Week 11 & 12 + SHOWCASE: Dana's New York Adventure

BLOG #11

*Go somewhere alone and write this event there

I am currently sitting here at Brooklyn Bagel with a rainbow bagel in front of me while I am grappling with the fact that I am done with college. But before dealing with that I will recount the last two weeks that led to this moment......

Week 11

SNOW DAY!!! I feel it is important to know what happens in times like this.  You wouldn't believe it but New York City shuts down when it snows. They don't know how to deal with it so they will shut down the trains and everyone takes a day off. On Tuesday I physically could not get to work. The N train was shut down all day so I was stuck at my apartment. It's actually a fun time because I never spend time at home or outside to be honest. I got all my gear on and just walked outside for an hour or so.  No one was on the streets and it was nice to be alone and just breathe in the world around me. Make sure to give yourself time to rest and relax or you will go crazy in this city.   

The weekend of March 18-19 was a dozy. I spent both days at Strawhats, a unified summer stock audition. The first day I helped Forestburgh Playhouse with auditions. I worked their last summer and the artist director Franklin said he would love for me to help.  It was nice because I got yet another opportunity to be behind the table. You can never learn too much about auditioning. The next day I auditioned even though I know I am working at Utah. It was still a very fruitful experience for me. I got 11 callbacks and did my best to go to everyone. Any audition you can do DO IT! I will only make you better in the long run. 

Week 12

This is my last week of internship and I can't believe it. And of course Monday I made the biggest mistake of my entire internship while also learning a HUGE lesson. Monday on the way to session, I was carrying three big bags. Jay decided he wanted to take a taxi so we both hopped in. The driver let us out in front of Pearl 500 and as I got out I realized I had left one of the bags in the taxi. I chased the taxi down the street but he didn't stop. Long story short we ended up getting the bag back by the end of the day and everything was totally fine. BUT if there is anything I learned from this moment in my internship career it's that you NEED to take responsibility for your actions, grow up, and fix the problem at hand. Crying and getting up set only slows you down. Always focus on the task at hand and helping the company you are working for succeed. Accidents happen and it is important that you don't blame yourself. It was a very stressful day but everything happens for a reason. Every action you make in life can become an important lesson if you look at with an inquisitive eye. 

Friday was my last day. We had a surprise champagne and cookie party. Jay gave a speech. I also cried. AND I finished internship. I can't believe how fast it flew by and it was a lucky day because I won the lottery for Sunset Boulevard. My mom fresh of the plane from California and I got to see Glenn Close. It couldn't have been a better day. I made a lot of mistakes a long the way and learned invaluable life lessons in the last 3 months that will stick with me forever. THANK YOU BINDER CASTING. and also thank you Glenn Close.  

Showcase

IT'S THE BIG DAY. I still can't believe it happened. I am sitting here now and still in shock. Yesterday was so much fun. I am so proud to be a part of the Otterbein Class of 2017. My classmates are my rocks and I will love them forever. The amount of pride and joy I couldn't contain watching my classmates perform yesterday was immeasurable. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. Thank you to Otterbein. Thank you to my teachers. My friends. My family. Yesterday would have never happened with out the love and support of the many beautiful people in my life. I had the time of my life performing yesterday and I personally don't care about the turnout because I did good work. And I'm proud of myself. 

Dana Out!

Week 10: Dana's New York Adventure

BLOG #10

*Try food you have never eaten

This week something extremely unexpected and amazing happened! I got a call from Utah Shakespeare offering me a job for the whole summer! I will be in the Greenshow and Guys and Dolls with TBA understudies. Honestly I have never been so excited or proud of myself.  It's too bad because I am going to have to turn down the Cortland Repertory Job. Hopefully they will understand.  I decided I was gonna take myself out to dinner but I wanted to try a new kind of food. Kayla Walsh (my new roommate) recommended I go to a small place called Sandro's Latin Food.  It was a hole in the wall but the food was to die for.  It was completely authentic and all I have to say is everyone needs more a fried plantain in their life because it's incredible. 

This Friday I had my second chance to monitor a day of auditions! This time it was an open & invited call for The Music Man at North Shore Music Theatre. In one day I monitor 2 open calls and 2 invited calls it was crazy but I learned a lot.  At the end of the day I was literally running headshot after headshot in and out of the room and lining people up to go in and sing at the same time.

This Saturday and Sunday I made my New York debut in the "Cranky Cabaret".  I sang the Villain Medley and All Falls Down from Chaplin. I had a blast and hopefully got great material for my reel! Some of my classmates came to support me which was amazing! Shout out to Natalie, Lauren and Steven I love you all :)

Week 9: Dana's New York Adventure

BLOG #9

*METROPOLITAN OPERA *BROOKLYN BRIDGE *4 BROADWAY SHOWS

Max is here and I couldn't be more excited or happy! This week is about to be a whirlwind of crazy so get ready. Monday was EXTRA EXCITING at work because I got to tape auditions for the tour of Sister Act. It was the first time I got to be in the room for an entire session.  I learned an immense amount from watching every person audition and by hearing what directors had to say after they left the room.  Directors/casting directors are extremely forgiving. A least a lot more forgiving that I ever thought they would be. There was a girl who ended up getting the job who was 40 minutes late to her audition. This wasn't the first time either!  Every audition she had had she was over 30 mins late too.  She was right for it and so she got it.  I will never be late for an audition but I guess it's nice to know that people forgive your mistakes. 

