Wicked on Broadway

The Wizard and 14 Year Old I

[If you want to skip the backstory and just jump straight to the bit about the day of the audition, jump forward to the black line. If you want to skip even further and only read about the actual audition, skip even further to the part where it says “Scroll Here” and then read through to the other black line.]

I’ve been away for awhile. I’m 100% certain that I don’t have a following, so I’m sure it made no difference at all that my posts weren’t coming, but I like to at least be consistent. In any case, lots of stuff has been going on over the last few months. Lots of show prep, lots of trying out new jobs, lots of seeing shows, and yet not much to actually sit down and write about. It was more or less (stagnating) business as usual. And yet, out of the fog, there came this one week where I had three wonderful experiences which will be the subject of this and the following two blog entries. It’s the kind of week that makes you say “By the grace of whoever, let me be always this busy.”

I’d like to begin with that time I auditioned for Wicked on Broadway.

Wicked on Broadway
Yes, that one.

I found out about it on Playbill. Strictly speaking, I found out about it on Facebook, but it was hosted on Playbill. There was apparently going to be an open call for the understudy for Elphaba (the Wicked Witch of the West, the main character of the show) and the person who got it would be in the ensemble until they were needed to fill in. What struck me most was that the date (just 4 days away from the day I found it), address (somewhere I’d actually passed by a million times in New York City and never noticed), time (1:30PM on a Monday, the exact right time for a day trip), and music cut (the end of “The Wizard and I”) were written right there on the (free) article, highly unusual in a world where you need to be subscribed to things and pay someone money just to get in the door. Yet here it was.

Here I am, the page seemed to say. A role you can play, a show you know, and the one thing 14 year old Jackie would have wanted. And what are you going to do about it?

I’m going to go, I said back.

Of course, it did have to come right just on the one day of the week where Patrick and I had no extra money to throw at it, and it was too soon to justify him taking the day off to come with me. I couldn’t afford to drive in, and I could have just barely afforded the Lucky Star bus. In short, it was the best show for me to audition for, but at exactly the wrong time. And yet I still wanted to go.

I’d like to unpack that last thought for just a moment. Unlike many theatre kids, Broadway was never my endgame. Don’t get me wrong, it’s kind of like my Mecca, in that I will spend way too much time and money to go see a show there, and I admire their spectacle and their technical superiority to most shows you’ll see anywhere else. And wow, would I love a steady run on Broadway (not to mention that sweet Broadway paycheck). It would keep me in top performing shape, and providing for my family, while doing the thing I love. But. Moving to NYC and throwing myself up against the audition wall was never my immediate goal. Truthfully, I wanted to open my own theatre company in Boston (probably more like Lynn or Salem) and do edgy fringe theatre. I wanted to make art. That’s not to say that Broadway isn’t art, of course. What I wanted was different. More new work. More adaptations of fairy tales and Greek myths. More innovative technical choices. More poor theatre. More art.

And then here was this NYC cattle call that probably thousands of girls would turn up to (and by extension, make it well nigh impossible for me to actually have a shot in the world at getting the gig), and everything I am was burning to go. I thought I might actually die if I didn’t go. What am I to make of that?

Broadway cattle call
Like this, but 100x longer, all women, and outside in direct sunlight on a 90° day.

Anyway. The logistics were looking really bad, even before I went. Pat and I had maybe $30 between us, which would be just enough for a bus ticket (I thought; more on that in a second), but nothing else.

In order to be at the top of my game, I would have needed:

  • To get a coaching session during the weekend leading up to it (both to ensure that my voice was in good shape and to make sure  I was reading the music correctly) – $50/half hour
  • Make sure I had enough food and water to get through the day – anywhere between $10 and $30
  • Pat insisted that someone come with me because he’d heard too many horror stories about the bus ride, but despite my asking around, it was simply too close for anyone to take the day off.

Of course, I could afford none of those things. And then, if you can believe it, everything got better, and worse.

