Hello actors and actresses!
The Actor and The Actress: The Actor, The Agent, The Audition (Part One)
When David, Giovanna’s agent, drove Sissy home that night, he asked her if she would like to come in to his office and do a monologue from “Ondine” so he could see her work. He said he might be able to help her find representation, but would need to see her perform first. Sissy was thrilled and couldn’t believe her good luck.
That night, Sissy started researching to find the monologue David had described to her that occurred at the end of the play. She found it online and stayed up all night reading it. She loved the story and the character and couldn’t wait to go to work on it the next day.
She waited until 11am the next morning before calling Hugh to get his advice on bringing it to class before going in to the agency to do it. She knew she needed to move quickly to have it ready for David, and it could take awhile to get an opening in class. When she called, Giovanna answered the phone.
S: (feeling slightly intimidated) Good morning Giovanna, I hope I’m not calling too early.
G: Who is this?
S: Oh, I’m sorry, it’s Sissy. I wanted to talk to Hugh about a monologue for acting class.
G: (cheerfully) Bon giorno! He’s gone to the gym, but I’ll tell him you called.
S: (anxious) When do you think he might be home?
G: I’ve no idea, but you can try back in a few hours if you haven’t heard from him. Ciao!
S: Thank you. (awkwardly) Ciao!
Maybe I shouldn’t have called, she thought. She poured another cup of coffee and began to break down the monologue as she followed the chapter on Preparing For a Scene from her acting class book.
She read over the monologue again and again, searching for the heart of the character and the pain she felt in this moment.
ONDINE (1939) by Jean Giraudoux adapted by Maurice Valency
Scene set-up: Giraudoux’s play is a charming fairy tale with bittersweet consequences about Ondine, a beautiful water nymph, and Hans, the handsome knight who falls irretrievably in love with her. Unable to remain in a world vastly different from her own, Ondine says goodbye to her lover.
ONDINE: No, Hans. I have taken my precautions. You used to laugh at me because I always made the same movements in your house. You said I counted my steps. It was true. It was because I knew the day would come when I would have to go back. I was training myself. And now, in the depths of the Rhine or the ocean, without knowing why, I shall go on forever making movements that I made when I lived with you. When I plunge to the bottom, I shall be going to the cellar—when I spring to the surface, I shall be going to the attic. I shall pass through doors in the water. I shall open windows. In this way I shall live a little with you always. Among the wild Ondines there will be one who will forever be your wife. [Oh! What is it?]
[HANS: I forgot for a moment.]
[ONDINE: Forgot what?]
[HANS: To breathe. Go on, Ondine, go on.]
ONDINE: Before I left, I took some of the things in our room. I threw them into the river. They seem strange to me in the water, these bits of wood and metal that speak to me of you, they float about aimlessly out of their element. It’s because I’m not used to it yet: tomorrow they will seem as firm and stable as the currents in which they float. I shall not know what they mean, exactly, but I shall live among them, and it will be strange if I don’t use them sometimes. I shall drink from your cup. I shall look into your mirror. Sometimes perhaps your clock will strike. Timeless, I shall not understand this sound but I shall hear it. And so, in my way, though death and the infinite come between us, I shall be true to you always.
Having dozed off, Sissy woke up late that afternoon, not sure how long she’d been asleep. She’d been dreaming about Ondine and her life in the water. She looked at the clock—5:00 pm and no call from Hugh. Oh well, she’d see him in class that night and could talk to him then.
The phone rang, it was David’s office asking if she could come in tomorrow morning. Oh no, this can’t be happening, she thought, I’m not ready. “Of course,” she said, “What time shall I be there?”
© 2017 Lynette McNeill Studios
Stay tuned for PART 2!
Release date: 5/19/17