I just received an e-mail from the stage manager for Jack, or the Submission. I've been cast as Jacqueline! Our first rehearsal is this Monday night and I am so thrilled to start my second show ever with the theatre department, and to get to work so closely with so many brilliant seniors, including Bryna, the director.
Yesterday I also auditioned for the other theatre department show this semester, The Servant of Two Masters. Roger Babb (with whom I worked on Skin of Our Teeth) is adapting the play into a musical, but since there are non-musical parts, he said I could audition without singing. So I did, and then at the end of my readings, he asked me to sing. I politely refused, but he somehow finagled me into it. When I told him I didn't have any singing material prepared, he told me that I should sing whatever song came to mind. Then I said, "Roger, I've had a song stuck in my head for the last 24 hours but it's really inappropriate" -- to which he replied, "Just sing it anyway." So I did. And I sang the chorus to this. Yes, I know, really embarrassing. After I finished singing, Roger sat quietly (leaving me to think I was about to be dismissed from the theatre for good) until he said, "I like that song." I promptly followed this remark by clarifying that I had not, in fact, just had sex. (The musical director, Brendan Connelly, who is also my "Sound Design" professor, joked that he wasn't so sure.) This is a terribly long story, I know, but it was funny in the moment and still funny now, at least to me.
Anyway, after my full audition ended, Roger came to speak with me about callbacks for his show. He wanted to call me back but he also knew that I had auditioned for Bryna's show, so he asked me which I would prefer to be cast in if they both wanted me. We talked for a bit and decided that Bryna's show would be a better fit in my schedule (which is true), but he also told me that he considers me to be the next in a [somewhat exclusive] line of student actors in the department that he trusts and that he always knows he can use somewhere, somehow in his shows. Basically this meant he compared me with Jane Bradley (Sabina in Skin of Our Teeth) and Bryna and all of the other exceedingly talented seniors. I don't know if Roger knows it, but he made my day with that comment.
I was so overcome with surprise (and excitement) that Roger likes me as an actress that I blurted out, "Will you be my advisor?" before I could really think about the timing of my question. He's in the middle of auditions for a huge, 18th-century musical, he's set to leave for sabbatical in January, and he is already advising about half of this year's graduating theatre majors. But I've been meaning to ask for a while now, and not because I dislike my current advisor: she heads the department and has an adorable British accent, but she also focuses on set and costume design, whereas I plan to focus on performance. Since Roger is one of the two directors in the department, I know he's a better fit for me. So I asked the question and (again to my welcomed surprise) he said yes! All I have to do is fill out an advisor-change form and I am good to go. It seems strange now but I had been dreading asking him, maybe because up until yesterday I still felt unsure as to my working relationship with Roger. Our discussion yesterday, however, has made me feel 110% better about my standing within the department or, at the very least, my standing with Roger.
Enough about the theatre department, though! Classes started Wednesday and I accidentally missed my first class of the semester, due to a faulty alarm. It was my "Modern American Drama" class at UMass, the very first course I'm taking off-campus, and I slept through the bus time I was supposed to make. Whoops. Luckily Leanne is in the lecture with me (I am so happy!) and she said I didn't miss much. I also feel I should somewhat redeem myself by confirming that I did, indeed, make it to the discussion section of this class yesterday. I also feel I should thank my saint of a mother for calmly taking two semi-hysterical phone calls regarding my trials and tribulations with UMass and its campus. (Thank you!)
The rest of my courses, all at Mount Holyoke, seem really interesting as well! I have a required course on tutoring for writing, which I have to complete in order to work at the Speaking, Arguing, and Writing Center next semester. I am enrolled in two theatre courses: "Histories of Performance," which apparently is the death of some aspiring theatre majors, and "Sound Design for Theatre and Film," which after only one class I know I am going to love! I am also taking a gender studies course called "Politics of Abortion," taught by a professor from Latin America and focusing on abortion laws in North and South America. The reading load for the class is quite heavy, although unfortunately I have found this to be a common theme among most (read: 4 out of 5) of my courses.
Admittedly I feel slightly nervous that I may have overcommitted myself this fall, since I now have a theatre practicum (Jack) and I am also secretary of Project: Theatre (I'm so excited for the season to start!) and I'm copyediting for the newspaper and working on the lit mag. Maybe it doesn't sound like much, but it feels like a lot, and I did contemplate dropping an academic course to even everything out. I can't pick one that I would willingly drop, though! They're all far too interesting. I suppose I will just sell my soul to academia for the next four months.
I realize I have rambled for some time now about theatre and courses and things that are likely of little or no interest to anyone else, and I apologize. Here's to hoping that whoever may be reading this is happy, healthy, and enjoying life right now. And for those of you at school, have a great fall semester!