Sunday, September 9, 2018

Once Upon a Time- Pandoras Box Part 2

I search Backstage Magazine, which is really the only trade paper for performers looking for a job, any job. 

There is a second weekly trade called “Show Business” but I have yet to find a reliable audition in that paper. If I do find an audition in Show Business Magazine and go, I find myself in dimly lit hallways with shady characters asking if I will do nude work. 

“Yup, no real jobs.” 

Every now and then I will also pick up “Variety” but since it’s no longer the 1940s, I have no luck finding work.

I not only need a dance job, but I really need a good one and one that last’s at least 3 months long. That way I can do the job, then return and collect unemployment while I look for a new job. If I can do that, I can hold off starvation and homelessness for a little longer.

Unfortunately for me, this week’s paper is pretty empty. It has little to no job listings, but is plenty full of ads. Finally, after a long exhausting search, it looks like I have found at least one audition to attend. 

Grabbing a pen, I circle it in the paper and then transfer it into my date book. It’s not great but it’s not bad. I have a couple of days before I have to go. I will run to class and the gym. I know what my competition will look like.

The audition takes place at the Radio City Music Hall rehearsal studios. Which is located on West 50th street between 5th and 6th. Getting there early, I see that I am not the only one with that idea. On the street outside the door to waiting to get in, are Male dancers of every shape and size. The crowd of pushing and preening boys winds down the block. I am easily number 300 and at the back of the line.

“I hear these studios are pretty big and that they take 50 boys at a time.” Says the boy in front of me who is compulsively twisting his hair around his finger. “God!” he exclaims, “I am so nervous.”

to be continued…

Geoffrey Doig-Marx holds all written and electronic rights to his writting "Not Only Magic Floats". It can not be reprinted in part or whole without his written consent.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Once Upon a Time- Pandoras Box Part 1

Once upon a time…or that’s how all fairy tales start or should start. 

Unfortunately, this isn’t a Fairy Tale but a true tale that takes place in a Magical World… or should have take place in a magical world, at least that’s what the ads promised.

I promise that by once we get to the middle of the tale, you will understand completely what I am hinting at.

So, lets start again. Once upon a time … I needed a job. I am a dancer. That’s what I tell everyone. I try to work steady as a dancer but sometimes I have to work as a waiter, or front desk clerk or an un-knowing coke dealer but that’s another story.

I am a dancer.  I spent the youth of my life vigorously taking class, starving, living in strange places, but dreaming of some day being on Broadway.  Ah Broadway, Isn’t that the end all? Sadly, it is what validates us in the eyes of the world as being a true dancer. Strangers would sit through me spouting my list of credits, only to ask “Ever been on Broadway?”

I had work as a dancer in ballet companies, modern and Jazz Companies and once danced dressed as a lobster on a seafood bar… You have to pay the bills.

Lately I was having a steady stream of good luck but I am quickly coming up to the end of that. I had several dance jobs in a row. I could be found in exotic cities and strange little towns. Step, Kick, Kick, Leap, Kick, Touch, Again. Or you could find me dressed as a Transvestite trying to avoid returning to outer space.

I was having a blast. I was Learning to speak German, French, Dutch and Swedish. That way I could converse and order off the menu. I was working in the European cities that Mozart had travelled through. I was busy seeing all of These United States. I spent three years of my life just traveling on a bus, that doesn’t count performing on various tours, just taking the bus.

Life on the road can be lonely and boring, but that’s the way it is. Sadly, I was very lonely, as I would often find myself alone at the end of the day.

Being out of town so much I had to have relationships that were all long distance.  In the beginning, sleeping with other cast members in the show is fun but it usually ends up causing more problems than it’s worth. If you brake up you find that you have to ignore each other on the bus.

That’s why, one day while I was touring through Germany, I made a vow to myself that I would settle down in one place for at least a year.

It was clear, my path and technique were secure, I wanted to get a Broadway Show! So my plan to get to Broadway was to work and build an extensive resume.  

I would go every audition that I could find in Backstage. Who knows? My philosophy is that “It is better to have to turn down a job, than to never be offered a job.” 

My current job is about to end and I have nothing on the horizon to look forward to. I am close to spending all the money that I had saved from all my previous work, but as I have said, I am a dancer and I live in New York City.

To be continued………

Geoffrey Doig-Marx holds all written and electronic rights to his writting "Not Only Magic Floats". It can not be reprinted in part or whole without his written consent.