My agents called me a week later and asked if there was any way to go through Emily because they’d done all they could. So I left her a message basically saying,
“Hey Em, here’s the deal- if there’s anything you can do that would be great- and if this is just a totally jerky thing for me to even ask in the first place then just tell me to fuck off and that will be fine too.”
God bless her- she went up to the director (Richard Nelson) that night at the show, and explained that I should come in and audition. Then, she added,
"My only request is that when you offer her the job, that you let me call her.”
Friggin' awesome move but....all the more pressure on me to not suck.
I get an appointment for the very next day.
The night before, I have an hour long phone conversation with both Alice and Emily after our respective shows- where they graciously and generously explained the show and their scenes- and advised me to be 'as Irish as possible'. The next day, I fortify my celtic-ness with a bowl of wheatabix, a brief prayer to Grandma, my audition book, and I head to my audition.
As I walk into the waiting area, my heart sinks.
Mutant Alice/Em look alikes are everywhere. Blonde hair, tall, gorgeous creatures with perfect little pointy noses all around and then there's me. Short, freckled, red-haired, pug-nosed, stocky and Irish. I believe I thought the very same thing every Jewish actor thought when auditioning for the recent Fiddly on the Roof revival which was,
I also hear the songs being sung in the room behind the 'magic door' and they’re NOTHING like the traditional Irish pub song of Parting Glass that Em and Alice had talked me into bringing. Actually, INSISTED on me bringing.
I try not to panic.
I fail miserably.
I walk in and go quickly over to the accompanist and say,
"Here’s my piece…it’s really really Irish.”
"No you don’t understand, it’s like a 'Fuck you I’m fucking Irish', song.”
“No really," (insert look that implies 'please don't shank me, crazy') "that’s great.”
I sing Parting Glass.
Vocally, I was suh-LAM-min'.
I pretty much forgot and mish-mashed up the words so bad I was pretty sure instead of saying,
"Goodnight and God be with you all"
I went more along route of,
"The wind is in the buffalo as I go to the corner store of bicycle dreams to buy some absynthe. Anybody need anything while I'm out?"
As expected, there was absolutely no reaction whatsoever from behind the table-which consisted of about 20 Irish people who probably grew up with that song sung by their grandmothers as well-looking at me with completely blank stares.
Not the crowd to mess up the lyrics to a famous pub closer in front of.
Then it came time to read.
I did my first scene for Alice’s character- and there was no reaction.
I did my second scene for Em’s character- and there was no reaction.
I slunk out of the room clumsily at the end, and left Em a message saying,
“Girl, I went in there but I have NO idea how I did. None. I did some great work, and I made some mistakes and honestly, I have no idea how this is going to go down. I just hope I didn’t embarrass you. Thanks for sticking your neck out for me, regardless.”
And I put it in my little pink balloon, and just let it all float away. It was over. And I had my own show to do.
The next day, during the intermission of my Off Bway show- the young and slightly rabid Sideshow fan who ran our box office down at The Cherry Lane ran up to me so incredibly freaked out with ecstacy that he had,
that he almost forgot to give me the message he'd written on a light-blue post-it note which read:
"YOU GOT THE JOB!"
I still have that message in a frame on my wall,
“You got the job”.
Four of the sweetest words in the English language.
That night I lit another candle for Grandma. Thanking her for whatever strings she clearly pulled up there.