Sunday, December 30, 2007

OK, so let's ring in that new year already!

I know a lot of folks who've had a really rotten 2007. There are the families & friends of those who've lost loved ones prematurely or watched them die a painful death, my ex (who had not one but two friends die too soon of nasty cancers), the ones who've had jobs yanked out from under them, and all those who've just had a whole bunch of little things start piling on until they amounted to one helluva big thing.

I've got a lot to be grateful for, and we got some lovely news last week, but I sure hope the folks around me who haven't been so blessed have a better time of it soon.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

0 for 3

Got a group e-mail today from the director I auditioned for the other night. She's scheduling callbacks: "The following people are called back for the following roles..." Try as I might, I just couldn't make my name appear on the list.

I was one of three reading for the mom. For some reason, I ended up reading a different scene from the others, one in which "Mom" had very little to say. So I just tried to look engaged in what the other 2 characters were saying and hoped for the best. The only other person who was a contender (the 3rd woman was much too young) is a big wheel in the company and, probably more to the point, has appeared on stage with them before. Her name is on the callback list where I'd hoped mine would be.

I don't know whether to be cynical and think "She & the director know each other, may well be best friends, she probably meant to cast her all along," blah blah blah. Or to be charitable and think "her reading must have been closer to what the director wanted." Naturally I think I gave a good, solid reading but I'm hardly in a position to be objective. It's easy to be catty about the situation, but I haven't worked with the company yet and don't know how close X and the director are, so I'll reserve judgment.

This makes 3 auditions this month and no callbacks, let alone roles. Ah well, there are 3 or 4 shows auditioning next month that I'm interested in. Hope springs eternal...

Monday, December 17, 2007

Peter Pan syndrome?

As the 2 or 3 of you who read this know, I recently hit the half-century mark. (Sounds more impressive that way, don't you agree?) Not something I'm ashamed of or try to hide, but I don't exactly advertise it when I go to auditions.

After years of performing in G&S choruses, in which the women's chorus are nearly always girls (The Mikado's chorus singing "schoolgirls we, 18 and under" is only the most flagrant example), I think I've developed a rather distorted view of how old I "read" on stage. This despite all the gray in my hair. Among other things that says about me, it should tell you I don't spend a lot of time gazing, enraptured, upon my reflection. ;) There's also the fact that, being fair-skinned and freckled, I've long since grown accustomed to people underestimating my age. Hence, I'm still adjusting to the fact that apparently I no longer read in my 30s.

I think the wake-up call was when I auditioned for Bye Bye Birdie. I asked to be considered for Rosie (realizing that was a long shot), Mrs. Macafee or Mae Peterson. The only role the director had me read for was Mae, easily the oldest of the three. The demographics of the audition pool (only 2 or 3 women who looked older than their 30s) probably figured into his decision, but I guess auditioning with my hair down doesn't outweigh the gray and the crow's feet. :D

Sure, I could cover the gray; I've done it before. However, it's messy and a pain in the rear to do it myself, expensive if I go to a salon (can easily run $100; more if I want a trim as well), and has to be touched up every month or so. I'm cheap, I'm lazy, and I'm rather proud of the gray - kinda like hashmarks.

So I'm trying to resign myself to playing moms and grandes dames - I fully accept there are no more sweet young things in my future, but had hoped for the occasional sadder but wiser girl. Ah well, a Lady Bracknell (Importance of Being Earnest) or Desiree (A Little Night Music) would be fun to sink my teeth into, or Dolly in The Matchmaker. Now if I could only get cast....

Thursday, December 13, 2007

On a lighter note

Found the Daily Coyote in someone's blog roll. It's all about one woman in Wyoming raising an orphaned coyote. Fortunately for the blog-reading world, she's a good storyteller and gifted photographer. The photography is gorgeous, Charlie is adorable, and the tales of Charlie and his feline "big brother" are always fun.

Public service announcement

I've been enjoying Dooce's blog for quite some time now. It can be very funny, but today she gets serious. If you have ever suffered from mental illness or love someone who has or does, you need to read today's entry.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

More FreeRice and other good sites

I checked in at again today. I got all new words, and it seemed to remember my vocab level from last time. The words were a lot harder this time; I got 40 out of 42, but only because they give you 4 fairly different options for each word, making it easy to rule out at least 1 or 2 right off the bat. Some of the words I'd never even heard of before - delict and hyson are just 2 examples. I'll have to go back every so often and play again, if only to collect new words and stretch at least my recognition vocabulary. And the fact that I can help donate rice is a nice perq, too.

I think I've already mentioned the site where you can click to help fund mammograms. Turns out there's a related site that works similarly, but this time you click to fund food programs. This click-and-donate stuff seems almost too easy and painless to be for real, but says they're legit.

