whatever.

Then the musical director of the show says to the first row “Make sure that everyone in this row is a mezzo; Eulalie’s a mezzo.” Well, everyone in that row was a soprano. And I’m not quite sure how it happened, but people from behind me started saying something about our row and so the roles got swapped and my row was asked to read Eulalie and the soprano row was asked to read Alma. (What’s funny to me about this is that all three other lines of women were mostly mezzos. . . so why it got moved to my row is anybody’s guess.)

Eulalie, on the other hand, has many lines. We read the scene about her having a bunion on her foot (after Harold asks her to lift her foot again). Anyway, as I was reading, I noticed that people were laughing, so I was pausing for the laughs and then moving on. The artistic director was reading the lines for Harold Hill, and doing a find job of it. So it was fun playing off of his reading.

Those of us who had been brave enough to line up first got two chances at reading through, so I got to actually say Eulalie MacKecknie Shinn’s name correctly the second time!

It was an interesting audition for me in that I normally rock the vocal part, but in the past haven’t done as well in the acting division. Then again, I haven’t auditioned for a part in a play since college.

This time, my vocals didn’t do as well. I actually sang out of key on the last thing she had me sing by myself, and that is so totally unlike me that I can’t quite fathom that it happened. Now, I do know that my sense of pitch is much more refined than many and not everyone agreed that I sang out of tune, so who knows. What I do know is that I rocked that reading. I had a blast doing it and was funny. I’m still a little shocked about that, frankly, and here’s part of the reason why.

In my sophomore yearbook, I have a signature from a senior (who I had a pretty big crush on at the time) that says a bunch of typical yearbook drivel and then this: P.S. Don’t do any more plays, you are a lousy actress!!!! (Yes, there were four exclamation points. I just went back and found it and counted.) Anyway, it would appear that I took that to heart. Not enough to not do any more plays (I did three more school plays and some community theater as well), but enough to hold that in my psyche.

Funny that I should hold that in my head, and yet also have enough sense to not take it completely to heart, because I love theater. I held on to that thought just enough to hold myself back from shining.


So, now I wait, impatiently, to hear what the next step is. We all left the auditions not knowing when or how we would be told what would happen next. I’m assuming that we’ll all get an email at some point. The question is when. And will there be callbacks or did they get enough information about what they wanted to know from that. I know know that they didn’t necessarily want people to be reading for specific roles (or they would have told us who was to be reading what and therefore what line to stand in). I got to read Eulalie twice because I was brave and stood first in line. And then I was asked to read Alma later on as they asked to hear people read again. (And I was the first name to be called in that final reading.) I know that I was asked to sing a solo line three times. And that I rocked the first two bits and fumbled on the third.

And I know that I’m nervous and excited now. I know that I want a role with spoken lines. All of the women who have speaking roles also sing, and I’d be happy with any of them, although I’d like to play Mrs. Paroo or Eulalie MacKecknie Shinn. I’m not sure I could consistently carry off the Irish accent of Mrs. Paroo, but of all the accents that I might have to do, that one is probably the one that I could do the best.

Wish me luck! I’ll let you know what happens. I promise!