The Next Three Months Will Be August

The theatre where I did Emperor’s New Clothes announced that they were doing August: Osage County (yes, the one that inspired the movie now in theatres) a few months ago and I was really excited. I’ve wanted to be in the show for a very long time. I auditioned in November and was called back for the role of Jean, the main character’s fourteen year-old daughter. FINALLY. Third time’s the charm, I guess. But the day of the callback, there was a huge snowstorm and they were postponed. I was actually okay with this because I felt like I wasn’t prepared.

The callbacks were rescheduled for a week and a half later, and I felt much more ready. After getting the list of everyone called back (and the two women who were already cast), I might have done some Facebook stalking to see how old the women were and if I looked like the woman cast as Barbara.

The callback went really well. At first I was disappointed because the scenes I was given for Jean were the same ones I’d done in the audition, and I felt like I didn’t do very well with one scene in particular either time, though at one point I had to go into the hall and grab my script from my bag because the director wanted to see more of the scene that wasn’t on the photocopies. The director called in one of the men to do the first Jean/Steve scene, where they talk about old movies and smoking pot and fifty year-old Steve flirts creepily with Jean. I was feeling good about that scene, when the director suddenly raised a hand and said, “STOP. Go to Act 3 Scene 2.” I riffled through my script and was shocked to see that this guy I had just met and I were going to do the assault-of-Jean scene together.

The scene actually went really well. It involves Jean and Steve getting very close while they’re very high and ends with another character whacking Steve in the head with a frying pan. I had a lot of fun and I was feeling pretty good when the director dismissed me.

My phone had been slowly dying all day, and I usually keep it switched off to save the battery in those cases. But because I was driving, I turned it on for safety, and when I was about halfway home, my phone rang. It was one of the women who ran the theatre. “Are you in any position to come back and read for Johnna?” she asked. I said yes automatically and turned my car around, but I was pretty confused. Johnna is a great part, but one I’ve never even considered playing. She definitely more age-appropriate for me, since she’s 26, but she’s also Native American, which I am not. My skin tone may be warmer than some white people’s, but there is no doubt that I am white. Because of this, I’ve never looked at her very closely when reading the play. But I was happy to have another opportunity, and after returning to the theatre, I was happy with how I read the Johnna scene. Then I was dismissed again.

On my way to work about a week later, I was at a stop light when my phone told me I had a new e-mail. I looked at it and yelped very loudly when I saw that I was cast as Johnna. It was a strange mix of excitement and disappointment. I really, really wanted to play Jean, and I’m getting too over the hill to play her. But Johnna is a great character and AT LAST I am in a show again. Plus, I love this show in particular. I cannot wait to get started.

SNAFU Day

Before leaving for Second Christmas in Buffalo, I had a last day of work. It was at a Wal-Mart, which is usually a great thing, and it was closer to my parents’ house, where I was going afterward, than Philadelphia.

Everything was going fine for the first two and a half hours. Before my second show, I noticed that the paging system wasn’t working for my last announcement, but it was no big deal; I got an audience anyway, and I was sure that the problem would be solved by the time I was ready to make another announcement. 

Not so. About forty five minutes later, the system was still down. I thought maybe it was just the phone I was using, so I went to four other phones and tried it, with no positive results. I called my manager as I got in the long, long line for customer service to ask if they could help me and left him a message explaining what was going on. When I finally got up to customer service, they didn’t service me very well.

ME: Do you know if your paging system is having any problems?
EMPLOYEE: Paging system?
ME: Like your overhead announcements?
EMPLOYEE: Oh. Hm… I don’t know. Lindsey, do you know if there’s anything wrong with the paging system?
LINDSEY: Uh… paging system? No…
EMPLOYEE: I think it’s working.
ME: That’d be awesome if it were. Do you mind if I try it?
EMPLOYEE: Sure. But, uh, I don’t know the code or anything.
ME: It’s okay, I know it. 
(I try it. No dice.)
EMPLOYEE: I’ll call our manager. Maybe she knows.
(She calls the manager. I wait for awhile. The manager comes, asks me a question, then wanders off and doesn’t come back, so I returned to my booth.)

I knew that I was wasting time when I could be making money or at least working on solving the problem. Sometimes, if the paging system is broken or it’s not helping or the store managers request we not make overhead announcements, we use a personal PA system. I hate using it because we have to walk the indoor perimeter of the store, but I preferred doing that over not making any money that day. So I took out the amp and reached inside the bag for the mic… and there wasn’t one. This meant the PA system wasn’t usable. 

Almost as soon as I made this discovery, my manager called back. I explained the situation to him and he told me to go to the nearest Radio Shack, buy a mic, and use that. So I did. I found a pretty good-looking hands-free mic, and the employee who helped me told me it would definitely work with the amp. I brought the mic back to Wal-Mart, plugged in the amp and the headphones and… nothing. I tried a different configuration and- yes!- sound came out of the amp, but it didn’t happen when I talked into the mic part of the headset. It happened when I spoke into the earpiece. Though this obviously wasn’t ideal, I tried to figure out how to make it work, but I couldn’t. So I brought the whole unit back to Radio Shack.

Two employees helped me and when I explained what was going on, the guy employee said, “That can’t be true.” He tried it. It was. The girl got me a new one from the shelf and we tried that. Same result. They were perplexed. They worked really hard to figure out what the problem was, which turned out to be that the amp is too old to be hooked up to fancy things. In the end, they found me a lapel mic that worked, so I bought that and went back to Wal-Mart.

The lapel mic worked for me, sort of. Since I didn’t have lapels or a collar of any kind, the mic couldn’t get close enough to my face to pick up any sound, so I had to hold it up to my mouth to speak into it. This meant I couldn’t use it in the show, where I need two hands. Luckily, I’m loud. The mic also didn’t have a wind screen (the black mesh cover on microphones), so if I breathed at all while it was on, it sounded like a gust of wind was sweeping through the store. 

I made do for the rest of the day, but with all the problems and driving back and forth, I had lost about four shows. Taking that into account, my numbers weren’t too bad, but if I never have another day like that, it’ll be too soon.

23 Things To Do Instead Of Getting Engaged Before You’re 23

23 Things To Do Instead Of Getting Engaged Before You’re 23.

 

I think I can get behind this…

Hello, everyone! It’s been awhile since I wrote. I have been working like crazy and, because I am an old lady, going to bed very early almost every night.

Christmas has come and gone, and for the first time, I think I finally understand what people mean by the post-Christmas letdown. Don’t get me wrong, I had a lovely Christmas- Stuart stayed with me for a few days prior, then we went to my paternal family’s Christmas Eve party, which was fun, as usual. Then I spent Christmas morning with my parents before heading over to Stuart’s in the afternoon. And maybe it’s because I had to work from 10-7 the next morning, in a WalMart where all of the holiday merchandise seemed suddenly to be odious to them as they tried to sell it as quickly and cheaply as possible, but it suddenly occurred to me that this is how a lot of people feel every year. Yuck. 

But as I said, I did have a very nice Christmas. I love seeing my family, even if it’s just for a short time. My favorite gift was definitely the weighted blanket my mom made me. I heard about them a couple months ago, and it sounded like what I’d been needing for awhile. Since trying it, I know that’s definitely true. It’s amazing.

I’m writing from my sister’s apartment in Buffalo, NY, where we’ve come to have a second Christmas with her, since she couldn’t come to us in PA due to work. We’re getting a family picture done today, I believe… very overdue, since the last time we got one, I was a senior in high school.

Upcoming stories this week: the SNAFU-filled workday I had on Friday, and I got cast again!

Aside