The Day of the Fourth Rehearsal and the Acting-Career Seminar with TAPNYC (12/17/18)

Today was finally the day- it was time for the fourth rehearsal, and it was even the day where we would be able to meet with three Agents/Managers thanks to TAPNYC. I passed out pretty late the night before, but I still managed to get out of bed by 1PM, and quickly shower and get ready for the day. As I was drying off, I hopped on my computer and printed out three resumés; stapling them to my headshot and cutting the edges off so they were the same length. I put on dress pants, my light blue button-up, and black dress shoes, before packing up all my stuff and hurrying out the door. My plan when I woke up was to get to 50th Street with time to spare, so I could get some food before going to rehearsal. Of course that did not happen, as I left my apartment around 3:20 and made it to Pret on 48th Street by 3:52. I quickly picked up a sandwich and chips, and then- not kidding- sprinted to get to rehearsal on time. Luckily myself, and a few others, made it to rehearsal just before 4, and I finally sat down and settled myself for another rehearsal.

As we began the rehearsal and actors began going up to perform, I ran through my monologue to myself, over and over, making sure that it was still in my muscles. Like usual, I was one of the first to go, and when I went through my monologue, it felt off. It’s not like I didn’t know the words of the monologue- that’s not what it was- but I felt like I rushed through the piece. It felt like I wasn’t exactly focused, and it really wasn’t as strong as I wanted it to be. As I finished and got notes from the the Director and the Assistant Director, my thoughts were confirmed when Joe, the director who runs the Monday troupe, said that with how I was playing it now, the character went from nervous and quirky to seemingly having Tourette’s. The Assistant Director told me that I should look for the moments when I should be speeding up because I realized what I just said, and want to move forward as fast as I possibly could; I needed to look for the moments where I felt very awkward of uncomfortable. Joe asked me to stay afterwards, so we could take a look at the monologue, and so they could help me tune it up. I mean, he said that it was still in good shape, but there were things that needed to be fixed so it could be better. I thanked them and immediately sat down, pulling out my notebook and immediately writing down my thoughts in what I could do to fix my monologue; to tune it and make it better than it is now.

As we finished up the rehearsal and most of the other actors left to get food before the Acting-Career Seminar, I stayed behind with one or two others who Joe also asked to stay so they could look at our work and help us fine-tune and improve our pieces. I went last, and they advice the two of them gave was really helpful, honestly. I started out with the piece, and the Assistant Director asked why I placed this imaginary girl so high up; “How tall is she?” She helped by standing in as my “Megan”, and allowing me to perform to her- giving me a much better eye level and sense of who I was talking to. As for the very beginning of the piece, where I go- “Megan. Megan. Megan. MEGAN!” They both helped me figure out a better way of doing it, so it looked like I was getting Megan’s attention, not having like a mental break or something. What was the most helpful though was the fact that even though Joe mentioned he just wanted to take a look at the first part of the monologue, we ended up running the whole thing a few times, helping me to figure out exactly when I wanted to speed up my talking, and getting it into my system. They also pointed out that I shouldn’t be playing as meek and shy as I am, since I am talking to her. As we finished and I packed up, heading towards the Davenport Theater, I left feeling much more confident in my monologue then I did coming into the rehearsal.

It was already 6:15 and the Seminar began at 6:30, so I quickly walked to the theater and sat on a bench close-by, quickly eating my sandwich and chips, before throwing away my trash, popping in some gum, and walking in, ready for tonight. Each of the three people coming in tonight asked us to have an answer prepared for one question that they picked out, so I quickly looked to see what the questions were, and began thinking about my answers. Deborah, who is a Manager, wanted us to answer “What makes you feel different/stand out from other actors who you may be in the same audition room with?” Now this question throws me off because I’m never really sure myself. Like I can act and sing, which I think is pretty important, but other than that I’m not entirely sure. I started by writing about my personality, but when we went over the questions and Bobby- the head of TAPNYC- said that he believed it meant more what our skills were then our personality, I began to rack my brain, trying to figure out what to say. John, who was an Agent, asked “If we starting working together, how should I describe you to casting directors? (How do you think I should market you?”Now this question was easy for me. I know there were actors that were trying to figure out exactly what they were going to say for this question, I’ve had my type drilled into me for the past year now, thanks to FDU. To sum it up, my type is young, energetic, upbeat, nerdy; the boy next store; the underdog everyone wants to root for. Now Traci, who was an Agent that I actually met at the Coffee and Tea that introduced me to TAPNYC, asked the question “If you had to choose any celebrity to emulate with similar projects/roles/choices in your career, who would it be and why?” This was another question I’ve thought of before, and my answer has come to be that I am in between John Mulaney, Adam Scott (specifically his character from Parks and Rec), and John Krasinski (specifically Jim from The Office, at least early seasons). When Bobby asked us who we thought we were like and I said John Mulaney, I got a resounding absolutely, to the point where people actually came up to me afterwards saying that I was definitely like John Mulaney, so that’s good I guess.

Finally after going over our answers, the three guests finally arrived and the Seminar began. We started with an introduction, followed by a decently quick Q&A, finally followed by one on one talks between the actors and the three guests. We all stood in line, and went up to the three of them; providing our answer to their question. We got up and stood in line row by row, and since their was so many of us, and because I was in the fifth row, I had some time to relax, think about my answers and talk to the actors around me. When it was finally my time to get up, I was told to stand in Deborah’s line first, who I told my answer to, with little reaction, and moved to Traci’s line. After saying hello to her again and giving my answer, with some agreeing from her, I finally moved into John’s line, which was the longest of the three. After a while I finally got up to him and told him my type, and he immediately agreed. He said that he was glad that I knew my type, but that since my type is nerdy, then I should have headshots with me wearing glasses; welp there goes some more money. I do agree with him though; I like my headshots, but I think it’s really important for my type to have headshots with me wearing my glasses, since that it much more where my niche is. I can still have headshots without glasses, but I need both. He told me if anything, I could just get dollar glasses and just take out the lenses, and just use those!

I thanked him for his time and went back down to pack up and leave. As I was getting ready, I was greeted by some other actors, who asked how it went, and then one of them mentioned that a lot of people were actually meeting up at the bar down the street for some drinks to celebrate a great event. Since I didn’t really have any plans, I decided to go, and a group of us made our way to the bar. When we got there, we found a bunch of the actors who had finished, hanging out in the back area, chatting and drinking. I set my stuff down, headed to the bar, grabbed myself a rosé cider, and headed back to chat with people for a bit. I stayed for a good while, actually meeting some new people and making some new friends; honestly it was really nice because I was expecting to just have a drink in the corner, not talk to anyone and then just leave, so this was much, much nicer. I finally said goodbye to everyone and left around 10:15, making my way back home for he night. I called up Elle and told her about my night, and then said that I was planning on going to Subway or Taco Bell for dinner. I assumed Subway was closed, but I stopped by to check anyway, only to find that they were actually still open! I rushed in and ordered my sandwich, getting a drink and two cookies along with it, (the usual), paying, and heading home. I must’ve gotten damn lucky because I spent a good $2 less than I normally do, which always feels really nice. I finally made it home and spent the rest of the night watching The Office and calling Elle every so often just to check in and see how she’s doing. I’m hoping to see her tomorrow, even though it might not happen because she still has a ton of work to do, but I am keeping the faith!

Until next time,

-Michael

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