My voice teacher invited me to come in for a coaching. When I couldn’t pay, she insisted I come anyway. [Jackie’s advice: never expect free lessons from your voice teacher, ever, but treasure them if they come.] With her help, not only was I feeling much better about the caliber of my voice, but also I was able to learn that the way Idina Menzel sings the song in the OBCR, is almost completely not the way the song is written, at least at the end (which is actually fairly standard for belty songs like that; singers hardly ever do the exact correct notes). That was a very helpful tip to learn, because I could have sang it her way, done amazing, and have them think of me as unoriginal, or I could learn it the way it was written, which may be less entertaining but ultimately prove that I actually studied the song.

The only setback to this lesson, which otherwise went amazingly, was that my teacher accidentally started me in the wrong place in the music. We were told to start at measure 117, but in my copy of the music, that was halfway through a phrase. I figured we should start from the key change (“And I’ll stand there with the Wizard…”) but she thought that was ridiculous because that would be a supremely difficult place to begin, not to mention that she assumed they wouldn’t want more than 16 bars, so she started me a bit later (“And so it will be for the rest of my life…”). This will come into play later.

On top of that, one friend insisted I borrow the bus fare from her. She wouldn’t take no for an answer, and I was so incredibly grateful for it. (Don’t tell her, but I might have cried.) There were two problems with that. The first is that I looked more closely into buying the bus ticket because I haven’t taken it in years, and I came to find out that the ticket is actually much more expensive than I originally thought. What I thought was a $15 one way/$30 round trip turned out to be more like $25 one way/$50 round trip, unless you happen to order unpopular times and maybe also you’ll get lucky and your ticket will be $1. It was a whole big mess for which I was not prepared. I had to crawl back to my friend and tell her the amount just got higher. I was actually mortified. Luckily for me, she was perfectly fine with the price change. The second problem, though, is that she gave me a check the day before I went, which happened to be a Sunday, when my bank was closed. I tried to deposit it by the sorcery that is my smart phone’s banking app, but even then, the deposit took until Tuesday morning to actually go through. So I technically possessed the money, but I had no way to access it or use it when I needed it. This would prove to be a major problem.

In the days leading up to Monday, like I mentioned before, I asked around as hard as I could for anyone who would be willing to go with me. On a whim, I asked a friend who I had gone to the city with before, but that I hadn’t ever gone with alone. I said the same thing I said to everyone I asked: “Skip work on Monday and go to NYC with me?” Weirdly enough, her response was “I can’t promise anything right now, but I’m going to say yes.” Which made me pee myself a little. The only condition was that she was just as broke as I was, so she said she would drive me down there and handle gas and tolls and stuff, but that I had to pay for parking, which would be between $28-$35. That, I could handle. But again, she said she couldn’t promise anything, so I tried not to get my hopes up.

It wasn’t until Sunday that she was able to confirm for the following day, and I absolutely lost my damn mind. I was going! I’d have more money than I thought (even though it hadn’t come through yet, but surely it would come before the end of the day, right?)! I was auditioning on Broadway! What in the world was my life coming to?!

Thus it was that Monday morning, at 6:45AM, my friend and I loaded the car up with water and snacks and made our four and a half hour trek down to the Great White Way.

Broadway
But during the day, of course.

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The plan was simple. Park, locate the place, go fuck around until it was time to check in (this being the part where I changed my shoes and did my hair and makeup), check in/wait/audition, [probably some combination of pee self/cry/vomit,] wander the area for a bit, then leave. The day went more or less exactly like that, but with a few minor differences, which I discuss later.

