Monday, September 13, 2010

Paige Story

I took Sarah and Paige to audition for a part in The Christmas Carol on Saturday.

This was their first audition for a "real" (paid) gig. Prior to leaving the house I expressed my concern over the rehearsal and production schedules and asked the girls if they were serious about wanting to try out.

Two girls said YES. Big fat yes.

I took them, I have to admit, because I thought it would be an interesting thing to do (to try out) and because I'm pretty sure there is NO chance they'll get a part (so I won't really have to worry about the weeks of rehearsals and the 45 (yikes!) performances.

I didn't know much about the process except this:
  1. We had to be there by 8:45 AM
  2. Lots of kids show up for these things
  3. The kids audition in small groups
  4. The girls had to at least attempt an English/British accent during their audition or they wouldn't even be considered for the part
We showed up on time, signed in, filled out our paperwork, and were handed one-page scripts to read and rehearse with.

About half the cast of Annie was there so Sarah quickly found a gang of friends and ran off to read and practice with them.

Paige stayed with me and sulked in a chair beside me. I asked her if she wanted to read the page. She said yes. I handed it to her, she looked at it, and she handed it back to me. I said "Did you read it? I didn't hear you." She said, "I read it. In my head."

I said, "You need to read it out loud so I can hear you."

She took the paper and started reading, "You ... are ... late ... Martha." Like a kindergartner. Monotone. Choppy. Unenthusiastic.

I said, "Paigie. You know you don't have to do this, right? I don't really care if you do this or not. We can wait for Sarah and leave."

She said, "I want to do it."

This went on for a while. She looked miserable and I continually reminded her that she did not have to audition. She continued to insist that she wanted to.

I won't lie. I was sitting there worried about what the other mommies thought of me. Here I am with this sour looking kid all slumped down in her chair and I'm asking her to read a script. It probably looked like I was forcing her to audition. (In reality, they were all too concerned with primping and posing their own kids and no one was really paying attention to me.)

Okay. On with it.

After about an hour it was Sarah's turn to audition. They called Sarah and five other kids and gave them a ten minute warning. During the ten minutes they got to rehearse the script together -- a chance to practice before the "big audition".

I listened to them and was quite impressed with my lady. She had a good accent! Who knew??

Anyway, they went in. We couldn't watch. It's not that we were nervous or anything ... we were physically not permitted to enter the auditorium. We waited outside.

After 20 minutes they came back out and my lady had a huge smile on her face. She came bouncing over to me and excitedly started telling me all about it. She said that she did a good job. She said she remembered to project her voice. She also said that they asked her a bunch of questions: where do you go to school? What's your favorite subject? What did you do this summer?

She was thrilled -- very proud of herself. My lady.

Another hour passed and it was finally Paige's turn. The group was gathered and they were given time to practice. Paige read two rounds of the script with the group (3.5 minutes' worth) and then decided she didn't want to read anymore. She sat down on the floor and let them rehearse without her. I asked her if she wanted to leave. She said no. I tried to get her to read with her group. She said, "I don't want to read out here any more. I'm saving my reading for inside." Whatever.

They went in. We waited.

They came out. She was smiling and happy.

I asked her how it went.

She said, "I don't know."

I said, "Did they ask you anything?"

She said, "No."

I asked again. "Really? Nothing at all."

She said, "He said, 'The exit is over there.'"

Paige. She's awesome.
"The exit is over there."

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