I'm on TV Tropes, y'all! Not as a Creator, admittedly, but that's me as Mary Stone on the page photo for Mrs. Hawking. Achievement unlocked!

I had given up on theater for quite a long time. My university had a theater program, mind, but NAU had an annoying habit of not hiring enough instructors for anything. (Which sometimes meant they didn't hire any -- I signed up for Chinese four fall semesters in a row and the class was cancelled every gorram time, because they couldn't be arsed to find a grad student to teach it.) The unofficial solution was to tell non-majors they were SOL. Not a guess on my part, it was explicitly stated to me when I physically presented myself at the instructor's office in an effort to sign up for Guitar For Dummies 101. I couldn't even get into the Italian class, because it was reserved for opera singers. I wasn't a drag queen or a Rocky Horror performer, so my chances of getting on stage in Flagstaff were basically nil.

I did not expect much when I started going to auditions out here. Boston is home to a number of notable performing arts schools, like Emerson and Berklee, and most of the general universities have dedicated theater companies. I am an amateur schlub. I really just wanted to say I'd done it. My plan was to turn up, fill out some forms, emote for a few minutes, and then go home and forget about it. If the producers were especially on the ball -- which most volunteer theater companies are emphatically not -- I might get a message in about a week, politely letting me know they had no use for me.

"Ah," I could say sagely to myself. "Clearly these people are several cuts above what I am used to working with. I was not cast because I was completely out of my league." I would give myself full marks for being stubborn enough to go through with it, give the company credit for behaving professionally even in the face of my unqualified flailing, and then wisely decide to find another hobby.

I had a well-thought out plan for failing with grace and dignity, which was then completely demolished by success. I failed at failing so hard I appear to have inadvertently developed an acting career. I don't even know anymore.

I have now got about a 50% hit rate at being cast from auditions, which other actors will tell you is fucking ridiculous, and have specifically been asked back for a second show by two different producers. One show fell apart, but the other one is going forward at Arisia in January, in a ballroom/theater of ~500 seat capacity, assuming they bother with chairs.

I've been on the (internet) radio. Apparently they like me there. I scrambled a producer and a co-star and a Foley gent for a Mrs Hawking promo, and this pleased everyone greatly.

At about ten after midnight last January 1, I was making my way home with an arm load of hula hoops, having just stripped in front of a thousand-some-odd people at the Hynes Convention Center. It was okay. I continue to not have any particular feelings about being publicly naked, which explains a lot of my evening gown collection. I've been asked to do it again a couple of times, some of which even managed to happen (Dr Sketchy's Boston, in a superhero outfit, whee!).

I've actually had to bow out of other things because of schedule conflicts, which is mind-boggling. I did not anticipate ever being in a position where I could pick and choose which performing work to take, much less have to make the decision on the basis that I knew what I was fucking doing better than the producer did. Protip for performers: If you are talking to a producer who's never seen you before in their lives, and they utter the words "you don't have to audition", that is the moment at which the conversation should be over. Maybe you know you're qualified, but do you want to work with a bunch of people who were hired on the basis that they had a pulse and nothing better to do? No, you don't. Nor do you want to work with a producer desperate enough to do that.

So here's to 2015, the year in which I was forced to figure out what the fuck to do with positive feedback.


  1. Well done, you found somewhere that your vast talents and natural attributes are appreciated.

    Now take out the trash ;-)


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