My friend found a really great garage not far from the area (and she brought a coupon, which is why you should always surround yourself with people who are prepared to go on adventures), and it took us maybe a half hour to find the place. It was about 12:00PM and maybe 90°F at this point. Upon locating the building, I couldn’t help but notice the handfuls of attractive, well-dressed young women lining the street. Maybe “lining” isn’t the right word, because if I didn’t know that the audition were happening, I wouldn’t have even noticed them. They were standing on both sides of the street in small groups, acting casual. I figured (and I wasn’t wrong) that they were just there really early (we weren’t supposed to be there until 1:30, if you recall) and that they were going to just stand there and wait. I decided that was probably a good idea. So I told my friend that I thought I ought to go get dressed right away and then come right back. We found a McDonald’s around the corner and camped out there. [The beautiful thing about that area of the city is that there are maybe a dozen McDonald’s in the Times Square neighborhood alone, and they all let you sit in them or use their bathroom without buying anything. That is a useful tidbit for NY daytrips.]

There was a whole big snafu with the bathrooms not being nearly big enough for me to comfortably change (if you thought I wasn’t going to try to dress the part with an all black outfit and black and white striped stockings, you must not know bout me) and not having a mirror in which to do my makeup, but I solved that problem by proceeding to not give a single fuck. My friend and I parked at a table near the window and I just tried to do my makeup in my phone’s camera. I’m pretty sure it didn’t come out as good as it could have, but I did my best. My friend didn’t even laugh. Progress! [Jackie’s advice: bring your own mirror. Maybe even do your hair and makeup in the car before you get there. The only reason I didn’t is because I didn’t want it to melt off before the audition.]

We then went back to where we had gone before, across the street from the building, under some scaffolding. By then, more people had turned up, such that they were much more obvious now. By happenstance, right at the exact moment I found a place to stand, a young man had come out from the building and started talking to us. He was saying (in what I imagine was his “trying very hard to be polite” voice) that he appreciated that we had come all the way out just for the call, and he appreciated that we were excited and had arrived early, but could we please go away? We weren’t supposed to be there for another hour or so, and not only was it boiling out, but also we could get in trouble for loitering. Needing little more than “go away” as impetus, my friend and I went away. Weirdly enough, many of the other women didn’t leave right away. [Jackie’s advice: leave right away. Do what the casting people say. No, not to endear yourself to them or brown nose, although I suppose it would have similar results. But rather because this is their job. This may be a huge, once-in-a-lifetime thing for you, but this is what they do every single day. They do not have time for your bullshit. They wouldn’t be coming out here and telling you to do something unless someone else were telling them to tell you to do something. Make a PA’s life easier. Just shut up and do what they say. This will be touched on in more detail in the next blog entry.]

My friend and I went for a stroll. We didn’t have anywhere in mind. As she said when we were originally making plans, “It’s New York! How boring could it be?” We found ourselves all over. The Toy’s R Us, a Payless (she used to work at one and she has two weddings coming up, so shoes were on her mind), a few dorky souvenir shops. The really weird thing is, it felt like the entire city was singing the same song. Everywhere we went, there would be a beautiful girl on a street corning, and if you leaned in close, you’d hear her singing the end of the Wizard and I. I found myself looking around at all the people (and there were so many people!) that we passed, and wondered how they could possibly go about their day. Didn’t they know there was an open call for a Broadway show? Why weren’t they there?! And then, of course, I remembered that I wasn’t even there, and that, even in New York, people do occasionally do other things with their lives.

I decided I wanted to return a little early, so we went back to the building. I very distinctly recall that it was 1:26PM when I got back to where I was supposed to be, because that’s when the doors to the building opened and a small group of people carried out some tables. It was around this point that it occurred to me that I wouldn’t make it living in New York. I don’t know why, but I expected an orderly queue to go down the street, complete with PA’s running up and down the line giving out name/number tags and collecting resumes.

That’s not what happened.

Instead, like some kind of herd, all the women at the exact same time, darted across the street (which was live, with cars actively driving down it!) and formed a mob around the table. I was kind of impressed, actually. After a moment of hesitation, I joined them.

Artist’s rendering.

