Updated: Jul 1, 2018
I recently & voluntarily went to an open-call audition for "The Wiz." The breakdown read:
"AUDITIONS BEGIN AT 10:00AM AND CONCLUDE AT 4:00PM. PLEASE BRING A HEADSHOT AND RESUME. BE PREPARED TO SING 16 BARS EITHER FROM THE SHOW OR 16 BARS OF AN R & B SONG OF YOUR CHOICE."
I arrived at the audition site around 9:00am. I walked in the scorching Texas heat to the front door to be greeted by another excited hopeful beautiful melanin girl. As time passed, more and more beautiful shades & sizes of black women and men arrived. The doors opened to a cool, waiting room where we were asked to sign in, provide our headshots and resumes AND complete a BLUE information form if you are an EQUITY member and a PINK information form if you are NON-EQUITY. Because I am an EQUITY actress, I completed the BLUE form. But what intrigued me, and why I'm writing, is what happened after this process began.
As more talented actors, actresses arrived, more and more of them continued to complete a PINK form. As some of them began to recognize me from my previous works in the Entertainment Industry, an impromptu Q & A began: questions being posed to me with expected answers required of me. And like most encounters in all my professional travels the elephant in most rooms emerged: HOW DO YOU GET YOUR EQUITY CARD? How this? Why that? I never knew that...etc, etc.
My mind was exploding. My heart was racing. I had to jot notes in my phone, so the experience did not escape me. I'm tired and almost frustrated with seeing my people, mainly minorities, in both big and small cities not be educated on periling issues. I’ve also been astounded at hearing, first hand stories how “some of us” who are in prominent positions have not completely paved-the-way forward. I may not have it all, and to some, I may not be "successful." But this one thing I know: It's time out for us not knowing the where's, the how's and the why's.
What am I referring too? Hmmm. Let’s start with: Why have you performed in ‘x’ amount of stage plays, at ‘x’ amount of non-union theatres and you still don’t know what to bring to an Equity audition such as sheet music + a Professional Headshot not taken in your bathroom AND building an audition repertoire for 3 callbacks?
So, in NOVEMBER of this year, I have partnered with key industry experts re-branding the experience of what a MASTER CLASS is and what a MASTER CLASS will offer. No more of this “come hear this person talk and leave empty-handed” bullsh**.