Friday, June 10, 2011

An Audition Story

I don't normally post about auditions on this blog. I do this completely consciously because although I like to maintain the facade that I am super normal and well-balanced, I'm secretly a hyper-nervous superstitious lunatic and I'm terrified of jinxing things.

However, it came to my attention that my readership is primarily made up of non-theater types (that I'm aware of anyways. I haven't forgotten about you, creepy lurkers.) So I thought I'd give some insight into the wonderful world of auditioning. Because BOY DID I HAVE A CRAZY ONE THIS WEEK.

It was a dance audition, for a venue that shall remain nameless, with a choreographer who will go down in my personal history as the most *ahem* artistic man I have yet to encounter.

I knew a good chunk of the dancers there, so after signing in, handing over our headshots and resumes, and receiving out name-tag stickers, we were all hanging out, stretching and what not. The din of catching-up chatter and vigorous warming-up was interrupted when the choreographer wandered into our midst and, without saying anything, started doing a tiny dance.

Gradually people caught on to what was happening and tried to follow along. However, instead of facing away from us, as is customary, he danced looking straight at us, causing much confusion and cockamamie attempts to reverse the choreography to match what he was doing.

Finally he stopped, sighed, and announced in a vague European accent,

"I vill demo this for you, but do not copy me. You must make it your own."

So, he demos the combination, and immediately the room is in a frenzy of music and dancers all doing the combo in their own unique way. Different facings, different timings, all manner of leg and arm variations. We dance non-stop, trying to figure out what he wants, hoping he'll notice us.

Finally, he stops everyone and sighs exasperatedly,

"Vell, I vill be honest. You're simply ruining my choreography. Ruining it. You are all late and are doing nothink about it! I can't help you if you do not get on the horse and ride it. You must ride the horse!"

So, again, the cacophony of music and dancing begins again, only manic this time. Everyone dancing as fast as they can, trying to passionately ride the horse. The choreographer divides us up into groups, motions for us to begin, and then wanders away to talk to other dancers, completely ignoring the poor souls who were dancing their hearts out. 

Finally, after all the groups have gone, he announces that he would like to see solos,

"But only if you truly desire."

Obviously, everyone wants the job. So everyone desires to do a solo. So we stand there. For an hour. While every single dancer does a solo.

You can imagine that this became tedious very quickly. Luckily, the choreographer extraordinaire would periodically hurl scandalous insults, temporarily rekindling our interest. At one point, he stopped a poor guy in the middle of his passionate, horse riding solo to tell him that he "vas making the choreography look very flat".

Eventually, after everyone's solo desires had been met, he let us go. And the dancers of Seattle wandered out into the street in a collective daze, with hopes dashed and egos wilting. 

It's a strange profession.


  1. Holy jeez. I've never done such an audition before but I'm a superstitious anxious lunatic ANYWAY and therefore can't imagine what you go through each time! I hope you get the part despite the crazy choreographer...

  2. So, he tells you to make the choreography your own then says you're all ruining it? That doesn't make sense to me. But then again, I'm not a dancer and have never auditioned for a dance part. So it's possible that I don't get it.

  3. intensity devine...all dancers have to be Bold in their own skin, i do not envy you ladykatekate