Monthly Archives: December 2011

18. James Wants What He Can’t Have: Merry Christmas

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From The Memoirs of a Beautiful Boy by Robert Leleux:

“You know, Robert… I’d think you’d find it reassuring that the man who loves you doesn’t happen to believe there’s anything particularly deep about suffering… Happy people can be just as deep as depressives, you know… I’d think you’d appreciate the fact that I believe in being happy.”

Someone tried to teach me this lesson once. I didn’t get it until now.

Although I’m still bitter. This book is this memoir of this guy’s life. And parts of his life sucked and parts of it were awesome. For example: he has a pretty rough relationship with his parents, especially his dad. But he has this AMAZING relationship with his boyfriend. And he talks about how beautiful his boyfriend is, and he narrates the sweet things his boyfriend says to him. And he still groans about his life. And while I’m reading it, all I can think is, ‘You have an amazing boyfriend! You have someone to come home to at the end of the night! Stop your stupid whining!!” But then again, you may say to me, “You have an amazing family! You have two parents who love and support you! And you have three sisters who will always love you! Stop your stupid whining!!!”

So. Perhaps we’ll never have everything we want: perfect family, perfect boyfriend, perfect job, perfect apartment. Maybe we’ll have 3 out of the 4, and we’ll spend our whole lives bitching about wanting the last thing. And maybe some people have it all, but they still find something to bitch about.

Maybe I’ll always want what I don’t have: a functioning cell phone, a better computer, a steady job, an external hard drive, food stamp money, money for dance class, money for voice lessons, a boyfriend. The perfect boyfriend. Or. Any boyfriend for that matter. Not that I want one. And not that I could have one even if I wanted one.

Blah. Point being: someone would kill to be me. I’ve been working on my body since I moved here. I call it my “Broadway Body” or “B’way Body” for short. But today, I took a picture of my abs:

ImageAnd I know that people will give me a hard time for posting a picture of myself shirtless but I’m trying to make a point. On a side note, I promised myself a Bway Body by Xmas. It’s not yet up to my standards, but I still have a week. But. THE POINT. Is. This: Let’s be honest for a second. I have a high metrabolism (sic- see Legally Blonde the movie). I work out like a motherfucker. And it’s finally starting to pay off. BUT. I still want more.

Some people would kill to be skinnier. Some people would kill to have a boyfriend to snuggle with at night. And some people will want to strangle you silly for not opening your fucking eyes to appreciate what you are lucky enough to have.

My phone doesn’t work. Ok.
My computer will die in the near future. Ok.
My food stamp money hasn’t come in yet; it’s 2 weeks late and counting. Ok.
I can’t afford shopping, eating out, dance class, acting class or voice lessons. Ok.
I don’t have a steady job. Ok.

I don’t have a boyfriend.

Ok.

But I made a goal to get more fit, and I’m accomplishing it.

I am reading Respect for Acting by Uta Hagen, and I’m working on my acting skills on my own.

I stretch for my splits every day.

Because my phone doesn’t work, I look at the sky more. And I look at people around me. And I read more books.

As far as money goes… THANK GOD FOR BUYING THINGS ON CREDIT.

And I don’t have a boyfriend.

“Someday you will be treated exactly how you deserve and we will all be jealous of how much love you get.”

“If anyone deserves someone incredible, it is SO you. Oh my gosh. You deserve so much.”

“Whenever you’re lonely, just remember how far you’ve come.”

Ok.

Til then, while I’m awake, I’ll be grateful for what I do have: beautiful friends who believe in me. And while I sleep, I’ll pray I have no torturous dreams about getting married… or rocking out the splits.

Oh, and I forgot one more thing that I have:

Faith.

“Oh, tonight you arrested my mind when you came to my defense with a knife in the shape of your mouth, in the form of your body, with the wrath of a God. Oh, you stood by me. And I’ll stand by my belief.”
~”Belief” by Gavin Degraw (the stripped version is really worth listening to)

JAMES.

(Someone would kill to be you.)

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17. James Talks to a Stranger

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These are all facts, which some times are more interesting than opinions.

I was walking to the gym the other day. I was about to walk past a boy, a girl and a boy who liked to live somewhere in between who kept saying to people walking by, “I’m a beautiful person.” But they kept walking and didn’t make eye contact. Then z said it to me:

Z: I’m a beautiful person.
Me: I trust you.
Z: (to his friends) Oh, he’s so nice!
Me: Thank you!
Z: What’s your name?
Me: I’m James. (sticks out hand)
Z: I’m Anthony. (shakes hand) 
Me: Nice to meet you.
Anthony: (referring to the McFlurry in his hand) Oh, this isn’t mine…
Me: Liar.
Girl: No, it’s the truth. It’s mine.
Me: Haha.
Anthony: Have a good night.
Me: You, too.
Anthony: You’re very sexy.
Me: (giggles) Thank you. 

🙂

James.

