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.


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