Drawing deep breaths, their nervous stomachs churning with butterflies, about 30 actors chased their dreams at the Conejo Players Theater in Thousand Oaks as they put it all on the line for a nerve-racking audition call on Sunday.
While it’s not exactly Broadway--and there’s no monetary reward--it is a chance to practice a labor of love in the upcoming “City of Angels” production.
“Auditioning is the absolute worst part!” said Sandie Sigrist, 48, of Agoura Hills, after stepping off the stage following her audition. “I get sick just thinking about it. Look at these hands.”
With trembling fingers held out, she continued: “But this is what I love. Once you get past the audition, most actors will tell you they are fine from here on out--if they get the part.”
And what role was she shooting for in this spoof of the Hollywood detective stories of the 1940s?
“Put me where you want me. I don’t care. I just want to be onstage,” she said.
Missy Doty of Sherman Oaks came to try out for the role of Secretary Dolly, a timid character, who later breaks out of her shell. Last year, the 23-year-old Doty was fired from her customer-service job in Cincinnati.
“That was all the impetus I needed to pack up and move to Los Angeles to pursue acting,” she said while waiting for her chance to audition.
Taking deep breaths to calm herself, Doty fidgeted in her seat while other actors, one by one, were summoned to the stage. Each actor brought with them a chosen piece of music to be performed with piano accompaniment as the director and musical director studied them from the fifth row.
“This is my 11th audition and I will never get used it,” she said. “You have to be able to perform on nervous energy.”
Soon, her name was called. One last deep breath and she bounded to the stage, dropping her music off at the piano. Her chosen number: “Nobody Does It Like Me” from the musical “Seesaw.”
Dressed in a bright red vest and black slacks, Doty strode across the smallish stage with confidence, belting out the lyrics with animated confidence. After the five-minute tryout, she was back at her seat for a couple more deep breaths, this time marking relief. “Now it’s all over but the waiting,” she said.
Auditions for “City of Angels” will continue today. Then, actors will wait by their phones for the elusive “callback” when a chosen few will be invited for one last audition for a chance to win a slot in the production.