Apprehension

Last night, the Shakespeare company I’ve decided to try and audition for posted their sides up on their website, meaning that I have about a week to put together a video and submit it.

On top of that, another company announced auditions for THEIR season, and I really like both the shows and their dedication to education in schools, so I have decided to submit to both and see what happens.

Here’s the kicker: both companies are about, give or take, 20 hours away from here in opposite directions.

It shouldn’t be too hard of a process (the sides for the first company are from Titus–I have them mostly memorized anyway, and the second company’s audition is in a week, giving me more than enough time to prepare a 3-minunte monologue) but for some reason, I have this weird apprehension about it.

20 hours? I’d be a day away, in a different time zone, away from everyone and everything I love. No Whitey’s, no Blue Cat, and no Prenzies.

I know, fully and completely deep down, that if I were to submit my video/rock my audition and either company called me next month, I would pack up everything (with apologies to my Complete Works cast) and head out, hell, I’ve been looking up the closest hotels on Expedia for an hour now, but thinking about leaving everything behind to do something I really, really want to do is so weird.

Part of me feels like a traitor. Part of me feels like everything about the choice is right.

And it’s stupid, really, because this is contingent on about a thousand other things happening, none of them in my control.

One company is hiring 3 females, and that’s it– and while I have complete faith in my ability to rock my audition, there are probably more than 3 qualified females in a 4-state area vying for this job. And let’s face it– I’m not your traditional “ingenue”. My thought process is still tied so heavily to the idea of non-traditional/gender blind casting that it’s weird for me to have to turn that off and realize that I actually might have to look the part. Hell, no matter how awesome my audition is, it could come down to hair length or height (or,yes, weight) or any other combination of factors that have nothing to do with my ability to memorize a 3 minute monologue.

I don’t understand why I’m so freaked out. I lived in England, by myself (well, Abby was there, but I am confident that I could make at least ONE friend at either theatre) and it was an adventure the entire time. New things to do and see and try, and now, I’m basically faced with the same decision–for a much shorter period of time–and I’m still nervous.

Last night, it occured to me that I may have gotten comfortable. Being comfortable is grand and beautiful, but at the same time, I’ve spent the better part of my “grown up” life preaching about adventure and hope and everything exciting and beautiful about life, and here I am stressing because I might not see my friends for four months.

That’s dumb, Catie. That’s dumb.

I think it’s because I know how much I want it, to be able to say “I did this, I succeeded and now I am doing what I want to do”, but there is this huge part of me that knows that means putting everything I’ve worked for on the line, putting it in someone elses hands and saying “Judge me. Pick me. I’ve earned this”.

And in a way, I feel like maybe that’s what’s so hard.

Last night, I was working on one of my monologues in front of a mirror, and I had that dark, dark part of my most ugly and negative soul reared its ugly head and whispered “Wow, that’s what your face looks like when you act, and you’re going to go to a professional audition in Chicago and expect them to want to hire you? What are you, crazy?”

Well, maybe.

But I’m still going to go to the audition. I’m still going to try.

Maybe it will be an absolute disaster. Maybe it will be amazing. I have already accepted that the chances of actually getting a callback are really slim.

That’s okay.

But just going– doing it, showing up at an audition and having the confidence to present my work and myself to strangers who could potentially hire me, is something that I need to do for myself. I’ve spent so long telling myself that I’m not good enough– I don’t think that’s my place anymore. I’m not exactly objective. I have to live with my insecurities every day.

I think it’s time that I at least give myself the chance before I dismiss it.

And that, really, is the least I can do.

And Now, For Something Completely Different

My blog software just told me that this is my 100th post on my blog–I meant for this to be some sort of intelligent and interesting trek back through time, but then I thought, well…why not just make a bunch of testicle jokes instead?

So today I was super excited to find a message in my inbox from my awesomely talented friend Andrew asking if I might find it in my heart to write him a short monologue for a big audition he has coming up.

I love writing monologues. I’ve written a few for friends before, but today’s was a particularly interesting challenge as the audition required it to be a “non-fiction” piece.

Andrew requested it be about juggling.

Seeing as the show is about Oscar Wilde (who I am a huge fan of), I decided that really the only way to do him justice would be to be…Wildly (sorry) inappropriate.

I’m a little out of practice, but I thought I did pretty well for twenty minutes of writing on a Tuesday after a strike!

How to Juggle (Or, 2 Minutes to Over-kill)
By Catie Osborn

So you’d like to learn how to juggle. Congratulations, dear reader. You have taken your first steps into becoming the life of every party you may find yourself attending from now until the day you find yourself uninterested in attending parties, or dead. Should a party not be available to you, the techniques and skills outlined in this article can still be used to entertain yourself privately for hours on end.

The basic three ball juggle can be learned by most people in a short amount of time… maybe half an hour with help from a good teacher or perhaps a few days on your own. Go through these instructions at your own pace. Before you try each step, relax and visualize what you want to happen. With a little practice and patience, juggling will become easy.

