I promised myself in the beginning of this year that I will put myself out there more often for auditions, and today, i did. I went to an audition for a play called "In the Wine Time," set in the 1950's with an all Black cast. When i first saw the audition posting on Backstage, i was thrilled because i know i can play the character that is being called for. I showed up at the audition location and immediately was dismissed by the check-in lady. I saw a lot of Equity actors being welcomed and were asked to sign-in / get a time card, so i asked her if non-equity members can audition and what the check-in process is. She said equity members are seen first and if there is time i can be seen. She followed-up and asked me to check the breakdown to make sure i fit the roles. The first line of the breakdown is: all roles are for African Americans unless otherwise stated. I see that most of the roles were for Black actors, but on the bottom of the breakdown, it also said all racial and ethnic backgrounds are encouraged to audition. I remember that was the line in the Backstage posting that led me there. I sat in the waiting area and thought about the way she treated me differently. Tears swelled up. I felt a sense of not-belonging there and thought maybe i should go. But i told myself: stay, Judy, stay. I stayed.
I looked through the sides and quickly realized there is no stage directions for the beginning of the monologue. I remember vividly in class when there are no stage directions, we are encouraged to read the lines and figure out something for the character to do. In this monologue, Doris constantly asks her family if they wanna eat a hot dog. She is semi-drunk and talking in a high pitched voice, so automatically i knew there was at least some distance between her and her sister/friend. I gave myself the task of cooking, and i think it made all the difference. The director / writer said they thought i was funny. I didn't know if it was a good funny (impressed) or a bad funny (weirded out); but i felt i did well.
I think today's audition was a well lesson learned. I know no matter where i go--unless if the role calls for an Asian person--if i show up at an audition for something that is not of my race, i will always be seen as the other / i do not belong there. In this industry, i know this will not be the only time i'll feel this way. It's about time i let that go and not give a damn what other people think of me. I do belong.
I do belong. And i'm not gonna leave anytime soon.