Walking through the hall of the uppermost floor of the Bovine Metropolis Theater, I spotted a previous classmate busy drawing on a white board. She had an Einstein/Bovinian focus about her.
The brief exchange began with a nod and a hello. “Are you going to audition for Denver’s Next Improv Star (DNIS)?”, I queried.
“Yes. And you?”
“I haven’t decided.”
“Of course you’re going to do it, ” Claire stated without missing a beat, eyes focused on her writing task.
“We’ll see”, my feet kept me moving forward.
I was surprised by her confidence, her expectation. Of course I wasn’t good enough to get cast. None of my auditions to date had led to being in a show, so how could I possibly be accepted in DNIS, where a star is born (okay, maybe that’s a bit dramatic) ?
Every few days the internal dialogue would ping-pong.
“You’ll get more experience auditioning and playing with new players.” (Gotta do it.)
“You’re going to drive two hours to play for twenty minutes?” (Give it up.)
“That will be one more piece of experience under your belt.”(Gotta do it.)
“You saw the players last year, they were amazing. They really knew how to play. Remember how you thought this might be years down the road, something you could aspire to?”(Give it up.)
“But they really improved, and that is what I want, to get better. Maybe then I’ll get on a team where I can continue to progress.”(Gotta do it.)
“Get real, look at the time commitment, the trips you have planned, the reality of being judged on stage in front of an audience.”(Give it up.)
“Oh, yeah.” ;-(.
One week later, heading into the Beginning Musical Improv class, the inner dialogue shifted once again.
“ How likely is that that your four planned trips are not going to interfere with the time commitments? It’s a sign to go for it.”(Encouragement.)
“You’re still not good enough, by next year you’ll be lots better.”(Procrastination).
Chatting to my instructor, Kat, after class, I mention I’m considering auditioning. Her response, looking at me straight in the eye, “ I would come to see you!”
“You would? Really?” Such an unexpected response!
“ If I do audition do you have any advice?” She was so talented and I really respected her as a teacher. I wrote down what she shared and went on to ask two additional coaches their opinions. Each one shared different guidance, all I recognized as true.
The inner dialogue reconciled.
“Worse case, you get more audition experience. If you get into the cast and are kicked out of the first show, you got three training sessions and show experience. Best case, you go to the finals and get to spend the day after your birthday with talented players, growing even more. “(Getting real/getting uncomfortable, getting real uncomfortable.)
Walking out of the theater, I said goodbye to the two new players I had met at audition, thanked them for playing, and left for home. I didn’t feel like I had done well, but I knew I had done my best. It was different than the other auditions. There was a monologue where you talked about when you fell in love with improv. And there was a dialogue among the players on stage about the performance.
I read the email, filling in the blanks after the first line I’d seen before….”You’re awesome and thanks for auditioning….Unfortunately…”.
Wait, this was different. I had to read it several times before it sunk in. Really? I made the cast? What?! (read with excitement. )Wait, what. I made the cast (read with disbelief.) Fear. Read again. I made the cast! Excitement.
(Part Two: Rehearsals, photo shoots, and a two minute video (lions and tigers and bears) Oh My)