An Extreme Makeover
If you’ve been following my last few posts, you’d be aware that apart from the artistic mess that my life has been over the last few weeks – I was also prepping for an audition for a major musical.
In the week running up to the weekend, I was in a mad prep for said audition by running my lines, learning words from the song I had to sing; and most importantly – getting the costume ready for the character I was auditioning for. Sam assisted me in the most crucial way by going over to hospice between her classes and buying cheap old clothes (which is very much a common occurrence nowadays, what with the hipster movement and all) for me while I was at work. She managed to get a blazer, a white waist coat, gloves, a pair of brand new boots and she also managed to construct a homemade hump for my back from stockings and pillow stuffing (for the character’s hunched back). She also took the liberty of assigning her shiny tight skinny pants to me to complete the look of the character. But, something was missing: the hairdo!
The character has blonde hair and a bald patch! Initially we had attempted to gel my hair back to give it that sleek butler look, but even with that done – I still just looked like a super metro-sexual 20-something man looking to make an impression at some trendy up-market venue! We then went for an alternative, why not temporarily colour my hair blonde?
Come Friday afternoon, Sam was emptying a can of “yellow” party hairspray onto my head! It didn’t help that the spray made it look more gold than blonde and was smelling up the place to no end! Looking at myself again, I realised – why not just shave the middle of my head and go all out? I mean, it’s not everyday you get a chance to appear in a renowned musical much less an audition for anything! Sam gave me that doubtful look again, what are people gonna think of me? Going out into public with a bald patch that appeared out of nowhere! What were my co-workers gonna say when I arrived back at work on Monday? I had a moment of doubt. But then I thought, who cares man! This is my life and it’s not like my hair isn’t gonna grow back in a month!
The procedure of hair shaving went ahead as planned. I looked the part. I looked slimey and villainous. My one friend Adrian even said I looked like a sex offender.
On Saturday morning Sam and I were off on the train to Cape Town bright and early. Arriving at the Fugard Theatre, I changed into full costume as Sam applied makeup to my face and darkened my eyes. Walking into the waiting area, my audition group Group G, were all congregated and ready to go up and show the panel what they were made of. Myself and another guy were the only two males present, while the rest were all girls – all looking rather nervous and flushed.
I’d heard that they were gonna teach us a dance routine – not that I was aware of this prior! The choreographer walked in and started teaching us the routine and it sucked! It wasn’t very difficult, but we had to learn it in half and hour and my body memory is so out of it – having done physical theatre for the last time about 3 years ago at the end of my drama studies.
It wasn’t long and my name was called to go up the stairs into the audition room. As I walked into the room, I saw 3 panel members all looking quite surprised at my hairdo, and unsure about whether I had really gone all out and shaved my hair! The one guy even asked me if it was real. I then sang one song I had prepared while accompanying myself on piano. They actually let me complete the whole song – which in most auditions is a rare occurrence. One of them, who I’m assuming was the musical director; asked the accompanist to check my vocal range. Doing an ‘ah’ and going up the major scale in each successive key, I finally got to the top of my range before hitting the breaking point.
There was no acting involved but I felt very positive about the singing audition because it went ahead as planned with very little going wrong. The dancing however, was a completely different ball game.
After my singing audition I went back down to learn the rest of the routine in something like 5 minutes before they called everyone back up to do the routine for the panel. It didn’t go too good for me as I fumbled over a lot of the moves! We did it one more time with everyone, where they asked us to have more fun with it. Forgetting most of the moves, I just improvised my way out of it – doing random pantsula and kwaito jives!
The audition was over and I am waiting to hear if I get a call back or not. The issue of whether to shave all my hair off now remains.