That would be me

That would be me

Friday, November 19, 2010

Performing with the Plague

Or The Show SOMETIMES Must Go On

There is something NASTY going around. Everyone I know has been sick at some point in the last few months. I have now had the Plague to some degree or another for almost a month now. Mostly it has been an upper respiratory/ear clogging thing but that doesn't make it any less intrusive. Auditioning and performing while sick is not the best of circumstances.

Plagues and Launch do NOT mix.

It is one of those things though. You have to plug through anyway. If I lived in a larger market, I could just hang back a week or so until the illness went away because another audition is frequently around the corner. In Seattle, though, the auditions are not as frequent so missing one or two here can lead to a pretty sizeable break in work. PLUS hardly ANYONE does understudies anymore so if you are sick – you just have to suck it up.

So what is a girl to do?

She auditions and performs anyway.

Just this past weekend, I had 4 performances of Eleemosynary (a 1.5 hour one act during which I never left the stage) and an audition for a musical all of which I had to accomplish with a stuffed up face, clogged ears and a sore throat. The clogged up ears made the show particularly difficult as I had to climb a ladder and say lines while wearing a hat. I could not hear a word that was being said and the clogged ears plus the height of the ladder were giving me a minor case of vertigo. I just clutched on for dear life and prayed I didn't sneeze because that surely would have sent me flying off the set and into the audience.

The audition went shockingly well considering I had NO idea how loud I was singing or even if I was in KEY! I am assuming I was fine since I got a callback but it could have been a pity callback since they could tell just by looking at me that something was not quite right.

There is an advantage to performing when you are not 100% yourself. For starters, being sick (or tired or in pain or whatnot) FORCES you to up your concentration level. You can't just get by on your basic talent when it takes a phenomenal amount of energy just to stay upright. Being "off" requires that you have to work that much harder to keep your head in the game. People pay just as much for tickets on days you are sick so you can't just throw that performance away.

Same goes for the auditions. If you suck the life out of a room during an audition just because you don't feel well, what makes you think that a director is going to trust you to be able to keep it together in front of an audience if you happen to come down with The Plague?

And so, I power through. My head is killing me. My ears are STILL clogged and painful. The throat is still on fire. Yet, I continue plugging away.

Because tomorrow I have to sing at a callback SICK for the same show I auditioned for sick LAST weekend. At least they will know I am consistent.

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