This next part is one of the most interesting facets of the audition process, in my opinion. It made me wish I had majored in sociology. As I joined the mob group, I noticed that among the women literally pushing and shoving each other to get to the table, there was barely any sound. Oh, the women were grunting, of course, but there was no intermittent “move,” or “watch it,” or “get out of my way,” as I expected. There was instead a very delicate, very feminine symphony of “ouchies,” and “excuse me,” and “wow, so many people!” I almost laughed out loud. Here was this unruly mass of wriggling bodies fighting to get the center just to grab a little slip of paper and fight their way back out again, at an event that many would consider one of the highlights of their lives, and all the could do was fall into that learned pattern of submission and politeness? Mind you, I’m non-violent. Even if I thought it would win me the role, I wouldn’t harm a hair on any of their heads, or even start being rude to them. That’s just not how I do it. (Another good reason why I probably wouldn’t make it in the Big City.) But I’m frankly shocked that there weren’t fistfights breaking out, or at the very least some pointed threats. It gave me a lot to think about. [In case you were curious, the girl-itude that stuck out to me the hardest was when one particular young woman fought her way to the center of the group but then couldn’t find her way out again. In a moment of what I assume was frustration, she burst out into song with “Let me out! Let me out!” to the tune of “Let It Go.” I felt a strange mixture of feelings at that moment.] [Jackie’s advice: just get in and get out. Don’t push, don’t shove, don’t say anything (unless it’s “Sorry” for when you step on someone’s foot or something). Just get your slip and get the hell out of the way. It isn’t about you.]

Guess what you can do about people getting in your way in line?

As it turns out, I got an amazing time slot, 2:50PM, which made me feel much better about the parking situation (they charge by a certain number of hours; if my slot was too late, we wouldn’t have been able to use the coupon and the price of parking would nearly triple). My friend and I went away again. We stopped at yet another McDonald’s and filled out my paperwork [Jackie’s advice: neatly, with a fine ballpoint pen, and in all capital letters, with an asterisk next to anything confusing]. Upon closer inspection of my paperwork, I noticed that they clarified what the music cut was. It was not only a different place in the music (measure 138, not measure 117), but it was also a different lyric, which ended up being, you guessed it, what I originally thought it was. Oops. Luckily for me, I’m flexible, so I wasn’t too thrown by that new development. I was, however, a bit nervous because I hadn’t practiced that bit before. What if they judged me for singing it like the recording, the only way I knew how? Oh well. I didn’t exactly have time to fix it. My audition was in less than an hour.

After that, my friend and I wandered some more, ducked into this or that store for a little bit of air conditioning (I don’t know why, but I very distinctly remember that the last  store we went into before my audition was this beautiful Forever 21), and then went back to the building. I was supposed to report back 5 minutes before my slot, but not a moment sooner. We wandered up and down the block for a few minutes until it was the right time. The last thing I did before going up was change my shoes. I didn’t want to tire myself about by wandering up and down the city in heels.

As it is, I was actually almost late for my elevator. You see, I thought I was the only one with my time slot. I wasn’t. There were probably more like 20 of us all for the same time slot, and we all had to be ferried up by elevator and organized into neat lines by color of slip. (Mine was green. Others were pink.) I mistakenly assumed that they gave us that time slot to prevent us from arriving too early, not too late, so I purposely waited until about a minute later than I was told to arrive. [Jackie’s advice: be detail oriented. If they say 2:50PM to arrive at 2:45PM, be in the area 10 minutes early, but be where you need to be at the exact time you need to be there.]  But I did manage to get to where I needed to go, at nearly the right time.

About the elevator, though. More girl stuff I don’t understand. They managed to stuff a bunch of us, plus the elevator guy, plus the (what I assumed was the) PA into this tiny little elevator and they brought us up 10 flights, which as you can imagine is not a quick trip. Everyone was getting kind of nervous and the close quarters didn’t help the awkwardness at all. The thing I’ve noticed about actors, especially female-presenting actors, is that they are usually very interested in reaching out and talking to others when they are put in a position to be around strangers. One of them in the corner, a young blonde, fairly tall woman, started joking around with the elevator man. Was he being paid extra for this? Was he happy to be surrounded by beautiful women all day? The PA made a joke about how his extra compensation was that he was allowed to audition, and the elevator burst into fake laughter. “He’s already got the part, girls,” one woman said between laughs. “We can all go home now.” I tried desperately to keep a straight face and not roll my eyes.

