Yesterday I grew a set of balls and went to the Raven Theater in Healdsburg to audition for a play. This was a first for me. The only play I’ve ever been in was when I was in Girl Scouts. I had the lead and felt like a pretty big deal back then, but that was way back when. I think the Intro to Theater class that I took a couple years ago at the junior college is probably what sparked the thought of auditioning some day. We did a fair amount of acting in the class and it was an extremely enjoyable experience. I was prompted on Wednesday of last week by a post I saw on Facebook to look and see what productions were coming up at our community theater. I do this periodically to see if there is anything that might fit.
The play I auditioned for is a comedy called The Imaginary Invalid. It was written by the French playwright Molière in 1673. This production will be an updated version set in the 1960s. When I received the information about the audition and saw that I would be expected to sing a song of my choosing for up to a minute, a cappella, my first reaction was no way. But then I read about the play online and though there is some singing, it didn’t appear to be considered a musical. Also, because it’s a comedy, I thought bad singing might be okay. After emailing the director with my concerns, he confirmed what I thought. Not that bad singing was okay, but there wasn’t a lot of singing and you didn’t have to be a great singer. You just had to be able to carry a tune. I can carry a tune provided it’s in a key I can sing.
Now, what to sing! I have my son at my fingertips because we are both on gmail and he works from home. His little green dot is always on which means he is available for chat. I try not to bother him too much because I get scolded with statements like, “Mother, I’m working. I don’t have time to tell you about my weekend,” or something of that nature. This was bother-worthy so I told him about my audition and asked him what I should sing. He came back with, “Rufus. Oh, What a World.” I knew Rufus was Rufus Wainwright. I went to Spotify and listened to it. I knew immediately it was something I could sing. Well, that was easy. I was expecting that I would have a hard time picking a song.
I didn’t know the song so I printed the lyrics and then began listening to it over and over. Then I recorded myself singing it on the voice memo of my iPhone to see what I sounded like. Not great, but passable, I thought. Then I sent the memo to Jarrod to listen to. Keep in mind that he is a singer. I have never claimed he got his lovely voice from me. His father was a singer and my father has a beautiful voice. My mom and I… well. Here’s what I got from Jarrod after he listened to it.
I was clueless as to what he was trying to tell me and even though he said it wasn’t the end of the world to sing it the way I had sung it, I wanted to figure out what he meant so I went back and listened to myself and Rufus and realized where I went wrong and did my best to get it right for the audition. I felt pretty good about him saying it sounded good because that came from the three-year old boy who from his carseat said to me one day, “Mommy, don’t sing,” as I belted out a tune on the radio.
The audition was two hours. There were about 15 people there. We did various scenes, a choreographed dance routine and sang our songs. It was all very nerve wracking, but fun too. I don’t expect to get the part. There were some very seasoned theater actors there, but I’m glad I went for it. I seized the day.
And now, you simply MUST listen to Rufus performing my audition song.