Cricket's Notebook by Larry Stark - Thursday, 10 July, 2003 10:19 a m: " 'Ready for My Close-up, C.B.!!!' "

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide


Thursday, 10 July, 2003 10:19 a m:
" 'Ready for My Close-up, C.B.!!!' "

About once every four or five months, The Mirror gets an e-mail from someone asking "How can I get involved in theater?" or even "Are there any openings in your theatre [SIC!] company?" Most often, I can steer them to the places where Audition Calls are listed (The Mirror's AUDITIONS Page, StageSource, N.E.E.D., The PHOENIX, and the GLOBE Calendar). However, a couple letters arrived here that threw me, and I'm opening them up for your advice. The eagerness to get involved that drenches these sentences is accompanied by an equal amount of inexperience. How can we wake this person to the realities of the actor's life without blunting that enthusiasm? The cruelty of the harsh truth that "You're not Ready Yet!" may be exactly the cold shower this gal needs, but maybe, just maybe, tramping on her toes is the wrong way to go. Read these letters, and my unsuccessful reply, and tell me how YOU would answer her request:

Date: Tue, 17 Jun 2003 18:48:54 EDT
Subject: acting

Hello my name is rebecca, And I am from staten Island NewYourk . Well i was wondering if i can join any acting audtions because , I adore acting like when i am up on the stage i fell free . But when i was 7 years old I was in a movie and now I am 12 years and still try to acomplish my dreams . I am writing to you because i wan'ted to know if there is any auditions i may join . And hopefully you will help me out and i hope you understand how important this is to me . Well any way I have blonde hair and brown eyes . I am intrested in to sports such as swimming and basketball , And i do a little skateboarding please write back to me . This is so very important to me please !! !! ( my screen name

FrOm ,

This is what I replied:

Date: Tue, 17 Jun 2003 20:02:44 -0400
From: Larry Stark's Theater Mirror
Subject: Re: acting

So, you did a movie five years ago. But what have you done since?
Do you have a resume and head-shots?
You say you're "from" Staten Island, but The Mirror is centered on Boston and New York is not one of the six New England states we cover up here in the frozen north. Are you ready to travel, at such an early age, to (as Orson Welles said) "go where the work is"?

Tell me the shows you've been involved with in those past five years.
Which one did YOU think was your best work? Which director gave you the most Useful notes?
Have you ever MISSED being cast in either a show or a part that you Really Wanted?
Have you ever done backstage-work on a show?

Have you taken any classes in theater?
Again, what teacher gave you the best advice?

Finally, what role are you DYING to play, or just waiting till you're Old Enough to play?

I'm not sure what you mean by " if i can join any acting audtions ".
There is only one group up here that has a permanent Company doing Rep, and they'd want you to join Equity. Everyone else holds Auditions, most of the time one for each show, and out of all the actors auditioning, they pick a cast.
However, unless you "read" a lot older than your real age, you will probably find that there are very few "slots" that a teen-ager can fill.
I assume you have at least Three two-minute audition-pieces prepared and rehearsed --- one a comedy, one a dramatic piece, and one Shakespeare.
And I assume you can sing (And have music for your rehearsal-song/songs to hand to the rehearsal pianist) and can dance at least a little.
What are your Audition-pieces? I mean, which plays, parts?

There are "cattle-call" auditions here in Boston two or three times a year, held by StageSource [ http// ] that everyone --- Equity one day, non-Equity the other --- shows up for, and most of the Artistic Directors from this area come to see the work and take notes. It's a good way to get seen, and to network for jobs.

Counting play-spaces and active companies, there are at least Ninety theatres within the confines of Boston City Limits, and a couple dozen (at least) in suburbs like Cambridge.
Most of them pay Very Little; many of them are Community Theatres that might even ask you to Pay To Join. But, there's work.

Okay, here's the list of Auditions in The Mirror right now

[ http// ]

Check every few days, because it Does change nearly every day, as new casting-calls arrive in my e-mail.

If you have the time, I really Would like to see your answers to any or even all my questions. I can tell you more if I know more...
But, Break a leg in any case!
( a k a larry stark )

Date: Thu, 19 Jun 2003 22:26:15 EDT
Subject: (no subject)

Well hello my name is rebecca,
And I am the one you had written back to you see I was not actullay a main roll in the movie .And I do ,do acting and I totaly adore it I take dance class and I am in a class that you dance . It is called dance idol I REALY LIKE THAT ! ! I mean every single day when I come home from school I turn the music on .And start dancing I realy don't know why i just get in the mood to dance i love it last year i was on A basketball team .Now this year i am on hte swimming team and i also skate board a little but I am not realy a pro , And me and my friend act. It is actually quite funny we make showZ on our computer and also music vidieos I was also supposed to audition for ALLTHAT a show (on nickoloden that i watch) But I could have not given THem a videio tape because my vidieo camera hocks up 2 the comuter .I was so upset .I WAS PRACTICEING MY LINES TOO. Then my mother tells me that I cant get a vidIEo camera .OHH !if you could only see my act you would know what i mean soo please write back to me and tell me the news .Oh this is so important to me .I mean rele IT IZ .That would be awsome if i can come to your theatre and act in boston
please write back ReBeCcA,
Signed ReBeCcA ,

Okay, folks, there she is: Crazy ReBeCcA in all her glory.

She's twelve. She loves dance class. And she wants to be famous Tomorrow!

What would YOU say to her?


THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide