8/14 -11/14…WOW! I made it to Chicago!! Hahahaha. So…this was one of the best stories in terms of callbacks EVA. As an actress we go on auditions all the time and sometimes we get, or I will speak for myself, I
get too ahead of myself and start dictating what will and will not work for me. I do this without giving myself a chance to explore new, wonderful, fun opportunities. SO…I get the email and the call. Yes…that is how it works. I get an email from my agent and then her assistant calls me to tell me about it to make sure I got the email and she says the same thing to me every time before hanging up, “make sure you look it over and make sure the dates are cool with you and please confirm. Have a great day Bianca!”. I say, “Thanks Girlie/Jenn/Ruthie”. Most of the time I just graze the email lightly and send a quick email back that says “confirm”. I finished whatever I was doing as the busy New Yorker that I AM and I look it over AGAIN…HOLD ON! This is LEAR…I don’t know…I don’t know if this one is gonna be a good one. I don’t want to embarrass myself and FAIL big time in front of casting and whatever other 2 or 3 people are in the room. Immediately, I call my friend Axel Avin Jr.. Axel is classically trained like me but I think he loves it a little more than I do and I have to have someone go over these huge sides for Goneril with me! He is game. He is a coach (acting). He is always game to work. Over the phone, in his deep booming voice he’s like, “Yo, B, I will be over your house in like an hour, I will tell you if you should do this or NOT.”. We both laughed and I got to work. When he arrived, he coached me within an inch of my sanity and says “B, if you do THAT at the audition, you will book that shit”. I love it when he says that.
I go in…every pretty, strong, gorgeous complexioned black woman is there…all of them in my age range and power. ha. SIGH. Ignore. Find a seat at Pearl Studios, fix your wig, hum a little to make sure your voice is with you for power, pull out your headshot/resume and sides and FOCUS. Already prayed up. I walk in and Bob Mason, a man I do not recognize immediately, from Chicago Shakespeare Theater picks up conversation with me. It is light and friendly and then he does it…he asks me if I remember this girl (holds up a headshot). OH MY GOD! That is me when black and white headshots were the thing! THAT is one of my first headshots as a professional actress. AHAHAHAHAHAHA… I remembered. I auditioned for Bob when I was a badass’ badass straight out of SUNY PURCHASE. This is when my middle name was Shakespeare. hahaha. I was in St. Louis in an August Wilson (Radio Golf) play or in Othello (playing Bianca!) and I took a MegaBus to Chicago for the first time in my life and auditioned. He loved me, remembered me, and brought me in to read for Goneril. He says, “I wanted to see if you were still acting”. YES, I AM.
My agent’s assistant calls me and says, “you have a callback…they want to know if you are available to fly to Chicago on Monday”. YES, I AM.
It’s over. I am in the bathroom. I am taking off my wig, wiping the Ruby Woo off my lips. Elated. I did good but… my phone rings, it’s Jenn, the agent assistant. She wants to know if I have time to get fitted for my costume before I leave…as I am hanging up… the bathroom door opens and Barbara Gaines’ (Artistic Director) assistant wants to know if I can come back into the rehearsal hall a moment. I BOOKED IT.
In the cab my commercial agent calls and says, “HI Bianca, I know you are in Chicago, you are on hold for an American Express national commercial”. Please call me tomorrow when you get back to New York”. When it rains it pours.
And to think, I wasn’t going to go to the audition.