Andrei Freeman (lordandrei) wrote,
Andrei Freeman

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A memory

When I was living in Red Stick (Baton Rouge) Louisiana for about 9 months too long (total 8 months) I auditioned for the role of Salieri in a community production of Amadeus.

I had memorized the whole, "How can you forsake me and give talent to an undeserving wretch, oh God" speech down to an art.

Oddly I never got to read it. I never actually got to even read for Salieri. (Hell to this day, I still can't even settle on a spelling of it) Anyway, it was community theatre. The main roles were already cast before auditions. Occasionally they'd have one "visual hit" read for each main character.

On a lark they had me read for Mozart. The scene was where Mozart's wife threatens to leave him. Mozart kinda loses it.

Just before the audition in the afternoon, my then girlfriend and I had had a huge fight about living in Louisiana and how she was getting ready to walk out. Horrible screaming, crying, drama, blah blah blah.

Now, I like acting. I can do it. I can be very convincing. But I'd never really let go. I always keep 10-15% in reserve. For some reason, maybe the defenses being down from the fight, maybe some unfinished feelings from the fight, maybe the surprise of being blown off for the role I wanted... But it all came crashing in.

The parity between Mozarts wife leaving and my then S.O. leaving blended together. I went 105%. I basked in it. I let it pour through me. I was Mozart quivering and quaking on the ground. When the audition was over I had that, "Just run a marathon, just dodged a bullet" feeling. Fast breath, skin was cold and on fire simultaneously, heart racing, strange zen mental place detached from the world.

My theatre professor/chair/advisor had a pearl of wisdom of a depth that I don't think he ever truly realized, "When you're on you know you are on" He would follow it up with another line that I've never told anyone. "When you are on, you will shine brighter than the sun." Such a funny little man. Wise...

Typically after an audition everyone smiles (mostly), claps (mostly), and thinks to themselves, "Yes, that was nice. Now I'll show him how it's really done." (Yes, community theatre can be only slightly more petty than Soprano's comparing vocal ranges)

I looked up. My heart was running a mile a minute. No one was breathing. There was a pause in the room that lasted either 10 seconds or about 5 years... hard to tell. One person clapped, then another, then a standing ovation less one. (The one guy in the front row who didn't stand was the one who ironically got the role)

Many people wonder why I haven't pursued acting. It'd be interesting how long I could survive putting my body and soul through that level of delivery. Granted, it was also fortuitous that the right elements had come together to let me wield them properly together to make for a very magical performance. I doubt I would have been able to keep that level during the show.

As a director, I've learned from the experience. I know how to look for people who "get it", people who can "Show it", and people who truly, "live it."

Focussing on that state that I was in.. either through lack of control or due to interactions those around me had, seems to be where I may wish to direct my own philosophical pursuits from this point forward. Finding that elevated state where the work that comes forth is not merely better than, but often so by several orders of magnitude.
Tags: louisiana, philosophy, theatre

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