Sunday, July 15, 2007

I want to vomit!

Every few months I do something ridiculously stupid and embarrassing that causes me to shudder and cringe and convulse for years to come. It's happened all my life. I have gotten to the point where I forgive myself and let go of the things I did in kindergarten and before. Everything since is fodder for self-flaggelation.

(At one point I planned with a friend to have a little ceremony in which I would write each incident down on a card and then burn them one-by-one in my
baby Weber as a way of purging them forever.)

Of course, acting has opened up grand new vistas of humiliation on a scale and frequency I've never experienced. Today I went to season auditions for this theatre I did a show with a few years ago. I've auditioned for them now four or five times -- probably several times that when you add up the different outside projects all the directors in the room have done that I've auditioned for.

In any case, every year the notice says to prepare two contrasting monologues, and when you get there they tell you to do just one. So that's just what I assumed about this year. Though nobody told me this time to do just one. But that's what I had in my head and that's all I did. And I didn't realize until I was getting back on the train that maybe for once they were expecting two.

So I feel like an idiot. It's hard enough auditioning for these guys. I mentioned once to another actor that I'd rather audition for strangers than for people I know. He thought I was nuts. But seriously, these guys know me, they've directed me, they've seen me perform and audition on countless occasions. I feel like they know all my tricks, my short-cuts, my worst habits, my limitations and my lazy go-tos.

It's like ... what is it like? I'm at a loss for analogies. Maybe it's like trying to flirt with a woman with a whole chorus of ex-girlfriends watching. "Oh, look -- he's doing that phony self-effacing thing" or "Christ, not the story about standing on the beach at midnight in France again" or "Not the old tired line about 'at what point did I go from prematurely gray to just gray?' "

Yeah, it's like that.


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