Before you start, it’s important to accept that dropping is inevitable. Work on your technique first and worry about catching anything later. Many people find that juggling over a bed saves a lot of time and energy in picking up dropped balls.

The first and most important thing to learn is to throw and catch a single ball—we will move on quickly, dear reader, because if you can’t manage one, an additional two in your hands may prove disastrous.

When you are confident with your grip (and catching technique), you’re now ready for two balls. Hold one ball in each hand. Throw one of the balls up and across—Each of your hands should receive a ball at the culmination of each throw. Throw, throw, catch, catch.

Spend a few minutes throwing your pair back and forth, right to left and left to right. Each time, try to keep them at eye level or above—one might picture the balls hanging in the air above them—your hands are merely there to keep them from hitting the floor. Practice until this move is smooth and easy. Congratulations! You’ve learned the basic move needed for juggling!

Remember here to take a pause in between throws. “Juggling” works best when done relaxed and slowly.

Finally, when you’re ready, move on to three. Do not be intimidated, dear reader—the three ball juggle is identical to what we’ve just learned—think of the third ball as an additional guest, deserving of as much attention as your other two.

Begin by simply holding the balls to adjust to the feeling of three, placing 2 in the hand that you want to start with and 1 in the other hand. It should be a comfortable feeling. Then, simply toss as you’ve previously learned, adding the third ball directly behind your 2nd toss.

If you are having trouble catching the balls, think about where you are throwing them. The most common problem for beginners is throwing too far out in front of you. To cure this problem, try to keep your balls in front of your face. It may help to juggle in a confined area, such as a closet or out-of-the way room so as to minimize distractions.

With practice, you may even be able to add two sets of balls into your daily practice routine! As you practice, Remember, dear reader, that dropped balls happen. Simply dust them off and try, try again.

Things My Father Left Me (the coffee cup monologue)

Soooo another audition, another play….

I got stuck at auditions and didn’t know that I had to have a monologue. Should have figured that, but there you go… I have a bad habit of forgetting that I need a  monologue, but a weird talent for BSing my way through auditions by improving a monologue on the spot. I don’t recommend this technique.

I had just gotten coffee from the gas station, and they were out of those little cardboard thingies to not burn your hands, so I grabbed an extra cup. Out of having two cups and having my name called before I could remember my Durang piece, this monologue was born.

—————————————-

I had my first cup of coffee when I was nine. My father used to say that all situations could be solved over a cup of coffee–so every Sunday, we would head to this tiny diner on the other side of town. We didn’t go to church, so this was my holy ritual. We would get in the car, turn on classic radio, roll the widows down–even in winter–and drive faster than we were supposed to–to make it exciting. We’d get to the restaurant, sit in our usual booth on opposite sides, and Tiffany, our waitress, would deliver our usual–two cups of coffee, one black and one with two creamers and two sugars. We’d drink them slowly, sometimes ordering pancakes, sometimes just relishing the terrible coffee and each others company.

We’d discuss everything–politics, religion, law, history—and he’d always listen to me. Tiffany would come by once, to refill his glass and give me a cookie, and my dad would tip her thirty percent.

We’d drive back home and I’d run around the house for hours, hopped up on caffeine. My mother was furious–thought it would stunt my growth. I didn’t find out until I was 15 that I’d been drinking decaf.

My dad left when I was 18. I don’t know why. He just…left. For the next three Sundays, I walked to the diner on my own, would sit in our usual booth, order our usual coffees, one black, and one with two creams and two sugars, and wait. Tiffany had long stopped bringing me cookies, claiming that I was too old for cookies, but for those three Sundays, she brought them anyway. And so I sat, waiting.

He never came back. Sometimes, when I’m out at some restaurant or whatever, I’ll order two cups—just in case.

Fresh New (Boozy) Monologue.

In preparation for The Drowsy Chaperone Auditions next semester and just in time for last blast, here’s a 1-minute quickie.

You need only two things to achieve the man of your dreams—a good bra and a good martini.

Now, alone, these two may seem rather inconsequential, but when both are added into the same equation, it’s then that most men find themselves enraptured and you find yourself with a husband, which is, of course, the end goal. if not, i would suggest a better bra and an excellent pair of pumps.
A good martini consists of liberal amounts of gin, a conservative dash of vermouth and a single olive. I, personally, find olives deplorable and a waste of space that might be otherwise occupied, and so thusly omit them. Upon consumption of a few of these, I may omit my bra, but that is another story entirely.

In some cases, vodka may be substituted for gin, but this is only during times of great emergency or on sundays, but depending on where you find yourself on sunday morning, be it church or an unidentified flat on the upper east side, the term emergency may be more loosely interpreted. However, the absence of a good bra should always be considered an emergency, unless it has just been misplaced, in which case, you should remain calm, and fix yourself a drink if necessary.

So Here’s the Thing.

A new monologue, written in a fit of inspiration this morning.

Lights up.

