Heading Back to School Only to See What It’s Like on the Other Side (Of the Audition)(12/12/19)

On Monday I got an email from my acting professor in college, Stacie Lents, who had emailed a couple alumni to see if anyone could come down on Thursday and be readers in the Advanced Acting II (AAII) classes final, to please let her know. Seeing this email after work, I quickly emailed her back letting her know that I could, and that I was excited to come in. And you know what? Today was that day! I haven’t been back to FDU in a HOT second, and getting able to help and act at least a little bit was a treat; I also made sure to text my friend Zoe about it, so we could maybe meet up beforehand and hang out for a bit. She told me that she could pick me up from the train station and grab some lunch before I had to be at the barn- our black-box theater- at 2PM. So the plan coming into today was to catch the 11:45 train, arriving at Convent Station by 12:48, we grab lunch, and I’m good to go. Unfortunately, like most days for me, that’s not exactly how things  “went down”. Now I’m sure we all know that I went to bed at a late fucking time last night. Shit happens, I write a long blog post about my ex, you know it’s a bit. But that did not change the fact that I had to be in the Barn by 2:30 to get this party started. However, by the time I took a shower and started getting ready, I realized… there was no way in HELL that I was going to make it to the train on time today, with it already being almost 11:10. Deciding to catch the next train, arriving at 12:45, I spent that extra time actually figuring out my outfit; ending up going with me wearing the green corduroy pants, black polka dot button-up, and black jacket that I had just gotten from Stitch Fix. Now to be real with you, I really wasn’t sure how I felt about the pants when I was looking at them; but putting on the whole attire? Goddamn it was looking sharp!

Finally happy with how I looked, I hurried out the door and headed to the train, catching the next 4 and heading uptown. I did change stops at Barclays Center, switching to the Q which would be taking me much closer to Penn, but in the end I made it! (Not with too much time to spare, but it is what it is) Making it through the crowd and to New Jersey Transit, I hopped on the train and was at last on my way to FDU. I spent that next hour watching YouTube videos and mostly zoning out until the hour long ride had reached it’s final stop for me- Convent. Getting off the train, I headed over to the parking lot, where Zoe met up with me in her car and I got in; she brought some food- thank god I hadn’t eaten yet today- and we took the time we had to just catch up on what in the hell’s been going on. Well her catching me up; let’s be real here, all I’ve been doing as of late is working. Since I had gotten on the later train, it was already 1:50 by the time I got in Zoe’s car, so we ended up chatting for a good 20 minutes before she had to drop me off at the Student Center, where I quickly used the bathroom before walking over to the barn at last. Stepping in through the doors, I found the lobby void of anyone around, so I headed into the actual theater to find Ashlei- a girl who was in my acting class at FDU and a friend of mine- along with most of the AAII class working with each other and running lines. When I stepped in I gave Ashlei a huge hug, since it had been over a year since I last saw her, before setting my stuff down and heading over to Stacie’s office. Also I want to make sure that I spell Stacie’s name right, because she was more than happy to share with me later on before the final began that I had spelled her name WRONG in my email to her! And to be honest with you, I didn’t even notice I had done it, so I hadn’t apologized for it or anything! Oh god I feel terrible, if not for it being kind of really funny. Anyway, I greeted Stacie before heading back in to the theater to help set up- aka just wait around because it was all already set up.

