Saturday, February 5, 2011

Auditions... For MY Writing!

Yesterday and today were the auditions for my English university's New Writer's Festival... which means that people- actual, willing participants who most likely can act- were auditioning for my pieces.

I was actually there as an actor, but as a writer, it was pretty exciting too. Since I'm new to the school, no one attached the writer name to me, and I got to hear people explain and discuss my pieces while remaining essentially invisible. And everyone who read them seemed to like them :) As I said before, they asked me a few times if I wanted to direct and I said no. Now I see why they asked me so many times- almost everyone else is directing their own pieces, so they must have thought I was really weird. But even in hindsight, I think I made the right choice.

I auditioned for my pieces as well as the six others that were chosen. The shorter one, the one based off the dinner I had with my friend, her mother, and her grandmother, is being directed by a guy who has some pretty cool ideas about it, which he explained to me when he found out that I was the playwright. I'm pretty excited to see it played out- it's going to be even funnier than I wrote it!
When you went into these auditions, you wrote your name down or, more likely, they asked you and wrote it down themselves, probably to put a name with a face. So when I went into my second one, they said, "Name?" I could see mine glaring out of the byline that the girl had right in front of her, so I said, "Rachel." "Rachel what?" I practically whispered my last name, and she went, "Oh... oh, you're the writer. Okay... well, now I'm nervous." I told her not to be, that the reason I had submitted them was so they could be played with and to help me improve them. She seems pretty excited about it, and she's pretty much just keeping it how I wrote it- no fancy sets or crowds of people. I think both of these directors are going to be great.

The most interesting thing about watching my pieces be auditioned for was seeing how the humor carried over into an English setting. I didn't realise how many little Americanisms there were in my pieces until they were being performed in English accents. Besides one character saying "Mom" a few times, I also make reference to Stephen Sondheim and Ginger Rogers in one of them. No one had any idea who either of those two were... which was a little surprising considering that Stephen Sondheim is pretty famous worldwide. In the other scene, I have one character call another a jerk, and I'm not sure if they use that word here, but hearing it with the accent was pretty funny. Thankfully, most of the humor seemed to carry over well.

I'm hoping to be cast in something, but even if I am, I'm not sure if I can accept it (they announced last night that there will only be marathon rehearsals for the week before the show... and I already have a friend from France coming to stay with me for the majority of that week), but either way, I've got my pieces in the festival!

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