Maybe I don’t understand how these things work. After all, I’m not a working professional, and I probably didn’t get the gig. But that sort of thing has always irritated me. Yes, be friendly. Yes, be charming and sociable. No, don’t brown nose. It makes you look like a vapid yes-man. But of course, what do I know? I’m just some chick from Boston. [Jackie’s advice: never assume you know what is the exact right thing to do at an audition, and certainly never tell others they are doing it wrong. Unless you’re the one giving the audition. And maybe even then.]

Anyway, after a few agonizing minutes, we arrived at the correct floor and got out. PA’s attempted to sort us into lines, which of course didn’t go well. No one was properly listening and no one seemed to know what color slip they had. [Jackie’s advice: work the other side of the table every so often. When you’re the one who has to work with the actors instead of work as one, you will quickly learn what kind of behavior is acceptable and what kind of behavior will make the PA wish they hadn’t come in that morning.]

They finally got us sorted into lines, we handed in our headshots and resumes, and were sorted into another set of lines. At this point, I did make a gaffe, and I almost didn’t mention it here, but if I’m going to be insanely detailed about everything else, I might as well talk about it. My voice teacher pointed out to me that they might assume I can’t dance because I’m fat, so I decided to take a second resume with me. One for acting with my real people headshot, another for dance with a live performance shot. Seemed legit to me. As I walked up to the woman collecting our paperwork, I fully intended to say “I’d like to give you my dance resume as well.” I thought it would convey a little bit of control without giving them the option of saying no. Something I picked up at the call center. Instead, what came out was “Is it alright if I give you two resumes?” Oof. After backpedaling as hard as possible and seeing the look on her face, I just left it alone and got in line. An hour of planning and $3.00 at Staples down the drain just like that.

From what I could see, there were 3 or 4 lines going at the same time, all leading into a different studio area. It was about as efficient as this process could possibly get. I remember thinking that I was pretty jealous that they just had this studio space that they could use whenever they wanted.

Speaking of first thoughts. The first thing I noticed were all the posters on the wall. The place was (almost literally) wallpapered with posters and playbills from what I assumed were all the shows that this particular agency had cast. If I had been a little bit less prepared for this event, it would have made me feel incredibly intimidated. It kind of does when I think back on it. I also remember passing a few people who were very clearly not there for the audition (a lot of men, mostly) who were sitting on these kind of cushioned islands spaced intermittently, which our lines were wound around. I wondered what they were doing there. Not in a bad way or anything. I just wondered what brought them there, and what they would be doing. I found myself looking at all the PA’s, mostly young women around my age, mostly white, and I wondered how they got that job. I wondered if they were actors, too, and if working that job would eventually bring them closer to the stage. I wondered about a lot of things that day, but none of it got resolved.

As the line I was in got shorter and shorter, I tried to distract myself from the impending event, and the knowledge that I probably didn’t sufficiently warm up or anything (because I’m a perfectionist, you see, and nothing I do is good enough). There was a very talkative woman in line directly in front of me (who I must admit I judged at first because she was wearing a t-shirt, jean short shorts, and flip flops; let me clarify, I don’t care if you wear those things regularly, I just didn’t think it was acceptable audition attire) who I learned was actually on vacation from the Netherlands with her sister and found out that the audition was happening while they were already here. Which made me feel terrible for judging her, being that she didn’t really have another choice in attire. Her sister was there as well, but she was in another line. The woman behind me had flown out all the was from the West Coast where she attended a performing arts college. She was apparently going into her senior year. I don’t remember much about her. Just that she had dark curly hair, she was very excited, and at one point, she said “This is the moment I have been waiting for my whole life.” I had somewhat mixed feelings about that sentiment.

