God, I hope I get it
Eight actors tell what they did for love of performing in "Big Kiss," a collection of true-life monologues about the world's worst auditions.
By JOSHUA TANZER
You're trying not to look desperate. So are the other 80 people at this audition, all of whom,
unlike you, seem perfect for the part. Eager to please, you present yourself to three ("there
are always three") sadists seated behind a desk to submit to whatever humiliation they
can dream up for you. Walk like a chicken in a cockfight. Have sex with a man in a koala suit.
Or, um, worse.
These are among the shocking but true stories that emerged when a writer and an editor
planted an ad in Back Stage
asking actors for their worst audition experiences. They chose eight of the most appalling,
and asked the actors to tell their tales in "Big Kiss," described by host Henry Alford (author
of a fun book by the same name) as "an opportunity to unleash our frustration and rage
in a non-therapy setting."
|Written by: Henry Alford, Victoria LaBalme, Vickie Schmitt, Greta Anszer, Joshua Lewis Ber, Hilary Howard, Matt.|
Cast: Henry Alford, Victoria LaBalme, Vickie Schmitt, Greta Anszer, Joshua Lewis Ber, Hilary Howard, Matt Meyer, Alicia Velez, Micheline Auger.
Created by: Henry Alford and Jonathan Karp.
My favorite of these very funny monologues is the first one, by Victoria Labalme. She reenacts
a TV commercial audition in which she reads an inane script and is told, that was great, but
can you be more cheerful? Second try: that was great, but can you be more stern cheerful
and stern? Then, be cheerful and stern while glancing up at the products over your head; oh,
and add a little giggle; oh, and "use your sexuality." The amazing thing is, ask for a cheerful,
stern, upward-glancing, giggling and carnal 20-second discussion of a restaurant meal, and
Labalme can deliver it.
That's one of the pleasures of "Big Kiss" often, as these actors talk about their
experiences, you get a glimpse of how good they are at what they do. At the same time, the
show is a revealing glimpse into what (for us non-theater people) is a hidden life behind
what we normally see onstage.
Besides Labalme, Matt "Cockfight" Meyer, and Greta "Animal Porn" Enszer, there's the story
from Joshua Berg sort of a beer-commercial kinda guy about how he found himself
squished into tights and trying to fake his way through a chorus call where he clearly didn't
belong. Vickie Schmitt recounts trying to get a part in "Cinderella" with a faded Hollywood
star. Hilary Howard tells how she flung herself into Shakespeare trying get into the NYU
theater program. Alicia "I don't have a Golden Globe or a Grammy but I have got sass!" Velez
recalls her inappropriate behavior at a tryout for the Mickey Mouse Club. And Micheline Auger
I'm not even going to say what she auditioned for. Go see for yourself.
|JULY 15, 2000|
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