I saw a post on facebook that says anyone who doesn’t know what it’s like to wait never waited for a cast list to be put up for a high school musical. So true! I have been on both sides of casting and neither is easy. There is a knot inside and I have honestly peeked at the list with my eyes squinted, almost shut. I have devised a strategy that works for me.
First I audition for anything I can. Or at least I did before COVID. There aren’t many roles for older women to begin with. At least a mask would hide wrinkles, but theater is dark right now. But my thought is that if the odds are not in my favor, I’m going to use the auditions as my means to perform. I have an audience that has to listen to me, right? And they can’t say anything terrible to my face. So I go in and sing my heart out. It makes me strangely happy that they have to listen no matter how bad it is. Now don’t think “oh, I’m sure it was great” because believe me it isn’t. But I do it anyway.
Once I’m done, I tell myself I did not get cast. In all honesty you can sometimes feel it. There was one time I don’t think the pianist was even playing the same song (blame the pianist..). But sometimes you can’t tell. If I was really able to, I wouldn’t think about it but that’s not the way it works. You can’t help but start to think about how you would make the role/person come to life. How would I stand/sit/move to make the person real. Then inevitably, if it’s a decent theater, there is a phone call. If they want you, it’s the best feeling in the world and you won’t sleep; you’ll be busy looking at videos of your part. If you are not cast, they always say or send an email saying thanks and please audition again. I am of course disappointed, but it is amusing that they think they have to encourage me to audition again when I know they are wishing this old lady would just dry up and blow awy. But like the cat, I come back. Again and again and again. It s the stubborn streak in me I guess, I never give up hope. No matter how awful, there is hope.
I think the two candidates for President are standing at this point. One will be elated. One will be profoundly disappointed. One will be cast as the lead in a four year long drama. When the initial feeling wears off, he will have an awful lot of work to do. The idea of being president, like the idea of multiple shows, is daunting. The other will determine whether he has grace and maturity, as will the party leadership. Either way, it’s going to be awhile before the list is posted, and we are going to have to wait.
We are not a nation that likes to wait. We want everything now. When a crime is committed we want to know right away who did it. We aren’t happy with “black Friday” we need to go shopping on Thanksgiving. Patience may be a virtue elsewhere but it takes a certain understanding to be patient and we don’t have time for understanding. We want sound bites, we want everything now. We want a show. Waiting can be agonizing. As I write this someone is “calling” the race. I’m sure everyone wants to be first. I’m not going to celebrate yet; I think I’ll just be patient. I know the gentle good spirit would try to be kind in victory (once determined) but there was a lot of hate in this election. No, I am not the gentle good spirit right now. I want to be and will be in the future. I do think tonight I’ll thaw out some mini cheesecake bites we got from the grandson’s fundraiser and have a private moment of hope and wait for the final cast list.
Meanwhile, here are some photos of my husband’s birthday cake—after Chester pulled it off the counter. I came into the kitchen and he was standing there with his hound snoot buried in the cake. You never saw a happier dog until I took it away. We had a one layer cake instead of two but it was just fine. Honestly.