Sunday, July 31, 2011

Fifteen Minutes of Soon-to-be-Fame

"All right.  You run IBM!" 

Famous last words.  Or should I say: "Soon-to-be-Famous last words."

Last Friday, I auditioned for the Second City Conservatory, which would cost a total of about $2,100 and one year of my life to complete.  That's right.  The first thing I've auditioned for as a resident of Chicago is the opportunity to spend over 2,000 of my sparse dollars taking more classes.  Let the race to poverty begin!

For those of you who haven't had the pleasure of auditioning for the Second City Conservatory, let me draw you some pictures.*  There are fifteen of us sandwiched onto a small stage in a rehearsal room, and we are given, collectively, about fifteen minutes to prove our worth as potential beginners.  For you math geniuses, that comes to one minute each.  For those of you with a terrible working memory, yes, we're auditioning for the opportunity to be beginners. 

We each step to "center stage" and say our full name.  I try to "sell it" with "stage comfort" as I "deliver" the words that make up my name.  (Sorry to throw acting terms at you non-actors, but it makes me feel superior to you, and I need that right now.  If you're not an actor and can't make sense of those words in quotation marks, ask an actor.  It will stroke their comically fragile ego, and you'll get smarter, too.  Then one day you, too, can maybe audition for the chance to be a beginner.)

After we've "delivered" our names, we're called up in groups of three to do short, open scenes.  We're asked to play characters similar to ourselves.  No problem!  When my scene comes, I play a boss.  (Is that who I am in real life?  Bossy?  My fragile ego is in peril!)  The other two in my group play interns, and they're overambitious interns.  They delete messages.  They open memos without consent.  One of them thinks he can run the company.

At the end of the scene, I step out of my stubborn intern's way proclaiming "All right.  You run IBM!"  I swear I hear a chuckle from somewhere in the room.  Or it could have been the sound of my bank account emptying.

We play some "freeze tag" after that (though I'm pretty sure that was only to keep us occupied while the adults talked in the kitchen) and went on our merry ways.  I remember feeling good about the audition.  I give it a 9 out of 10.  Considering the circumstances and the stakes, it went about as well as it could have gone.  

I find out this week if I'm out $300. 

The next day, in preparation for my new debt, I biked back into downtown Chicago to interview / audition to be a tour guide for Chicago Chocolate Tours.  That job actually pays (a little).  And there's opportunity for advancement.  In fact, I wonder--if I'm really good--I wonder if maybe, one day, I'll be a real boss.

That would certainly help me pay for my acting career.

* Five bucks a picture, OBO

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