16. James Suggests Book Requirements

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Ok. So. In college, we learned the basic list of songs you should have in your book. They were as follows:

1. Contemporary Music Theatre Ballad
2. Contemporary Music Theatre Driving Up-tempo
3. Legitimate Music Theatre
4. Contemporary Pop-Rock (Theatre)
5. Real Pop-Rock
6. Comedy Song
7. Story Song
8. Sondheim Song
9. “You” Song
10. Charm Song.
11. Best 16 Bars/ Money Note

Ok. This was extremely helpful. But if you would like to be even more prepared, just in case you have some extra free time, here are some more suggestions that I think would be helpful.

1) I think you should have both a contemporary pop song and a contemporary rock song. Both would be helpful. Cuz if you have a pop song and you’re auditioning for a rock show, it would be most helpful if you sang a rock song. And vice versa. They’re different styles. Also having an uptempo and a ballad of each would be nice. But I would think of this contemporary as stuff that is currently on the radio. Something you like to sing. 🙂
2) A disco song. Priscilla Queen of the Desert asks for a disco song. And I think it would be helpful for other occasions as well.
3) A folk song. There was an audition the other day where they wanted a folk song… I haven’t a clue what mine would be.
4) 60’s rock. For Hair and/or Godspell.
5) 50’s/60’s pop for stuff like Jersey Boys etc.
6) Song from the 80’s: Rock of Ages.
7) Song from the 90’s. Couldn’t hurt. And maybe it’ll be a song from your youth and a song from their teenage years (they= people behind the table).

Also, when I moved here I wasn’t quite sure of how long my cuts should be. David, my roomie, said that he has never been asked to sing more than 16 bars. I would stay stick to 16. You can get away with 32 if it’s in cut-time. And you can get away with something a little longer than 16, as long as it’s quick. Make sure it’s just the same time length (approximately) as an average 16 bar piece.

I have been asked to sing a full song once. I sang a little more than 32 bars instead. They were ok with that. I was at an audition where they were asking girls to cut their pieces down to 8 bars cuz they were running out of time. But 16 bars is enough. And if they want more, they’ll ask for more. But if it’s short, at least they won’t ask you to shut the fuck up. (Sorry to any of my family who were grateful that I made it through a whole blog without swearing. It’s appropriate. It’s poetry for the 21st century.)

Again. These are my opinions. And I’ve only been here 3 months. If I am forced to eat my words later, I will do it publicly.

If you have something to say, please don’t hesitate. 🙂

My kisses come free.

JAMES.

15. James Makes A Routine

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Ok.  So I have gone to 23 auditions or so by now. And for a musical audition. Here is my schedule:

Keep in mind, this is for when sign-in/auditions start at 10:00 am.

6:00 AM: Wake up. Warm up voice slowly with lip trills and humming. Make sure I’m on my breath. Shower.

6:30 AM: Eat a breakfast SANS dairy. Probably an apple with peanut butter.

6:45 AM: Make myself look pretty.

7:00 AM: Leave apartment. I live in Astoria, Queens. It takes me about 35 or 40 minutes to get to Times Square. Most auditions are near there. I give myself an hour to get anywhere.

8:00 AM: Arrive at audition. An unofficial sign-in sheet has probably already been started by the people who arrived before me. Most of the time, the monitors will honor this list. Sometimes they won’t. For example, Disney doesn’t honor the unofficial list. They will pull out a list when they get there and then it’s whoever gets to the list first. But when I get there at 8:00 AM, chances are I will be around #50 and I will be able to sing and get out of there by noon.

8:15 AM:  Continue to warm up my voice. Perhaps walk around the block and keep warming up. But since I have been warming it up slowly for hours, chances are I’m getting closer to being ready to sing.

9:45 AM: Wait for the monitor to come and give the schpeel about how auditions are going to go. They will usually tell you how many bars they need, and what they are looking for specifically. They will also tell you about how many people they expect to get through in an hour. Most likely, they will be able to see 30 people, 40 people if they’re quick.

I don’t really talk to people in the waiting room. But THEY. WILL. TALK. About everything. You will hear SO MUCH backdoor bragging in the holding room. All of the actors waiting to audition will casually talk about Mr. Bigshot that they know or Important Audition that they recently attended and NAILED.  I like the people who talk about auditions that they bombed. Cuz they have humility and a good sense of humor. All the other people who are sitting in their splits and talking about Equity lalala Final Callback lalalala. Blah. Shove your fingers down your throat. Hush your beave. Once I walked into a holding room and I hadn’t been there for 10 seconds before someone started talking about Cats. No joke.

But I don’t talk to people really cuz I’d like to focus. But you can usually eavesdrop on where other auditions are happening that day. Cuz you are already awake and up. And if you have your book on you, you might as well attend other auditions.

But I like to focus on my song and my intention and lalala. So I don’t really talk. I’m polite. But I don’t really have the energy to expend on making small talk.

So then I sing and head to another audition! Or I go home and binge eat! It all depends on how you feel. I say if you can go to an audition on a whim and be prepared, then GO. But if you are unprepared, don’t go. You will make an ass of yourself and you’ll feel like a terd.

Just my humble opinions.

“We’re waking up and right on time.”
~”Waking Up” by Onerepublic

JAMES.