Sunday, August 24, 2008
I've just finished my first full week of shows and I thought I'd start to bring you up to speed on what led up to it.
Back in August of last year I started touring with the 1st National of "The Wedding Singer" Broadway musical. I was cast as featured ensemble and "Billy Idol". I spent the year with some eventually great friends, and while I had plenty to do in the show, I was itching for something bigger. Not necessarily the company size or status but my specific duties as a performer. I never got the opportunity to go on as a cover for any of the principles and was kind of just professionally waiting for tour to be over in June. Sometime in March, I decided to make sure all my resumes and online stuff were up to date while I had some down time. The need to contribute more made me get my ducks in a row, and I updated a vague resume on Backstage with new information, and audio/video clips. I did that across the board, with my website, and with my repertoire.
Sometime in mid April, we were in Pittsburgh with the show and I think on a Thursday night I was back in my hotel room with my roommate checking email and, thumbing past a few Facebook notices, I saw "Cirque Du Soleil" in a subject line. Immediately curious I opened it thinking I had received a notice for an open call or something since I hadn't ever submitted anything to them. The message was from their Senior Talent Scout in Montreal telling me that she thought I might be right for a new project in Japan and wanted to know a) if I was interested and b) if I wouldn't mind playing email tag with some recordings of the music for the new show to "verify" what she saw and heard on the internet of me. She told me that she needed someone soon and to try to expedite the process as much as possible. Over the next few days I recorded two audition clips from music she sent me from the new show. I was spending time in between Wedding Singer shows in the bathroom of my hotel room with a small mic and my laptop. I do record my own music already and was writing on the road so I was surprisingly prepared for this. It turns out she came across my information on Backstage while searching for tenors who had harness and flight experience. My current character was originally designed to fly and I had worked with Paul Rubin (head of the Wicked flight design crew) while I was working on "The Miracle" in Tennessee two years ago.
The next week we changed cities and started a two-week sitdown in Dallas. Waiting impatiently to hear back from Cirque, I finally got a call on Wednesday inviting me to audition in Montreal for the composer, director, and artistic director of the show. Luckily, a two-week sitdown meant that I had the next Monday off and not another show till Tuesday night. Cirque flew me to Montreal very early Monday (a long flight on 45 minutes of overexcited sleep). I arrived early evening, took a taxi to their training facility, and did my best for some VIPs. I could tell they really wanted me to be right for the job and that there was a time constraint. I didn't officially get an offer until I was back in Dallas, but the scout gave me a hint or two while I was up there :)
There were logistical things to work out amidst my overwhelming elation at the opportunity. I had to give The Wedding Singer proper notice and Cirque had given me just enough time to do so, and be home with my family for a few days. Three weeks later, I left some teary people while being teary myself on my last night on tour, saw friends in NY (few more tears there), and finally a last leg at home (and as you might imagine....).
Honesty I didn't completely freak out about living in a really foreign country where I hadn't ever even dreamed of until the flight overseas. It was too late then, and I'm glad. I had not been in control of the events that led to my situation so I decided to keep to that thread.
The big point was that all I could do was be prepared. Stuff just drops out of the sky sometimes and it's about how you meet it. Keep preparing yourselves. Keep working, gain that experience, learn as much as you can, find what you can give and give it.
I've left out some details for the sake of your eye strain but always feel free to ask questions.