Saturday I auditioned for the Opera.
Not just any opera - THE Metropolitan Opera.
Oh no, not in any singing way - please do I seem that sadistic? Or masochistic? No, I auditioned for a background part, an extra, a super (Supernumerary) in Opera lingo.
The opera? War & Peace.
Alright, honestly I didn't so much audition as I attempted to audition. They were looking for an army - War & Peace, kinda screams out for a big ol' army, doesn't it? Of course for this particular army they were looking for men. Me? Not much in the 'men' department.
The way this all started was this: Last week I got an email from a friend of mine who had gotten an email from a woman she used to work with who is now working at the Met. She was forwarding along a casting notice and my friend sent it to me.
Now this email said "everyone is welcome" but I had a sneaking suspicion that in this case they were not being equal opportunity in terms of gender. Still, there was no mention that it was male specific, I figured what the hell I'll go, see if they see me and if nothing else it will be a story. Also, my friend was as yet unaware of my newfound love of Opera - it just seemed so serendipitous that I HAD to give it a try. Oh and if I got it, I'd get paid. I'd get to see the opera and make some cash doing it. How could I pass on that? So I went.
Oh my oh my it was quite a little event.
There was a line out the door when I arrived. A line full of men.
Oh wait, there was some guy who had his girlfriend with him. Who brings their significant other with them to a job interview? Strange... but I digress. She wasn't auditioning. So in fact there was an enormous line of men and little ol' me.
Did I feel silly? A little.
Did I feel like I ought to step off that line? A little.
Did I feel like a kid in a candy store? A little more than a little.
While we waited, the boys and me, a very sweet young woman came down the line handing out information sheets explaining exactly what to do when you got to the sign-in table and how the audition would run from there. Very nicely organized The Met, I love that.
She handed me a sheet and didn't bat an eye. I figured that meant that while I was in the minority, aside from helpful girlfriend chick, that I was not completely out of the running in terms of being cast. Hey, stranger things have happened. Stranger things have happened to me any way. So I chilled out, and sent Gary a txt message telling him I was essentially surrounded by fellas, i.e. in HEAVEN.
The gentleman behind me was stopped by another man who asked if he could interview him. He was a reporter from the New York Times doing a story on the audition. Slow news week, much? As they talked, all I could think was: here I am, the lone female on this line and this reporter is talking to the guy directly behind me. Now, I'm no journalist, but I have to wonder: don't you think that if there's a giant crowd of men and just one woman that maybe, just maybe now, the real story would be to interview that one woman? Just a thought.
After about 10 minutes, the line growing ever longer behind me, the young woman who had handed out the information sheets stopped me - only moments before I would enter the building where I could actually sign-in and follow all the detailed instructions on that sheet - and said, "we're not really seeing women today."
I actually cracked up. I told her I figured as much, but it seemed like such a hoot that I thought I'd give it a shot. She was very, very sweet about the whole thing and God knows I must have seemed like either a nutjob or a dope when I asked, "can I go through the process anyway?" (seems I grew a set just by being surrounded by all that testosterone). She just looked at me and said, "ummmm, not really." But she said it very nicely. Honestly she was very diplomatic and you don't always run into that in a cattle call situation so if I knew her name I'd post it here and give her some recognition for being a doll. But I don't. Ah well.
I only pushed to get in to do the audition because I thought it would make a really, really amusing anecdote; but I also understood that it would be unfair to take the time away from someone who might actually be cast. But damn I really wanted to go in and do some marching. I know damned well I'd have ended up tripping my entire audition regiment group and oh what hilarity that would have been.
Later that night I went with some friends to see Naked Boys Singing. It was just a big ol' boy day for me, huh? At the theater there was a cardboard stand-up from another show, Altar Boyz. It was the kind you stick your head through and take pictures with. How could I resist? Dig the biceps on that chick!
I wonder if they would let me audition now?
Never give up. Never surrender.