Monday, March 29, 2010

A Tale of Two Events, Part I

TRU open auditions

Last Saturday, I had my first open audition experience--watching 144 actors present two minutes of either one or two monologues--one of the fringe benefits of TRU membership.

TRU--Theatre Resources Unlimited--is a remarkable organization whose mission is "to promote a spirit of cooperation and support within the general theatre community by providing information and a variety of entertainment-related services and resources that strengthen the capacity of producing organizations, individual producers, self-producing artists and other theater professionals."

Before most of TRU's monthly panels, attendees have a chance to tell the crowd what they're looking for. At a panel earlier this month, I allowed that I was looking for actors for a staged reading in June.

"Are you coming to our auditions?" TRU founder Bob Obst asked me. I said I'd love to, but could only come on Saturday. Bob told me that was fine, which, if I'd read emails about the auditions more carefully, I'd have realized.

TRU's auditions are a two-day event--Saturday for general auditions and Sunday for musicals. They're free for auditors, who typically include at least 40 theater companies, along with agents, casting directors, and TRU members like me who are looking for actors. Actors pay a fee of $45-$60.

We saw actors in groups of roughly 12--6 in the morning and 6 in the afternoon. Aside from the occasional actor who ignored the "time" signal and took significantly more seconds, the day went like clockwork.

We were not only fed, but well fed: bagels and cream cheese, Amy's muffins, juice, coffee, and clementines for breakfast; a choice of 3 kinds of sandwiches, salad, coleslaw, and pasta for lunch.

"This is a great event," I told Bob at lunch. "I hope it's useful," he said.

It was indeed.

TRU membership costs $60 for individuals; $90 for groups.

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