On Being Cast Over The Phone
...well, that's a new one. I've just been cast in a role as a singing Italian in the upcoming Angels & Demons, the prequel to The Da Vinci Code. The film is being directed by Ron Howard and will continue to star that Tom Hanks guy as Robert Langdon.
"How'd you get that one, Adriana?" You are probably wondering.
It's sort of a specialized featured extra role, where a group of people are mourning the Pope's death at the Vatican and start singing Ave Maria, and soon everyone in the square joins in. My friend Matt saw the call on LA Casting and called my attention to it. The breakdown said: "Need professional singers who can sing in Italian and Latin. Looking especially for character Italian types of all ages who are familiar with Catholic songs sung in Latin and can speak some of the Italian language." Yep, that'd be me alright.
So anyway I submitted and last night while I was driving to the gym I got a call from the casting director. He's explaining things to me, asking if I know how to sing, etc, and then he says, "OK, I'm going to pass the call over to Mr. Casting Dude and you'll sing for him." "Whuh?" "He just needs to know you can sing." So I'm passed to a man who says, "Sing me a song." "Any style in particular you're interested in?" "Nah, anything, like 525,600 minutes..."
And I join in and sing Seasons of Love to him in two different keys so he can see if I have a range. And inside I am thinking, "Jonathan Larson saves my butt once again. Thanks, dude." What a strange relationship we have! Anyway, the Casting Dude says great, and explains the song we're going to sing is an oldie but a goodie Ave Maria variant, and he starts singing it and I instantly recognize it and sing along. At that point, I have the job.
So, I guess, tomorrow night I am going to bring my black lace mantilla and my crucifixes and all my thousands of years of Catholic heritage over to a big replica of the Vatican and get my song on. It feels fitting. I must admit embarrassingly that I have read the book and actually liked it quite a lot in a pulpy kind of way, much more than its famous Da Vinci counterpart, so I'm excited to get to do this. It's an all-night shoot, which is not thrilling, and they're thinking it'll wrap around 5 AM. Ouchies! I will report back about this and maybe get some pictures that I probably won't be able to share with you. Yay!
I also went in to audition for Wicked this morning which will be closing in LA in January. I thought it was going to be a nightmare but turned out to be really easy, as the union line was short for some reason I don't quite understand. Equity chorus calls here are just NOTHING like the ones in New York, where you had to get there at 5 in the morning to sing 16 bars, fighting off the four hundred other girls in line. Here, people can arrive at a leisurely 9 AM and still be assured a time slot. That's so LA.
I had a personal triumph of singing well and not having even a pinch of nerves, so I felt good about it. Nerves are workable in non-singing auditions, but when I need breath support and can't get it when singing...that is a bad scene. It's pretty much how I've operated for a long time. I would like to think I'm entering a new phase of my life where I don't have nerves anymore, because seriously, what in the world is there to be nervous about? I am really addressing that. The answer is absolutely nothing whatsoever. I am through the looking glass here, people.
I love it. What's next? "Yeah, Umm, just text me you singing something. Anything. Conway Twitty. Just text it."