Thursday, 22 April 2010

April Auditions

"Be our guest, be our guest, put our service to the test...."

March 18th  It's the pre-audition meeting for Balerno Theatre Company and we are learning the song and dance for the forthcoming auditions. This year's panto is Bonnie and The Beast (a Scottish version of Beauty and The Beast). The song presents no problems because it's one of my favourite numbers in the film, albeit with a change to the lyrics.

"No-one's ever been the wiser drinking Irn Bru and Tizer...."

The dance is a different game altogether. The youngsters pick it up first time whilst we 'slightly more mature' folk take a little longer to drum the choreography into our head.

For the next fortnight the song is going round my head constantly. I go to bed at night and can't sleep for running the dance over and over again in my mind. I wake up in the morning and the song is still there. I'm driving my family nuts with the constant repetition. My 10 year old son is word perfect and prompts me every time I forget the words.

Closer to audition day I realise that I will be auditioning on my birthday. It's tradition in our family that the birthday person wear the birthday hat, and for once this turns out to be fortuitous as it occurs to me that the hat looks like a cake with candles on top. I have found a prop for the dance!

March 30th. I turn up for the auditions hat in hand and the nerves and adrenaline kick in. I'm past the "Why am I doing this to myself?" as this is my fourth year in the company, but it doesn't make it any easier. In fact, I think it becomes more difficult because I expect more from myself. I have started to push myself.

This year I have taken on the onerous and almighty task of Producer so I haven't put my name down for a principal part, reckoning that the role of Producer will be big enough to cope with. I start to sing. I still want to do my best even though I'm not after a role. The nerves were there but I enjoyed it and we had fun running through the acting scenes.

The following day I get a phonecall to say I have a callback. What? Wait a minute! That's not in the plan.

April 1st (April Fools Day)  Callbacks. We turn up and are given a completely new song that no one has ever heard of, and one by one we are put on the spot as we are asked to perform it to the group. Followed by more acting.

April 2nd  The phone goes. Audrey the director is on the line and starts the conversation with "Mrs Potts, I presume!" I am speechless. Then I panic.

"How the h*** can I be producer and take on a big role like that? It is a big role, isn't it?

"Huge!" says Audrey with a giggle. "But you'll manage!"

They say if you want something done, ask a busy person. Call me. I'm open for business!

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