I tried out for Oklahoma, because my role in 1776 was so disappointing. I went to the auditions and -since I didn't know anything about the play- wrote I was interested in the part of "Random cast member in chorus #15". Which I was. I just wanted to be able to sing, like the good old days. I auditioned with my own song, wringing all the emotion out of it, and I must have impressed them to some extent because they gave me some lines to read. It was a character called Jud. Interesting lines. They were all in this really really thick accent, and the content was funny too. They were talking about how Jud should die, because then some women might notice him. I did a good reading of it, on the spot. (No preparation time.) They also had me dance. That didn't go too well.
The next day, I received an e-mail saying that they were calling me back. I didn't expect that- I thought either I'd be in or out, and that'd be it. But no- they sent the script to look over, and told me to specifically read the parts with Jud, and that I should come to the producer's house on Tuesday to see if I was as good as whoever else they were considering for the part.
I looked over the script, and holy cow Jud's a good part. Mentally unstable, desparate for love but never finding it. He's the most interesting character in the whole play. Very little singing (Ironic, no?), but what a part. I skimmed through the soundtrack- very cute. Lots of funny lyrics and catchy tunes.
So yesterday I went to the call-back. There were four girls trying out for the female lead, two guys trying out for the male lead, and for Jud there was me and Chuck King. Chuck King's been in a lot of plays. And he comes from Oklahoma. In the production of Peter Pan Dena was in, Chuck King was Captain Hook. And director. He's spent more time on stage than I've spent procrastinating.
He didn't do a good job. They gave him one of Jud's most dramatic lines to read, and he was stumbling all over it. I waited for them to give me that scene to read, so that I could outdo him. But I'd already gotten two little bits (one being the scene I'd done in the audition, and I did it okay but not quite as well as then).
I got into the chorus! Yay!
I sent the producer a letter. I said, "If I were to ask you what I did wrong when trying out for Jud, would you give me a straight answer?". And he answered that I "did not do anything 'wrong,' but the committee felt that another candidate was stronger in his experience and skills, as well as in contrast with other players."
Well, sure. He can dance. He can draw upon his experience. He can get people to buy tickets. "Ooh, Chuck King is in this! I'll come see it."