And of course Locks of Love is another unusual charity in that it takes donations in the form of hair. I'm about due to make another donation, probably after the holidays when things slow down a bit.

Looks like I'll be 0 for 2 this week

Two auditions at the beginning of this week. At the G&S were the 2 mezzos I most hoped wouldn't show, as both of them have not only done leads w/ the company, but have been hand-picked for special chamber productions. Worse, they're both lovely people, so I can't even hate 'em! Anyway, they both got called back, I didn't, and as I specifically said I wouldn't do chorus (I've already done chorus twice for this show), I won't be doing that show.

Monday was the new musical. The accompanist was having a difficult time settling on a tempo, though he generally erred in favor of too slow. I hope that was was the cause of the rather strained-looking polite smiles on the panel's face, and not my singing. I think I sang pretty well, given the accompaniment, but wasn't asked to last night's callbacks. I overheard someone say they would cast the show almost immediately, offering roles as early as this morning. I've heard nothing, haven't even been offered chorus, so I won't be surprised if I end up getting a "thanks but no thanks" e-mail. Hearing the woman ahead of me, and the guy ahead of her, both of whom had been in the ensemble of the last show I saw the group do, I wondered if perhaps I should hold off on auditioning for these folks until I can belt. Or maybe I just won't worry about it.

Auditioning is a funny thing. I look forward to it, perhaps because of the "hope" factor - "I hope they ask me to play X; she gets to sing all that great music", "I'd love to do this show", "I want to break into this company"; that sorta thing. If I'm less than satisfied with how I did, I start with the "shoulda woulda"s. If I think I did well, then I start dreaming about getting this or that juicy role, only to be disappointed when they don't cast me, or offer me chorus when I was hoping for something meatier.

Not getting cast also makes me wonder how my voice sounds to others, how I come across - is there something I still need to work on, or is it just a matter of taste or something else out of my control. Maybe they don't like my freckles, or they want someone who's older, younger, thinner, fatter, taller, shorter...

New stuff!

Mission accomplished! I set out with no particular expectation of finding much clothing that would fit me, but came home w/ three pairs of trousers and 5 tops, with 2 silk-blend turtlenecks to be shipped to the house (from another store in the same chain). The process was relatively painless, too. Only found one sweater in Macy's, found nothing in Nordstrom's for which I was willing to pay designer prices, though I saved myself a lotta money when I tried on a sweater that was perfect, except that I learned that my skin won't tolerate cashmere, no matter how cuddly soft it is. Talbot's was where I hit the jackpot - all 3 pairs of trousers, 2 of 'em on sale, and 4 sweaters, also on sale.

The Chief & I will still hit the outlet mall tomorrow so I can fill a gap or two, but I can no longer complain that I have no decent winter clothes to wear to work. Whew!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Snow: a 4-letter word? Discuss

Got our first snowfall of the season today. It was snowing when I left for work around 6:15 this morning, it snowed lightly or not so lightly pretty much all day, and it's finally tapering off at 9:30 at night. It was quite a while before it started to stick, at least where I had to drive, so we aren't buried, but a few schools let out an hour early, just about everyone's cancelled evening activities, and the evening traffic reports were twice as long as usual because of all the weather-related accidents.

And why so many accidents? I once heard someone deride the way the idiot factor seems to skyrocket whenever we get any form of precipitation: "They see a drip, they drive like one. They see a flake, they drive like one."

And from a friend's blog:
From "Ancient Music" by American poet Ezra Pound (Lustra collection,

Winter is icumen in,
Lhude sing Goddamm,
Raineth drop and staineth slop,
And how the wind doth ramm!
Sing: Goddamm.

Skiddeth bus and sloppeth us,
An ague hath my ham.
Freezeth river, turneth liver,
Damm you; Sing: Goddamm.

Goddamm, Goddamm, 'tis why I am, Goddamm,
So 'gainst the winter's balm.
Sing goddamm, damm, sing goddamm,
Sing goddamm, sing goddamm, DAMM.

Are you a Cosmo girl?

Wonder if she's drinking a cosmopolitan...?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

To every season and all that

This weekend I finally managed to pack up my summer clothes and put them away, replacing them in the dresser with winter clothing. I also realized that every single item of is at least a coupla seasons old and looks it. Sigh; I really hate clothes shopping, but I'm gonna bite the bullet and do a bit of shopping Thursday and see if I can find a few decent things to wear to work.

This weekend I also put away the everyday china and put the Christmas china in the cabinets. I won't do much decorating, since we'll be out of town for Christmas, but we still enjoy using the Christmas china for a month or so every year.