This week’s Playhouse Perspective blog comes from The Lady Demands Satisfaction cast member Emily Cramer.
When I received a request from casting to submit an audition video for The Lady Demands Satisfaction, I read the script materials and was immediately delighted. The audition called for my role of Tilly, the less-than-bright servant girl who dresses in the disguise of a foreign swordsman for the sake of the household in which she works. The script made me laugh immediately.
The hilarious use of language and wordplay by the author Arthur M. Jolly tickled me in a way that few scripts I’ve read or performed ever have, and I set about immediately creating the funniest audition video I possibly could. The audition called for two scenes: one as Tilly’s everyday servant girl self, and one in her swordsman disguise. I wish I could show you the getup I threw together for the latter scene, but suffice it to say, it involved a drawn-on mustache with a unibrow to match: never threaten ME with a good time.
I gave it everything I could think of: accents, costumes, foolishness, facial hair and all, as actors do with any audition we are assembling. I sent it off in an email to my agents, and then promptly let it go, as actors must with any and every audition. This may sound strange to someone outside the profession, but I have found it to be the only way to navigate and survive the ever-uncertain waters of a life of auditioning. Prepare copiously, give it your all, and then forget about it until further notice. Auditioning is a massive percentage of our job, and so to ruminate and stew over the outcome of every single audition will land an actor quite decidedly in a brain-hell.
We obviously must put a great amount of study and care into putting forth the very best representation of what we can personally manage for the role, but once the audition process is complete, we must immediately let go of any attachment to the notion of “getting the job.” This can be quite a tall order at times, as releasing the desire to book work can feel supremely counterintuitive, especially when the work in question is something as funny and thrilling as this script. Thus, because of the specific nature of how much this play delighted me, I was careful to release the dream of escaping New York City’s bleak doldrums of January through March to perform it in the beautiful sunshine of Naples, FL. It was far too tempting a wish, and therefore, once I had submitted the best I could manage for my audition, I released it.
You already know how things ultimately turned out, but what you may not consider is the moment of joy an actor experiences when that dream they worked hard on, only to release, comes back to them, and in this particular case very quickly. I had ten days to organize my life and hightail it south, where I would immediately jump into one of the most physically and linguistically challenging pieces of theater I have ever worked on, but most importantly, meet the kindest, smartest, funniest, and most supportive group of theatre professionals I have ever had the privilege to call colleagues. It is no secret that The Lady Demands Satisfaction is an absolute DARE to execute onstage, but there is no other group on earth with whom I would rather have taken this crazy leap of faith.
For tickets to The Lady Demands Satisfaction go to https://www.gulfshoreplayhouse.org/2019-2020-season/the-lady-demands-satisfaction/.
Playwright: Arthur M. Jolly
Director: Jeffrey Binder
Scenic Design: Edward T. Morris
Costume Design: Kirche Leigh Zeile
Lighting Design: Jimmy Lawlor
Sound Design: Christopher Colucci
Stage Manager: Jamie A. Eckhold