The line was getting shorter. I used the last few moments before I went to collect my thoughts. Through the wall, I could hear some girls singing, but not others, so the studios were mostly soundproof but not totally. They were doing some interesting things vocally in there, but I tried not to dwell on it. I confirmed that they were in fact singing from the place we all agreed upon (“And I’ll stand there with the Wizard…”). It was at this point that I felt like I had something of an “in,” because about 2 years ago, I attended one of my voice teacher’s audition workshops. While there, we watched a video of a demo audition that took place at a voice teacher’s conference, run by some Big City casting agents, showing what they were looking for in a potential cast. One of the things they mentioned was that at these cattle call auditions, you aren’t supposed to introduce yourself like you would at a smaller audition. If you walk up there and begin with “Hello, my name is….” they will automatically assume you have no idea what you’re doing. So that was one piece of information I already knew before going in, which would have really thrown me off if I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to do it. I probably shouldn’t have, but I made sure to tell the girl behind me.

And then, sooner than I would have thought, it was my turn. The girl from the Netherlands came out of the room, the PA smiled at me, and then said “You can go in now.”

Scroll Here
…if you only want to read about the actual audition experience. Stop at the black line.

I opened the door and walked inside.

I was a little disoriented at first because I had been peeking in when people opened the door to enter or leave, but I was only able to see the hardwood floors, the white walls, and the big windows letting in tons of sunlight. I had thought the table would be in front of the windows, but upon walking in, it was actually off to my left, and the piano was practically behind the door. I wouldn’t have even bothered mentioning such a negligible detail, accept that it almost threw me off before I even did anything.

I made sure to smile as soon as I walked in, just like I was taught. I closed the door quietly behind me, because that just seemed polite. As I spun around, I was delighted to see the very same young man who had come out onto the street earlier behind the table, alone. That actually made me feel a bit more comfortable because at least I felt like I already knew him a little. He wasn’t a total stranger. That, and he was pleasant-looking, not very intimidating. I partly credit my performance to him making me feel comfortable. He said “Hello, Jacquelyn.” I don’t remember what I said back. I assume it was “Hello there.”

In any case, I kept smiling and walked to the center of the room (there is usually an X to mark the spot; in this case, there wasn’t) and waited until he had finished shuffling through paperwork. He found all my stuff, looked up, and said “Alright, Jacquelyn, let’s get started.” I said “Alright,” and started to sing.

I can barely remember what actually happened while I sang, but a few things crossed my mind:

  • Damn, this whole beginning part basically sounds like the recording. I bet they’ve already stopped listening.
  • Fuck fuck fuck I can barely hear the piano! Damn my easily-blocked ears!
  • Well shit, that key change came out great. I was really worried about squeaky larynx, but it’s not going too bad so far.
  • Argh, spoke too soon. Oh well, it was just one wavery note.
  • Oh good, we’re starting the part I’ve rehearsed. Excellent. Wow, it’s amazing what my body will just do with enough rehearsal. (Because at this point I did something we call “getting out of my own way” in acting class. Meaning I didn’t over-think any of my choices. I just did exactly how I rehearsed it without my conscious brain really operating.)
  • Oh shit, was I off music there? I can’t really tell because my stupid ear is stupid blocked stupid. Oh well. Keep going.
  • Don’t forget, tongue on the back of your teeth during that bridge note…and…nailed it.
  • Oh yay, we’re at the end now. AND IIIIIIIIIII (WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOUUUUUUU BUT DON’T ACTUALLY SING THAT OH MY GOD)! Wait, should I have closed my eyes there? Was that a rookie mistake? No, Idina does that all the time. This is Broadway, hello? This is no time to half ass it.
  • It’s over.

