When I got to the audition I felt ready and confident in what I had worked on. I had even found a consistent Nicky voice in the past couple days which has always been a hard thing for me. After hearing some pretty great guys while in the hallway, it was my turn. I walked into the room and actually felt pretty comfortable. There were definitely some nerves trying to work their way into the directors line of vision, but I was able to combat them with preparedness.
After realizing that I had a ton of material to do, Evan (the director) asked what I'd like to start with. I chose "Purpose" because it was how I had envisioned the audition starting for the last week. Whenever I have the choice to make something happen the way I've envisioned it, I take the opportunity. Tempo wise, I feel like I might have taken it slightly slower than I wanted, but I was able to hit all the acting beats I had been working on so I wasn't too worried about that. Next I did a Princeton scene which felt great. After that I did the scene between Rod and Nicky that sets up "If you were gay", first as Rod, then as Nicky. I was prepared to do "If you were gay" too, but we moved right on to "The Internet is for Porn". "I wish I could go back to College" was next and I was a bit worried what I would sound like after doing Trekkie, but in my search for placing his voice, I think I've found a healthy spot.
After "College" it was puppet time. They asked if I would rather put on Princeton or Nicky...a tough choice because Nicky is a cooler looking puppet, but Princeton is Princeton so I chose him. The puppet builder in me really wanted to sit and inspect the design but that's not exactly what you have time to do in an audition so I had to set those feelings aside. They had me start "Purpose" again, puppet in hand (or on hand) to check what kind of Puppet skills I might already possess and to see if I would be right to continue.
This is where the puppeteer in me started trying to reassure himself of all he's learned in the past. I'm not sure what I must have looked like but for you're reading pleasure, I've broken my though process down like so:
Purpose, ~wow, this grip is different from anything I've built before~
it's that little flame that lights a fire under your a*$... ~hmm, I wonder what it's made of...it's kinda like the king fish puppet built by Henson that I used in Elmo's World Live...
Purpose, ~that would make sense, Rick Lyon worked for Sesame Street~
it keeps you going strong ~ooh, remember the acting, I want to punch "full" tank because that's really the operative word, not gas just because it rhymes with the first line~
like a car with a full tank of gas ~yes, got it~
Everyone else has a purpose, so what's mine ~puppet acting, make sure he's alive, they don't care how good you sound right now, they just heard you sing...crap what do I do for the penny bit ~
oh look, here's a penny, it's from the year I was born ~watch your syllables ~
It's a siiiiiiii ~loosen the wrist, make it fluid~
iiii-iiii-iiiiii ~this new version of the music is good- oh crap what have I been doing with the arm rod ~
iiii-iii- ign ~do something with the arm rod ~
I don't know how I know ~ act!!! don't forget this means something ~
but I'm gunna find my purpo-
"Good, that was great"...
The second callback was a success!
On to the final, but with a quick stop along the way... Avenue Q Puppet School, a two day workshop involving puppet manipulation and character study to prep for the final callback. This means another trip to New York, and boy will it be fun. This is a chance to get to see how they teach puppetry and it means the opportunity to work on the material with the director. AND... I'm not sure if this is 100% for sure, but it is my understanding that Aymee Garcia (Avenue Q original cast member, It's A Big Big World tv show, and currently Shrek on Broadway) may even be leading the puppet workshop.
I can't wait! I'll let you know what I can after it happens.