Friday, September 24, 2010
Drop Everything and . . . Act
Sometimes you just can't leave the real world behind . . . no matter how much you would like to.
At 8:15 this morning, I got a call from my agent to check my email (which is what most calls from my agent consist of). There was a commercial audition. Today. Which (if I get it) pays $425 a DAY. Four days. Could I be there at 5:40 p.m.? In Seattle.
Crap. NO, I have rehearsal at 6 in TACOMA. Is there another time I could possibly come in?
Sure. Can you be here in 45 minutes?
Ummmmmm . . . NO.
Even if I didn't have to try to make childcare arrangements, Tacoma is still at least 40 minutes away AND I don't drive.
Obviously, I did not get to do the audition today but it got me thinking about how tough this business can be on moms. Or parents in general.
This is not the first time I have gotten a call to come to an audition NOW. Whether it is a last-minute cancelation or a short-sighted producer, sometimes the lives and needs of the actors is not even a minor consideration in the scheduling of things. Callback auditions that you get the notice of on the day of, two-show days, 12 hour rehearsals. These are sometimes 'necessary' for the running of a theatre but create severe hardships for those performers with small kids at home.
It is not just limited to scheduling.
During a recent rehearsal process, a director chided me for not "leaving home at home" once I got to rehearsal. And while I understood what he was saying (you need to leave the pressures of your day behind you and enter the sanctity of the world of the play), it is sometimes next to impossible to do that. While it would be nice to say that when I am on stage, the pressures of the world fall away (and SOMETIMES I manage to do that) what is more likely is that I am worried about a bill or if the sitter is putting L on the potty at 45 minute intervals or if the Dad of the kidlets is calling ME to wish them goodnight (knowing FULL WELL I have rehearsal and am not with them) or if the cat has finally returned or did I schedule that doctor's appointment or does P have enough diapers or . . .
What do I suggest? I have no real ideas, to be frank. I could say give us 15 minutes at the top of a rehearsal to get into a decent headspace. Maybe run a scene or two before diving into a full run – just to let us grease our wheels and get the focus where it needs to be. Is this feasible or even reasonable? Who knows? Probably not (much like most "good" ideas – this too probably would never work).
All I know is it is pretty hard for me to drop everything without breaking SOMETHING.