I have an audition for a play. I very rarely submit for theater roles because I’m not really a stage person. Not to mention they’re usually unpaid. More recently I’ve been thinking that plays are great exposure and it would be really fun to get to act every weekend for a month or however long it runs. And this one caught my eye and looked fun so I submitted and got called in.
The play is called I Want to Kill Lena Dunham, and I was auditioning for the role of Hipster. An obsessed Lena Dunham fan who talks fast and confidently about things she knows nothing about. Totally fun. I spend most of the day memorizing lines and practicing over and over. It’s very dialogue heavy. And all monologue, just me talking to the audience. By the time I get to the audition, I’m feeling really good. I know my lines and I like them. It’s well written.
I meet the director as soon as I walk in – she’s only just arrived. One other girl and I are the first two waiting. The director is super sweet and talks to us about the role. “Why don’t you read for Reporter as well?” Sure, why not. Reporting is easy. I look over the sides (script) for Reporter since I’ll be reading that cold (first time reading it). Nikki, the director, calls me in first.
I walk into the tiny theater and down to the stage. It’s Nikki and one other guy. Definitely feel my nerves creeping in but in a good way. Or so I think. “Let’s have you start with Hipster.” OK. No problem. The asshole that I am decided I was off book (lines memorized), so I didn’t even bring the sides in with me. Like I really wanted her to know that I had my lines memorized. What an idiot. So I start into my three paragraph monologue. After the first paragraph, I get a laugh from Nikki. Oh shit, she laughed. Nice. That’s good. What’s my next line?
Fuck, what’s the line? I can’t remember. I’m really sorry. “It’s OK, take your time, I’m impressed you’re off book.” Well Nikki, I guess I’m not because I’m completely blanking up here. I start over. It’s awful. I’m really hot. Why is it so hot up here? “You know what, just improvise.” Oh my God, I’m in improv class. Like, this is exactly the reason I’m taking improv and she’s asking me to do it and I can’t. What the fuck. I literally can’t say words. I’m really sorry. “It’s OK, you can read it.” Oh. Right. I didn’t bring the sides in with me. Because I’m an asshole. So Nikki gets up and goes out to the lobby to get me the sides. I’m left standing there thinking, this is so awful. Pull it together, Lindsay. She comes back in, unperturbed, and hands me the sides. We take it from where I left off after the first paragraph and I finally get through it. “OK this time, just do the third paragraph, and this hipster lives in Brooklyn and it’s always rainy and cold and miserable. She’s that hipster.” Oh OK, cool, I like that. I go into my Daria-esque hipster and have some fun with it. “This time you’re at Burning Man and you love everyone and you may or may not be on drugs.” Awesome. This one is even more fun. I get a big laugh from a small gesture I make which feels great.
Then she has me read for Reporter. This role is less fun but still fun for me. And then it’s over. I’m incredibly hot and feel almost dizzy as I start to walk out of the theater. By the time I reach the sidewalk, my head is pounding. I walk to my car and sit with my head on the steering wheel, moaning in pain and embarrassment. A great combination. Finally drive home, holding my head in one hand the whole way.
Well that was a great learning experience, if anything. I’m gonna be so ready the next time I audition for a play. And as bad as I felt about myself, the director did not make me feel bad about my performance, so that was nice.
Four days later I get the callback. Whattttttttt?! Yea. Callback. No shit. Even though I completely blanked and bombed, she still liked me. Well OK then. Great. I go to the callback much more relaxed. There’s a little more dialogue for the callback, but all in all, a pretty short audition. Nikki tells me she should know by Friday.
By Monday, I know I didn’t get the part. Definitely would have heard by now. But that’s OK. A callback is definitely a win. Besides, I would have been super stressed out with figuring out my schedule and taking off work and not making enough money. Money is tight enough as it is. Moving on.