Hello actors and actresses!
The Actor and The Actress: The Actor, The Agent, The Audition (Part Two)
When we last saw Sissy, it was 5:00 pm and she had just received a call from David’s assistant, asking her to come into the office the following morning at 10:30 to perform her monologue from “Ondine” for him. She felt panicked and that she would never be ready by tomorrow morning. It required time and a lot of preparation to pull it off, none of which she had.
She made a protein drink loaded with extra vitamins and began working on the character and pouring over the lines. At 2:00 am, exhausted and cross-eyed from over-thinking the piece, she doubted her ability to act—let alone to ever have a career in the industry. Maybe if she took a short nap, she would wake and feel refreshed and could get a better grip on what she needed to do to make this come together.
She fell into a deep sleep, dreaming about Ondine returning to life as she knew it before she met Hans. The water was cold and black and unfamiliar to her. She’d forgotten how to swim and suddenly she was hit by a surge of fear, blindsided by the realization she couldn’t go on, she couldn’t return to that world as she’d thought she could. Her heart was breaking, and when she tried to call out, there were no words. She couldn’t breathe. She couldn’t speak. She tried to scream, but there was nothing. Tears were streaming down her face and she was sobbing. Suddenly, Sissy sat up.
It took her a moment to discover it was a dream. What she felt was the overwhelming love and the sadness of not being able to share how deeply she felt about Hans. That was it. She’d found the character and the moment. Ondine was brave, but what she felt ran deeper than anything she could have imagined.
She ran over the monologue a few times but it was a completely different experience now. She showered and dressed and decided she’d grab coffee on her way to the office; she was much too nervous and excited to eat.
When she arrived, she felt overwhelmed by the importance and sophistication of the space itself. The twenty-foot ceilings, the art on the walls, the people moving through the corridors, all of it looked powerful and intimidating. What was she doing here? She was in way over her head.
While she was waiting, she ran her lines and tried to convince herself she belonged there. When she heard the assistant call her name, she jumped. Embarrassed, she laughed and tried to recover as she walked into David’s office.
He greeted her in a friendly way, but was very business-like in his manner. They chatted for a moment before he asked her if she was ready to go. She said she was and got up and took a few steps before turning around and starting. Her heart was pounding, her hands were shaking, and her throat felt dry. How would she be able to begin in this state? But when she spoke, something shifted, and she became Ondine and nothing else in the world mattered. When she finished the monologue, she felt very real and very present. She looked at him and he seemed pleased.
He told her she was very talented and he wanted so see another monologue, but that they should discuss all of that over dinner. Was she free tonight?
Sissy literally floated down the hall to the elevator when she realized she’d left her purse in his office. When she returned, the assistant was nowhere to be found. As she walked up to David’s office, the door was closed but she could hear him talking to another female and asking her if she was ready to do her monologue from Ondine. Stunned, she felt her face go bright red, and she thought she would be sick. When the actress finished, he said he had some ideas for her, that they could discuss everything over dinner if she’d like.
After waiting for the other actress to leave, Sissy entered David’s office to get her purse. She thanked him for the opportunity to audition, but unfortunately had forgotten she had another engagement that evening and hoped she could call to reschedule. When he looked at her, he knew that she knew. Neither one said anything.
As she walked down the street, tears streaming down her face, her head was reeling from what had just occurred. She felt humiliated and wondered if she was really cut out for this business. She ran through the events of the last 24 hours, staying up all night, finding the character and how deeply she felt, how nervous she was before doing the monologue, and then somehow magically connecting and feeling so alive and free in the part.
She’d worked hard and had invested everything she knew and had learned in acting class to bring this piece to life. When she performed the monologue it felt great, like nothing she’d ever experienced before. As she turned the corner, something happened and she began to feel angry, not just with David but with herself. She loved acting. She couldn’t give up now. This was her heart and soul. How could she let this person or any other scoundrel determine her future? It felt good to be angry; she would not be defined by this moment. Her cell phone rang. It was David.