false lashes

I have been too busy this week to even write my stories. That means I’ve been too busy to be healthy.Photo on 2-7-2014 at 11.25 PM

Michael’s doing two plays back to back, performances and rehearsals day and night. So I get Nora full time plus I will have the dog and cat and my house guest and my seven jobs. And a few days ago another kid gave Nora lice again after being clear for so long…so I’ve been nitpicking and doing heaps of wash…

Today it came to a head. I auditioned for something I really wanted. Great director, one of my most admired playwright colleagues, three months of work, some of it in Calgary where my dear nieces are. I read the whole script, I memorized my lines, I did a voice coaching, I worked my song for hours, I did research, I picked out the right outfit, I did my hair and make up and I even got period eyelashes put on professionally to really feel the part. I’m not sure how I could have prepared more. It might have been partly because I had to pick up Nora from school and rushed to get down there and they were early and waiting for me to arrive – which is always awful…I was so shaky, I had to take my high heels off. I couldn’t remember a damn line so I had to get out my glasses and read from my script. Then it came to sing – it was unaccompanied, a tricky song full of flats and despite a pretty good ear, I was lost and a ¬†complete disaster. You’d never know I had worked the song. You’d never know I can sing it like a hot damn. I completely stunk up the room. And no, I’m not exaggerating. Sometimes disasters happen.

Even my eyelashes (behind my f’ing glasses) could not save me. And as I was singing there, shaky and off key and on the verge of tears I saw my nieces faces get smaller and smaller as I knew I wouldn’t be spending that time with them…and I started to panic about money during my song…(not great for the vocal chords). I am currently auditioning for a play that MADE the season while waiting to hear if mine has been cut…and I’m starting to fear it has – the director cuts through my thoughts, kindly, “Thank you, I think that’s enough.” He assures me the song doesn’t have to be good because my character is a little drunk…

Then right after the audition I’m told that my play has been cut from the season. It was cut a couple of weeks ago but nobody had the courtesy to tell me. While I’m being told, my child holding my hand, other auditioners waiting…there goes half my year’s income. Whoosh. But I smile smile smile.

As soon as the door closes and Nora and I tromp off to the market, my hands are shaking so badly I have to make a joke of it and damn it I want to cry but I don’t want to in front of my child. She can tell I’m upset of course and she says, “I thought you did great, Mom. I saw you up there I thought – WOW”.

Sigh. Look how she’s developed the skill of cheerleading – having two actors as parents.

I buy her a cupcake as a consolation prize for having to drag her off to a film audition next. The theatre audition was for “an aging actress” and the film audition was for “an aging beauty queen”.

While I sit in the room there is a very nice fellow I haven’t seen for a decade, up for a Santa Claus role that he is forty pounds too light for. Marvellously talented. Can sing, act, play, dance, handsome, charming…doesn’t work much. I’m sure he will not get this role. Two perfect saint Nicks are plump and white haired and wearing red flannel beside him. He’s sitting there the lean meat of a Santa sandwich. He might as well go home.

That audition goes well as far as I can tell. Then I rush home and prepare a three course dinner for friends. We have a lovely evening. Jim Hodgkinson is a concert pianist, jazz pianist, composer, and his partner Seana-Lee Wood is a singer actor writer dancer. They are a remarkable duo. Like me, they’ve worked some AMAZING gigs across the country and like me they have also done some crazy gigs in odd places and manual labour and grub work and suspect partners and the whole shebang. As much as I wish they didn’t struggle at all, it does remind me that it isn’t personal. My play got cut because plays get cut. I don’t get the role because they want a red head. Who knows?

After everyone leaves, Nora asks about tomorrow. I open up my daybook and see two days with absolutely no obligations except mum. I have left overs in the fridge. My house is clean. Suddenly everything is possible again.


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