Now as for the finals themselves, I am not going to comment on them. My job was to assist and help out, not give my personal opinions on performances when not being asked. I have my opinions of course, but instead what I want to say is that I was very appreciative of being on the other side of that final. I remember, two years ago now- god that’s terrible- when I was taking that class. I remember working on memorizing four scenes, and definitely feeling unprepared on one specific side- for me it was the Glass Menagerie- and being so worried and nervous when the day came. I remember running over my scenes over and over and over once order was decided and Stacie chose what I’d be reading. I remember being incredibly nervous about forgetting all my lines, or staring at the sides too much, or just being terrible. I remember that coming into that final, the main thing that Stacie told us beforehand- the max you should look at your sides are once, maybe twice- just echoed in my head, reverberating from side to side. Now what I will say is I’m not sure if Stacie told this class that as well, (I’m sure she did, knowing Stacie), but they were a little more… willing to use their sides than I was- at least how I remember I was. And I will say that for most of them, I think their strongest performance was definitely their second audition, once they finally got the nerves out of the way. But all in all, I hope every one of them is proud of the work they’ve accomplished since they arrived at FDU. Hopefully they all felt like they really grew and became better actors, and that they were at least able to show off why they’re talented. I know I’d be. Now besides my very monologue I just had, I really did have a lot of fun with that final! From silently dicking around with Ashlei and just having some good fashioned fun and teasing from a friend from college just felt nice and fulfilling. Also reading the sides and actually getting to act a bit was fun; what I will say is that I had convinced myself going into the audition that I wouldn’t need to do accents because most auditioners probably won’t use an accent, just because you’re asked to. However Stacie definitely wanted Ashlei and I to do the British and Southern accents for a couple of scenes. Time to dust off ye ol’ accents I have tucked away in my filing cabinet.

But yeah, getting to do an accent and just feed off of the actors, and try and give them what I could to help them stay comfortable in the space was damn fun. Man I miss acting. The final ended up taking just about three hours, with us finishing up around 5:25. Ashlei and I said our goodbyes to everyone, well I made sure to say goodbye to Stacie and then a collective goodbye to the senior class, before we headed out and parted ways, hugging before heading in opposite directions. Ashlei definitely helped me refocus a bit on getting back on the horse- taking classes and going on auditions and whatnot in the new year. I definitely didn’t do as much as I’d have liked to this year, that’s okay; what’s not okay is if I waste another year because I’m lazy or procrastinating. Now I wasn’t sure how long I’d be waiting for the next train, but after checking the app and finding that the next train would be arriving in like 15 minutes, Zoe was gracious enough to pick me up and drive over there so we could have a proper goodbye before I headed on back to New York. I feel bad because we definitely haven’t been talking as much, but I’m hoping that improves at least a bit moving forward. Also proud that her and a guy she’s been seeing are finally official. (Took the guy long enough damn) With that goodbye, I got on the train and was on my way back to New York. Now I tried to keep myself awake and watch YouTube videos, I ended up passing out for a little bit, waking up right as we were arriving at Penn. After getting off the train, I made my way to the subway station, where I caught the next 2 going downtown before getting off to transfer to the 4 at Fulton. I got worried that I would miss the next 4, because it was literally arriving three minutes after the 2 arrived into the station. However like I always do, I made a sprint and hauled ass through Fulton before arriving at the 4, right as the train’s door’s were prepped to close. I sprinted inside and was at last on the 4 and on my way to Brooklyn.

Julian and I were texting, discussing ordering pizza, and I asked him to order some and I’d give him money when I got back. Lucky for me I actually, unsurprisingly because this Domino’s is terrible, made it back to the apartment a little while before the pizza came. The bad news was that Julian forgot to add a coupon, so we spent $40 for like a $20 coupon deal. Oh well, shit happens! After the pizza arrived, we actually did a bit of cleaning , to make the apartment look nice when Julian’s gril shows up tomorrow. Aka Julian has a date and I’m working to at least wingman him despite me being at work. But really though I’m happy for him and I hope it goes well. We did watch a couple YouTube videos before planning on watching a movie, but with Julian wanting to get some sleep so that he would be well rested for his plans tomorrow, he headed off to bed. I of course have stayed up, and with it now being 3:57 in the morning, my body is beginning to shut down. ALSO I tried some edibles I got, but even though they weren’t bad or anything, I felt a bit sleepy and then that was it. I really didn’t get too hit with the high which was interesting. I am damn tired now though. Tomorrow it’s back to work through the weekend and then I’m off on Wednesday so that should be fun!

Until next time,

-Michael

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**But seriously I was loving my outfit today from Stitch Fix**

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