The huge turnout and interest in Paramount’s RENT cast is far more than anticipated, and the two days we planned for Round #2 of auditions this week are not nearly enough! There will have to be more calls. Meanwhile, the casting gods are smiling down upon us…as of April, we have managed to cast our first three shows (In The Heights, Miss Saigon & 42nd ST.) with just a very few more roles open among them. I pride myself in how the production teams are very careful and considerate, thorough and thoughtful, while making these most important decisions. If everyone knew how much time and regard goes into every individual who enters the audition…how valued every single actor is…how appreciated is the work and preparation each brings to the process, I think one would really feel impressed and relieved!
At a recent social gathering, I got into an interesting conversation with an artist, someone who’s work I have admired greatly since I first arrived in our town of Aurora. “I’m a coward”…my friend spoke of that dark place…wanting so badly to produce new work but afraid of rejection. Finding a safe hiding place within the camouflage that can be the duties of personal life frustrated profoundly. It gnaws at the psyche, at the soul, to know you are holding yourself back…your fears and yourself are the obstacle, your getting in your own way. “It takes a very real type of courage” I say. To the response, “I just can’t do it” I begin to preach…”you have a talent , a gift, and a responsibility to develop it.” Staring downcast, the reply is, “I’m just too scared.” “But you know this and that is 90% of the battle!” There’s heat as blood rushes to our faces…conflicted, passionate…sharing this moment in such an exposed, public setting. We go silent. Then, just as quickly we nod, smile, cool. Driving home under a sky on fire with sunset, I’m reflecting on my own fears, doubts…how often I answer to “How’s it going?” with, “It’s scary as hell” …making the choices right for “us,” our audience, our community and our organization, the company I serve and work for. Serve. The writer. The actor. The designer. The crew. The staff. The patrons. The budget! And the demons of artistic sorts to wrestle. There’s so much to “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself” (nod to FDR). When I heard that line in Annie last season, I was struggling with my plans for Fiddler On The Roof, and I’ll be damned if I didn’t see a bit of “the light”…that it gave me just the little boost I needed…and how I get that boost now in those around here who share an idea, enthusiasm, insight, vote of confidence, a laugh…
Gifts, talents within us simply have to be outed…do it, create, don’t hold back, give…(Ah, the truth in clichés )…the reward is in the giving, in the doing…find your way, the process, the journey…freed from that prison of withholding makes “light.” Get Out Of Jail!
‘Til next time, my thanks!