Last night I auditioned for a local theatre company that was producing a radio play version of "A Christmas Carol." Those following this blog know that I am huge fan of radio dramas, and I am currently working on a few of my own creation for Radio Hound Productions. So when I saw this posting on Craig's List, I submitted my information right away.
The actual audition went very well. Not as well as I wanted, but very well. I had imagined myself doing such a better job, but I wasn't really given the change to read for a whole lot of roles like I had imagined. They had us read the opening narration from the book, encouraging us to use a variety of different character voices so that the director could hear how we could use our voice. I went into the room with some planned characters, and then I allowed my voice to be flexible as I was reading the text, so much so that I was shifting performance with every sentence as I got near the end. But always switches that made sense in the context of the piece, I made sure of that. I tried to balance a natural sense of speaking with a heightened use of the text, and I think I did pretty well. I also made an effort to not merely affect "character voices" or "impressions" as I was reading; I tried to actually give different voices to different characters. I tried to CHANGE my voice for every character instead of merely putting a mask over my voice.
After that first reading, they handed out sides, and they had me read the scene between Young Scrooge and his lady friend Belle during the ghost of Christmas Past sequence. In their adaptation, however, Young Scrooge had all of three lines, three short lines, and I had to do my best to generate a life and a character behind very simple sentences. I also got to do it twice with two different actresses, so I had a chance to try a different interpretation on the second time through. And, I won't lie, I kinda rocked. It's all the BBC Radio Adventures of Sherlock Holmes that I listen to on every long car trip.
I'll know about the audition by this weekend, either way. It was a fun time. I saw a whole bunch of people that I knew, I had a few free cookies, and I got some useful ideas for my own projects. After reading the sides, however, I wasn't as excited about their project as I was going into the audition. I had thought at first that they were doing an original script based on the novel, but since they had us read for a character named "Narrator," I'm guessing that's not the case. The script was more like a recitation of the book using actors as the character voices; that idea is cool, but not as cool to me as a fully dramatized radio play.
Either way, there aren't many modern companies that are doing anything like live radio drama, and I'd love to be a part of this show. You might say that I want to be on the actor side of the microphone before I have to be on the producer side of it. Which is, to say, the other side. The back side. The non-recording side. You get the idea.