So having made up my mind to audition for Cats, I thought I could only get by with a little help from my friends. Time to spread the word and book my audition, I only had 6 days. The instructions were to pick a song of your choice and one from the show. I only knew one word from one song out of the whole musical and that was ‘Memory’, what was I going to do? I downloaded the whole Musical on iTunes and listened to it in the car, what song should I try to learn. Memory would be so Cliche’
Wednesday 3.5 days to go:
I sent a text to the only person I knew could help with the acting.
“Groove, I need someone to teach me how to act this thing” Perfect timing, groove was in the middle of a crisis and whenever a crisis happened, his mobile texts always felt like they were yelled down from the end of a tunnel, almost like he was running to his next crisis with the wind blowing in his face while he spoke.
“I’VE NEVER DONE A MUSICAL, YOU NEED SOMEONE WHO HAS!!”
“Well I don’t know anyone, so you’re it mate” Later that night, I got another text.
“MEET ME AT THE THEATRE 1 PM SAT, BRING BACKING MUSIC AND EMAIL ME YOUR EXPERIENCE, I WILL WRITE YOUR THEATRE CV” What’s a theatre CV I thought.. And before I had a chance to ask…
“IT TELLS THEM THE EXPERIENCE IN MUSIC AND THEATRE, WRITE DOWN EVERYTHING AND I’LL WORK MY MAGIC”
Ok so that was one person.
I drove to Beej’s house to get backing tracks. Surrounded by his “Kiss” memorabilia, Beej’s leather trousers and microphone stand were strategically placed in the lounge room corner ready for his next karaoke night. A true child of the 80’s, my karaoke king sat on the couch, gave me some pizza and grabbed my hand.
“Hayley… Darl…” Beej looked at me sympathetically, knowing deep down that yet again his friend had got herself into a fiddle, “Do you even know what it’s about?” He knew me too well, I showed a cheesy grin and he rolled his eyes.
“Ok, so it’s a story about a bunch of cats, they sing and dance on the stage and each has their own story to tell. Grizzabella sings “Memory’ because she used to be beautiful but now she’s old, she sings about it- blah, blah, blah and essentially, she becomes the chosen one, is reborn and is made beautiful again. Got it?”
“Now, if you don’t know any of the other songs, then I’m going to pick ‘Memory’ for you seeing as you at least know one word as well as the tune, despite how ironic it is that you have a brain like a sieve”
“Now we are going to go through my Karaoke list and pick out 3 songs that you can sing with ease and you’re going to take it home and sing it on repeat in your Mazda until you’re singing it in your sleep”.
We scrolled and scrolled. Down through the As, the Bs, Cs and through to the Ls. Then in the pure genius of the moment his cursor fell on one of the greatest musicians of all time… Freddie Mercury… it must have been a sign. Our eyes met both knowing what the other was thinking.
“Are you thinking what I’m thinking B1?” Beej immediately rose up out of his chair, handed me his half eaten slice of pizza and lunged for the microphone.
“Let’s do this Jones!” He commanded.
Suddenly feeling like I was in one of those glorified comedies – the likes of Dodgeball and Zoolander, I rose to the challenge of singing through each song till something felt right. An hour later it was down to 3 own choice songs. Good old-fashioned Lover boy or Play the game by Queen or Skyfall by Adele, if I could find the sheet music.
I drove home trying to remember to be Brave..to think of the cuz and the aunt..