He said thank you. I always understood that to mean “No thank you” in situations like this. That video I saw before insisted that if they wanted to hear more, they’d ask for it. So I heard “thank you” and thought “I didn’t get it.” And you know what? I was ok with that. I mean, not really, because I really, really, really wanted the gig. But I felt kind of at peace in that moment. I heard (what I thought was) him  saying “no thank you,” I knew I did what I could, and I said “Thank you very much.” And I meant that sincerely. Thank you for seeing me. Thank you for hearing me. Thank you. Very much. And then I made for the door.

As I opened it, I heard one of the men say my name again. “Jacquelyn.” And then I shut the door. I have no idea why they said my name again, but it made me smile.

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And now for the awkward dismount.

I left the room, and for some reason, I had no idea what to do next. I saw other women come out of the rooms before, but I somehow missed what the did or where they went. I wondered if some people were being asked to stay, or if they just automatically knew where to go after that. I did not. So I walked up to a PA and (lamely) asked “Do we just…go?” She said yes and quickly told me where to go, but I must have missed something because I somehow got lost. This was not a big suite. It was kind of embarrassing.

I finally figured out where I was supposed to go, and I waited in silence for the elevator to come back up. It was not a very big elevator, so only about 5 women could take it at a time. As I started to settle back into real life, I heard the women who had just joined me ask each other how they think it went. “Fine,” one said. “Not too bad.” “I think it went well.”

I remember thinking “But if they didn’t ask us to stay, doesn’t that mean we aren’t in the running anymore?” To which one of them replied “Well, they had to extend the audition by two hours just to see everyone, so…” It confused me deeply that she could hear my thoughts, until I realized I had asked that question out loud. Much less creepy, but distressing in a much different way.

The elevator came. We got in. It went down. We got out. We left the building. I remember waving at the elevator guy on the way out, but I didn’t know why he was sitting at the desk instead of working the entrance elevator. I didn’t think too hard about it. And then I left the building.

I stood around outside waiting for my friend, until I remembered that they asked us not to loiter before or after our audition, so I wandered around a little while.

I am having a really hard time remembering exactly what happened after I left. I don’t remember feeling out of it at the time, but I must have been. I remember it feeling dreadfully normal. And yet here I am, having very few memories of what happened after. All I remember is my friend and I wandering for a bit longer, me not feeling like changing back into my sneakers, and then finally me suggesting we go to Dallas BBQ, which is a New York City tradition for us.

My friend saved the day again when she offered to pay for more than her share of dinner and cover parking after all. I felt tremendously embarrassed that I had to rely on her, but then if I were her, I would have helped me out too. (Don’t worry, when we had the money, we made sure to get her $50 for her effort. Not soon enough, in my humble opinion, but we do what we can.)

We had this really fun server, but I wasn’t able to catch her name. She called us “love” and dear,” and she was super adorable. Between her, my friend ranting about work (which is one of my favorite types of conversation to have), the view from the upper floor, and the Captain America specialty drink, it was a great way to wind down.

Captain America
This is the Captain America. They have a different specialty drink every time I go. Don’t tell them, but I totally steal those little test tubes.

Somehow, through some magic or other, we ended up back at the car. My friend used her final trick (via her couponing skills) to make the parking fee go down by over half. Then we drove back home.

In between listening to musical soundtracks and chatting about what we want to do the next time we come back, I got a phone call from a Massachusetts number I didn’t recognize. I answered it. It was Boston Casting offering me a job as an extra on the film Central Intelligence for the next two days. Of course I took it right away, sight unseen. That was an interesting experience. Coming away from an audition and getting another job on the way home. It was nearly as satisfying as if I had gotten the Wicked gig, which is to say, pretty fucking satisfying.

But that is a story for the next entry…

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Part 2: 6 Things Never To Do As a Film Extra

Part 3: A-co-lyte: n. A Person Who Assists A Celebrant In a Religious Service

And for the record, I still haven’t heard back from them, so I’ll go ahead and assume I didn’t get it. That’s show business, kid.

A presto,

JW

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