Sunday, July 28, 2013

I have a cast.

In an incredible aligning of the stars, I saw my dad on Friday night having received my final cast member confirmation very early that morning.

"Looks like you've got a great cast", he said, as I sipped my no doubt honourably locally brewed but slightly insipid looking cider in one of these pub backyards that us ill-equipped Brits make do with in our fleeting summers.

And it's true. 

I've got an unbelievably great cast. 

23 of them. Mostly grotesquely under-used in terms of the talent versus stage time ratio. But that is the wicked nature of the play.

I would have liked to be a fly on the wall to observe my stuttering inane interactions with prospective cast members, apologising with a forlorn shame for offering them such limp and slim (casting) pickings.

To those I didn't manage to cast at all, be not offended. You were just Too Many.

My favourite response to all of my clumsy fumbling forays came from an 11 year old.

It seemed lame - as she might say - to go through her mum to offer her the part. And I thought phoning her might be inconvenient.

So I made like a Young and sent her a message on Facebook.

She responded amazingly swiftly with a simple, elegant and succinct response:


Quite so.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Loads of people have come to the auditions.

I thought, really thought, that by Saturday, aside from the one chap I knew had been previously on holiday, that this might be it. The choice of who does what might be (relatively) easy.

So I arrived on Saturday to the audition premises with a cursory optimism that I'd see L and then skip out into the sunshine, perhaps stepping off to enjoy a little jazz in the Grassmarket with a favourite lady and her dad.

But no.


How the door bell keeps ringing.

How people keep slipping into the room when my cursory back is turned.

And the bastard thing turns into a proper bumper audition session.

Shuffling paper losing the pieces I need (or were they never there?) cleverly (finally it dawns on her) writing Things Down so I Have A Record of who's doing what (there's a clever plan I must endeavour to remember) and is there anything else that you'd like to read that you feel that you haven't..?

And done.

Aside from The Great Decision Making.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Auditions tend to pass for me in a whirl of panic.

I forget names, I completely forget faces. I'm almost certain I warmly introduced myself to a boy on Monday whom I'd met only four days before. (Confirmed, I fancied, by his pitying look back at me.) I speak pointlessly, inanely. I fret that I'm wasting everyone's time. I rush, faster and faster, between The Rooms. I thank everyone incessantly.

Really, I ought to calm myself down and consider that if they get cast, they'll be doing a whole lot more waiting around than this before we're done. And so maybe one night, as a warm-up, isn't such a bad thing.

Monday. The first official auditions. Packed with both confirmations (not of the Catholic variety) and surprises.

Confirmation that we have some exquisitely talented people kicking about in this group.

Confirmation that we really can't be doing That badly if we're continuing to lure people from other very respectable theatre groups to come and audition for our productions.

Confirmation that my MD is a wizard.

And delightful delicious surprises including the most perfect (instantaneous) execution of my wild, rambling, lacking in insight or clear character understanding director's notes.

Wednesday. Was like Monday doubled. Some fine fresh boys and girls. And some (more) of our most brilliant existing actors.

Wednesday offered the bonus of being much better run thanks to the reassuring, calming and capable presence of my AD. (To whom also thanks.) I'm always humbled by her focus.

And then we had The Toilet Moment. Which was just a wow for anyone who had the privilege to be an auditory witness.

Slightly desperate by the end, I say to a(nother) brilliant Brutus and Cassius: "oh, but there are just too many of you! I could cast this brilliantly three times over."

And I've still got Saturday afternoon to go.

Lordy me.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

A first. A terrible first. Even by my inattentive standards.

As MM knows well, I all too frequently don't manage to enjoy the entirety of a play or film. And this only rarely bothers me.

I still regret a small nap during Enron (and don't - you must never - tell my aunt). But I have no regrets about napping during Simon Callow and someone else held in high esteem in tardy Godot. In fact, I am often happy to nap. Did even Siobhan nap during Time and the Conways?

Obligingly, with some sort of weird internal instinct, I usually seem to wake up in time for the ending. Only a very few times have I had to question my fellow theatre / cinema goer about what went on to happen.

But last night (o for heaven!), I missed the ending for a dark new reason.


Wine was consumed.

The cinema.

The Bling Ring.

Wine was consumed.

And indeed, this maybe even enhanced my enjoyment of Sofia Coppola's lovely eye for adolescence. She is particularly good at presenting the sun-drenched carefree Young, it seems to me.

But last (dark) night, aesthetic appreciation alone wasn't enough to grip my attention. AA plus Emma Watson was not enough to grip and hold my attention.

Or maybe, they just weren't enough to over-ride the siren seduction of many many LPCOWW.

For if you were to threaten me with a fate worse than eating eighty-five creme brûlées in quick succession, I could not tell you what happened at the end of the film.

I was not asleep.


I was drunk, boys and girls. Just drunk.

The valuable lesson is: don't drink and vue.

Even the popcorn won't save you.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Auditions have unofficially begun. On account of holidays, work, other shows. The irritating stuff of life that persists in getting in the way.

Already, I feel slightly terrified about the casting situation. But I guess if everyone who's expressed an interest - and I'm still lagging behind in my script sending - turns up to audition next week, perhaps I can have a different set of principal people every night..?

I think casts like and enjoy that approach, right?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Somehow, foolishly, it didn't occur to me that people might want to prepare a song for the JC auditions.

That they might not want to just turn up and I bark out: "Song, please!" and they launch into some amazing a cappella rendition of, for example, the cup song from Pitch Perfect.

Isn't that just how life in amongst our naturally incredibly gifted group membership goes?

Well, actually in the case of the very cool girl who's been in touch with this question, it probably is.

But for the sake of the less Pitch Perfect, the song-istically less spontaneous, our MD to the rescue.

"I was thinking of something easy to sing that everyone'll know", quoth he.

Good. Yes.

"I was thinking Crazy by Gnarls Barkley."

Really? Right. Wow.

Love this song. Arrangement. Whatever.

I loved it on first issue. And loved it more when my short-lived tap teacher (faddy? Me?) (I was short-lived, not she) chose it as the term's routine's soundtrack.

Hope I don't start involuntarily slide into the tap routine during the auditions.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

1 July. 8 days after the last show. And it begins again.

Now obvs, if I'd been more organised, it would have begun months before. Oh - though I don't mean it really - to be an insomniac. But as I'm just a slovenly thing incapable of thinking of more than one thing at a time, Monday was the day.

I put on my best copywriter's hat and wrote (tried to write) an alluring piece that makes each and every character in November's show - yes, even the three line wonders - sound like a desirable prospect. I told my first lie of the show - audition pieces available on request - and popped the whole lot off to Mme Secretary for circulation to our without whom none of this would be possible group.

She sent it out at lunchtime, July 2nd. And to my horror, instantly - instantly! - requests for copies of audition pieces started slip-sliding into my inbox. Damn these prompt people that read their emails.

So last night, far too late on account of a purely frivolous social engagement, I hastily scratched together the audition pieces. The conspirators end up hard done by as I flapped and fretted and concluded that if I got everyone to read for specific character lines, the whole script would be the audition piece. And this didn't seem very efficient.

So (most of) you conspirators, Mr or Ms Soothsayer and my very favourite character, Cicero, notable only for speaking Greek, you're on your own.

Unless you wish to show your commitment to this magical mystery tour of a show by preparing a representative piece of interpretative dance which sheds fresh new light on your three line part's character interpretation?

By way of an incentive, I'll see all interpretative dancers first.