Last week I got a phone call in reference to one of the grad school applications I had turned in around the start of January. It was from The New School for Drama in New York City, to which I had applied solely on the advice of a friend who was admitted to their program last Fall.
They were calling to say they’d like to schedule an audition with me. This is an accomplishment in and of itself, because they stress they don’t even grant an audition unless they like what they see in an application. I knew I was taking a risk applying with them. Money is tight and application fees aren’t cheap, so I may well have flushed the money down the toilet for all I had as a guarantee I would be granted some face time with them. I was honored when they called me.
I spoke with a man who told me they still don’t have my letters of recommendation. I explained I’ve been working for six weeks trying to get a hold of my last instructors, all of whom a) live in Moscow, b) have no email, and c) speak no English. It took a month just to get in touch with a third party willing and able to help me out. He seemed understanding – even though we’re past the postmark deadline, I have to try and make certain they get there at all. Then he wanted the name of my monologue and two-person scene.
Jigga-wha? Two-person scene? WHAT two-person scene?!
As it turns out, he was asking about the two-person scene detailed in the audition requirements. How silly of me. I should have checked there. Every audition I’ve ever had in my life (not many, I admit) wants two contrasting monologues, typically one classical (i.e. Shakespeare, or that time period) and one contemporary (last 100 years or so). I admitted I had no idea, admitted my embarrassment, and apologized for being unprepared – he admitted that many, many people make the same mistake of overlooking that particular.
Lucky me, I had already contacted a friend I was with in college about brushing up on my monologues. She agreed to do a scene with me, and we’ve spent since Friday going over plays and debating the pros and cons of various contrasting combinations. She came damned prepared, too, pulling from her play library and extensive knowledge and research to help me along.
Collaborating with a colleague has galvanized my intent in a way I never would have achieved alone. She hits hard with the truths I need to hear – about headshots, and working hard. She proposes ideas and concepts I wouldn’t have discovered on my own. Best of all, she’s showing a dedication to helping me move forward like no one has before.
I’ve been able to fall asleep since then secure in the knowledge that I’m not in this audition by myself. I picked a partner who shows as much enthusiasm over this project as I have myself. She feeds my confidence that I’ll be able to show this school and the others what I’m made of, that I deserve a spot within their ranks.
It’s my turn. It’s about time someone with the power to grant my wish realizes this.
And if you’re wondering – UCLA and CalArts have yet to contact me about my application, but my audition with The New School is January 31st at 10:00 a.m., with A.R.T. February 4th at 11:20 a.m., and DePaul February 21st at 7:45 a.m. Good luck messages are more than welcome J