Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Raise your hand if you can.......

The girls in my family have an inside joke about auditions and performances. I don’t think I even know how it started, but the rule is, if you are asked whether or not you can do something, anything, the answer is yes. Who here can juggle? (raise hand). Back handsprings? Yup. Can you do a triple pirouette? Yes I can. You get the idea.

Well, last Monday I auditioned for Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. (This would be my third time doing this show). The Hale Center Theatre is the only one in the valley that doesn’t perform on Sundays, so even though it is an hour away in traffic, I decided to give it a shot. I got there 10 minutes early and the lobby was full of people and it looked like everyone knew each other, most in dance clothes and stretching out. I was suddenly really glad I wore my stretchy capris.

Anyway, they split us up into 4 groups of 20 and I was in the first group to learn the dance. Then we split up in smaller groups to dance for the director, blah blah blah, moving on. As we sat there after the last small group had danced, the director started asking the girls one by one if they could do the splits. I started to giggle to myself. I was finally going to get the chance to raise my hand and claim I can do something I really can’t! “Raise your hand if you can juggle.” “Who here can do a triple pirouette?” Me! Me! Inside I was thinking I couldn’t do the splits right now if someone held me at gun point, but of course I’m saying I can…until after asking the first 4 girls he says, “I guess I should be having you do these.” Crud! Knot in stomach forms. ….There is no stinking way, I just had a baby! Not to mention I lost all flexibility years ago. He told us we would be doing the splits before the singing portion of the audition.

At this point the 60 other people in the lobby hadn’t done anything yet, so we left the stage and waited while they all learned the dance. During that hour plus, I watched all these other girls stretch out for the splits…..and most of them were real dancers. I did a couple token stretches here and there, pretending like I couldn’t touch my toes because I wasn’t really trying, not because I wasn’t capable, which I wasn’t. When we finally went back in to sing, the choreographer said we would all do the “jump splits” first, then sing our songs. I was about sixth on the list, so I had very little time to think of how to get out of it. (By the way, jump splits are not a toe touch, it means to jump up and then fall into the splits). As a last vain attempt, when my name was called I stood up and said in a joking tone, “I had a baby three months ago, doesn’t that qualify me for a get out of jail free card?” The director and the choreographer both smiled and gave a chuckle…and then the room went quiet and everyone was staring at me. I stared back and waited a second…..

Isn’t anyone going to stop me?

No. So, I shrugged and knowing full well that I would hurt myself jumped up and went down into the splits….all….. the… way …down! Adrenaline is a beautiful thing. I was so shocked I kind of stared at my legs for second, then stood up and tried to act natural. I haven’t done the splits since 2002. It was an audition miracle!

Wednesday callbacks did not have the same magic. After we all did the dance he went around asking if anyone could do special leaps or tricks. The guys did some tumbling, but none of the girls were doing anything, and I DO NOT know what possessed me, but I raised my hand and said I could do a side switch leap. ….probably the most difficult leap I ever did in my dancing days. Why, why did I say that? SO he asked me to do it and I gave it my best shot, the leap was pretty darn good but I landed on my butt. Yes, right on my rear. ( honestly a common way to fall when learning to do that leap, but still). The choreographer said, well, the mechanics are there! Awesome.

Then he split the girls into three groups of seven to read parts and I read the part of Dorkas…..when it got to the part that Millie tells us she’s getting married and we’re supposed to “ad lib” I tried to think of what a hussy would say to that. So I said, “Lucky!” But it came out sounding just like Napoleon Dynamite says it and the director doubled over and laughed out loud for a long time.

As it would turn out, they must have been looking for someone who would try to weasel out of the splits, gracefully fall flat on her butt, and do a good Napoleon Dynamite impersonation, because by some miracle they cast me anyway.

If you’re looking for me, I’ll be at rehearsal.



12 comments:

bethany said...

Awesome!! Congrats! And the splits?!? Yeah-you definitely would not be seeing me do those-adrenaline or no. Zak wants to know if you have to kiss a creepy old man again :)

My cousin is in it too-she's one of the sisters. Her name is Lizzie. Tell her hi for me.

So what part are you?

~Melissa~ said...

That is so cool! I grew up watching that movie and when I got married and added it to our DVD coleectin, my husband had NO clue what is was. Who doesn't know Seven Brides for Seven Brothers?

I don't think I have EVER done the splits in my entire life. No dance skills in this girl.

When is the play!? I would lvoe to see it.
Congrats :)

Cheryl said...

Jenny you had me laughing through this entire post! I loved it, and congrats for getting a part! I want ot know too when the play is.

Erica said...

WAHOOO! That sounds like SO much fun! I am so excited for you congrats!!

Amy said...

Totally exciting! Congratulations!

Ginny said...

Yay!! Im so excited for you! (and jealous that you can do the jump splits :) I totally wanna come see it! What part are you playing?

Shelley Nicole said...

LOL LOL LOL! I CAN'T believe I just now read this! And I was doubled over in laughter the whole time. Oh man. We will talk more about this later. When is the show? I want to see it.
P.S. If I tried the "jump splits" right now I would need to be hospitalized.

The Phoenix Farnsworth's Periodical said...

All right Mandy, get ready for your close up because I'm the guy that shoots the video for HCT and I can't wait to see the show! Congratulations!

talonius said...

If Nate hasn't told you, "Bless your beautiful hide." Then let me be the first. Great story Mandy, let me know how your cage fighting training is going.

Jared and Marcie Austin said...

That is awesome that you got the part! I can't believe you did the splits! I can't even come close and after having a baby...I am super impressed! When is the show? We would love to come and see you preform! By the way you are one great story teller. I had to read your entry to Jared because it was so funny.

The Riley's said...

I just had tears rolling down my face at work because I was laughing so hard. Everyone was looking at me wierd. What I would have paid to be there? You are too stinking funny. Sure love ya and miss ya, congrats!

Cheryl said...

So I was reading your recent update and when your started talking about the show and the splits I was thinking "that's wierd I remember reading about this in Jenny's blog." (Or so I thought it was her blog) Then as I scrolled down and read it on your blog I went to comments and read my comment... Sure enough I wrote your name as Jenny! Whoops! :)