Scene4 Magazine: Claudine Jones |
Claudine Jones



March 2014

Oh, where do I begin?  How about with rejection.

Rarely has it been the intention of an actor to prepare & prepare & then not perform, yet it happens so many times in the course of a lifetime that it dwarfs the rest.  I tell herewith the story of one such occurrence.

But first, time for some serious shopping.
image005 image006

image008This is the one that signifies: purchase date=12/29/2013. I had it on my Kindle for a couple of months before that, passed it on to my trigger coach so, as a writer he could give it a thumbs up/down. If he didn't like the play, we'd have a problem. Thing is, if I'm singing something he doesn't like, I'll be disappointed, but basically that's too bad for him. With a play, it's more important that we have a consensus.  Just finish up Pergolesi & Josquin; we'd be off & running.

After I got my hard copy I bound it in my special little gray binder which meant that we could begin to parse out the scenes, break it down by character & so forth, mark it up with pencil. Also I started a spreadsheet of the play (because of a dream that seemed quite urgent about transforming it into color-coded patterns…) but never got past page 56; the concept was fine, but the implementation too labor intensive.

All that remained was to set up a trigger schedule.  This play is pretty long—3+ hours—but it was very clear what role I was suited for, so lots of extraneous scenes to clip out of the way. I decided I wanted to start with Act III—I like working backwards—and that act has some significantly heavy material. Lineload's a mofo. 

This time of year we've ordinarily got the furnace going, but a strange thing happened in California: we got no rain.  For weeks on end, the sun blasted two rooms with large windows—morning facing South & afternoon West.  Since we have a couch in both rooms, it only sufficed to choose a bit of time & plunk oneself down in the sun; trigger away! I used to be the sort that compulsively thought it would be a good idea to come to anything—play, opera, musical theater—already knowing the entire score/script.  I let go of that very gradually, but it was hard.  My reptilian brain still wants to be so far ahead that failure is not even considered: antidote to the re-occurring dream in which it's opening night & you have no costume & haven't even read the play. Now I'm just facing the cold hard reality of getting on top of the part before hell-week.

Then there was the hair. OMFG. I believe I've already addressed my hair issues in previous years. I'm greying, I don't do anything fancy to the mop; it does what it wants & until cast I am not willing to cut it all off. I could wear a wig to audition…?  No, too much. I almost was cast in Wit & told the director I'd be willing to shave it off; the woman who ended up with the role said the same & then her husband threw a fit.  She ended up doing it with a bandana. Lame. I just get mistaken for some other actor because I'm apparently defined by my hair. *sigh*. Okay, enough of that. I decided to bind it up & minimize it, & wear the funeral garb of the second Act. It will be more about the voice & the face, I resolved. Body type, too. 

In fact, somebody on my FB page chortled that she'd been called back for Mattie-Fae—no competition there; plus I'd be totally chuffed to play her sister. It'd be way cool. She's good.

Since I don't believe in magical thinking anymore either I had proceeded to tell just about anybody—family, friends, colleagues—what I had in mind for the first few months of the year. If they wanted me on their calendars, they were going to have to be patient until AC [after casting]. I didn't then, nor do I now lend any credence to this having had an effect on the outcome. I did avoid my buddy Jon; did not go see the show he was in, mostly because of his leading lady, but also because I childishly did not want not to be able to gleefully announce my success. His show closed two days before the audition. Two days before my birthday.  He wished me a happy one anyway. It's possible he didn't connect the dots.

The FB friend went ominously quiet. Not a good sign.  I messaged her 'how'd it go? Casting by head-shot, you think? Any no roles are pre-cast casting?'  No response. I expect she has her own way of dealing.

So here I am, post-audition/no call-back/not cast & I am past furious & on into talking to my son in the kitchen about the BBC zombie show I might check out as a companion to The Walking Dead.

This only serves to remind me how much my heart hurts.

How much I really want to work on the stage.

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Like an orthopedic soprano, Actor/Singer/Dancer Claudine
Jones has worked steadily in Bay Area joints for a number of
decades. With her co-conspirator Jaz Bonhooley, she also has
developed unique sound designs for local venues. She's also a
Senior Writer and columnist for Scene4.
For more of her commentary and articles,
Check the Archives:

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Scene4 - International Magazine of Arts and Culture

March 2014

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