A girl steps forward out of the shadows and speaks thus:

So here’s the thing. Not everything is about you. Because I haven’t even given you a second thought for 8 months. Why? Because it’s over. it’s been over. It’s was over before it was even over because you wouldn’t let it die. And now I am informing you that—well, I suppose if you don’t have anything nice, right? Because right now it’s all I can do to not call you and scream at you and tell you what I REALLY think, which isn’t something you really want to hear anyway, because trust me, I don’t get pissed often but I’m pissed now. I suppose I should have delineated territories and boundaries, but I also thought you were smart enough to figure that out yourself. Apparently, you aren’t. So listen to what I’m saying. I don’t care anymore. I don’t know if I ever really did. Maybe it was just new and fun or maybe it was pity or something in between, but I am so far beyond the realm of anywhere close to missing you that it makes me want to puke. So one more time, I’m going to tell you. Not everything is about you. Nothing I ever do will be about you. Your incredible vanity is matched only by your vast insignificance.  And I am more than could bes and might have beens. So are you.

A Few New Monologues.

So I’ve been writing a lot of performance stuff recently, and a few friends have asked me to write them up monologues for various occaisions and auditions. Also, my boyfriend just broke up with me, so please ignore some of the sappy emo-ness of some of them. It happens.


Monologue 1:

Okay, so, listen. I know what you’re thinking, and you’re right. Three of these and your collection is complete. But what if I told you that right now, I am willing to throw in a vintage 1987 yankee? And not just any Yankee, either. I’m talking a vintage, never before touched by human flesh Willie Randolph. The most acclaimed infielder of the ’87 season. Batting average .305, salary, $900.000  big ones. And all of this can be yours if you just ask my sister to the dance. Look, I know she’s not that smart. Or pretty, but she really wants to go. Last year she was sick and the year before that she had a broken arm and so this is her last chance at getting to go to the Starry Enchantment Under the New York Pyramids Dance. I’m on the committee, Mrs. Flynn said there wasn’t a budget for new decorations since the gym needs repairs and so we just pulled from storage but anyway, listen, Ricky. You’ve known me for a long time, I’m an honest guy. I’m fair. What if I threw in a 1980 Bobby Sprowl? Best pitcher the Astros ever had. Three seasons, not one error. Mint condition, Ricky. Mint. And I will include, in this once in a life time deal, this bag of Twizzlers. Cherry, Ricky. Cherry. Just please. Ask my sister to the dance or Mom says I’m grounded.

Monologue 2:

So there you are. And there he is. And then, suddenly, he’s not. And you’re sitting there and you’re thinking “what the fuck” because that’s all you can think and meanwhile everything around you is moving at the speed of light and you’re stuck in slow motion trying desperately to catch up, but you know that everything is going to be different by the time you get there. That’s what it’s like. Or something like it, I suppose. It’s different maybe, for others. A new series of factors: how long, how much, how little, that sort of thing. But in the end, you’re left with just you and this world that keeps on spinning no matter how desperately you wish it would stop for just one moment, just to let you catch your breath and figure out what the hell happened, where it went wrong, catch everything before it falls apart. But that’s not how the world works. No matter what we do, it just keeps moving. So we have to keep up. You have to keep up.


Monologue 3:

My neck hurts in the evenings and it is then that I miss you most. Not you–I stopped missing you before you were gone. Somewhere between your immeasurable sadness and my desperate need and inability to fix you, I ceased in caring because I couldn’t care enough. I couldn’t love you enough to fix you, so I forced myself to let go, because I knew in the end, it was coming. Which, I suppose, is what led to the end. So I have resolved not to miss you. But I miss your touch. Your arms, the sweat of your forehead–I miss you. Not you. Your person. The bits and pieces that I can recall when I shut my eyes. Your breath on my neck, me holding on desperately and knowing I’d have to let you go eventually. There was such beauty in those moments. Hope. A hope that maybe things would work out, that the fates would collide and the stars would allign and suddenly, you would be okay. You would be okay. Things might work for me, just this once. I knew they wouldn’t from the beginning. But still I hoped. I wanted it to. I think I needed it to. So I don’t miss you. I miss what we could have had.

Monologue 4:

There is this moment, just before the dawn, when the stars shine down and watch as the world vibrates its way to a new morning. There’s always been something about that moment. The way the whole world seems to stop and the stars hold their breath, waiting for that great rebirth. This sudden perfect stillness that gives way from velvet black  into the magnificent golden dawn. It’s as if we’re given a chance, another turn–as though nothing bad could happen because all of the energies of the universe are focused on creating the new day. Anyway, after he–after– I realized that that stillness is just the stars holding their breath,hoping that just for one night no such–abominations will occur under their timeless watch. Unfortuanately for those celestial beings, the men of earth strike at night. They use that perfect stillness to muffle screams and silence cries, and they use that beautiful velvet blackness to sneak away unseen night after night after night. It’s then that the dawn comes, but I know better.  And that, Daniel, that is why I write. To make sense of such beauty in an ugly, ugly world.