Now on to fun adventures! Max and I saw 4 Broadway shows this week! Significant Other, Waitress, Natasha Pier and Come From Away. I loved them all but COME FROM AWAY is a MUST SEE! Randy Adams (the producer) a graduate of Otterbein graciously gifted the senior class 2 tickets each. We saw the show in the 3rd row and who else would be sitting behind me but the incomparable legend BERNADETTE PETTERS. I almost started sobbing the moment I saw her but I had to keep my cool! She has been my idol from a young age so I was stunned for a while. The show was absolutely breath taking and such an important/eye opening story for our country to see right now. The show inspires a sense of hope that scarcely found nowadays. 

Max and I also saw the final dress rehearsal of Indomeneo by Mozart at the Metropolitan Opera. His cousin has been playing in the orchestra for 15 years so he got us in for free and then he took us out to dinner afterwards.  The show was over 3 hours long and not in english so I'm not sure followed the storyline very well. The singing however was some of the most beautiful I have ever heard. The power and tone of the voices was unparalleled and interesting to experience. 

On Max's last day in the city we walked the Brooklyn Bridge. It WAS FREEZING! We both couldn't feel our faces, ears or anything really after walking across but the views were absolutely gorgeous. It was the perfect way to end such an amazing week!

Week 7 & 8: Dana's New York Adventure

BLOG #7

*CHOICE EVENT SOMETHING FOR YOU (AUDITION) *CHOICE EVENT WITH ALUMNI *CHOICE EVENT WITH CLASSMATE 

Week 7

This week I did the most yoga I have ever done in 7 days and it was the best decision I have ever made. I also got to spend time and catch up with my friend Rachelle. I met her this past summer at Forestburgh Playhouse and she is hands down on of my favorite people. Keep in contact with people you meet during jobs and on internship.  Everyone has so much to offer! Rachelle has been in the city for 3 years now and she has taught me so much.  New York is full of so many interesting and innovative people but it can also feel like the loneliest place in the world.  Never be afraid to reach out to anyone because the worst they could do is say no.

On Saturday I went to my second New York open call for the Fingerlakes Theatre Festival. I got there at 4am and by 6am there were 500 people in line outside of Nola. It was true insanity! I got an appointment at 10:45 and the 8 bars I sang went swimmingly! I ended up getting a callback on Monday for Guys and Dolls so I'm super excited to go in to my first New York callback. I was so excited that I decided to go to Broadway Dance Center and do two classes in a row! I really miss dancing every morning at Otterbein. I feel like I took it for granted and now that it's not so easy to take dance I miss 8 am dance.

Week 8

This week started out with my first New York callback! I auditioned at 6:30pm so I literally ran to Nola from Binder. I was the only person that didn't have material to learn for the audition which was confusing but I didn't mind it. I ended up singing 8 bars once again, thanking them and leaving thinking nothing of it.  I got an email from the director 30 minutes later asking me to come in for a completely different show she is casting called "Life Could Be Dream". She had lost her leading female and Robin Levine (a director I worked with last summer) recommended me as a replacement. She sent me sides and songs and asked me to come in on Friday! This week I also started Personal training with Otterbein Alum Drew Cotton! My classmate Evan and I wanted to try it out! We had our first meeting on Tuesday and it got me really excited for improving myself. Thursday we did leg day and needless to say I couldn't walk for two days after. Then finally Friday was the day of my callback and of course things got even crazier when Jay asked me to sing for him. I sang the Physician and he gave he corrections and he helped me work it.  He asked me to sing the Sister act callback music and I didn't know it at all and then he had me read for the role of Tina. It was so out of nowhere but I did my best. Nevertheless it was a great warm up for my callback for the Cortland Repertory theatre at 1pm. I ended up auditioning at 3pm and honestly I thought I completely bombed the audition. I did my best and I was prepared but I let my nerves get the best of me which is too bad.  I was comparing myself to the other girls i heard before me and i ended up being very self conscious in the audition. I had to shake it off though because the next day I would be in Chicago at Wagon Wheel auditions. Saturday morning my Wagon Wheel audition ended up going very well and I got a callback. After getting back my hotel room and resting for a bit out of the blue I received a phone call from Cortland Rep offering me the job of Lois. I honestly never been more surprised in my life. I was so happy and confused. I truly thought my audition went very poorly. I guess that shows that anything can happen and that I should judge myself so harshly. I finished of Saturday with some deep dish pizza with friends and then rested up for callbacks on Sunday. The dance call was actually very fun! I did my best and had a blast! I didn't get a callback but I didn't mind because I felt like I did a great job. This was a very eventful but eye opening and productive week/weekend!

Week 6: Dana's New York Adventure

BLOG #6

*MUSEUM *CENTRAL PARK *OFF BROADWAY SHOW (ENCORES!) *BROADWAY SHOW

This week was full of surprises! On Tuesday right before seeing the invited dress rehearsal of the ENCORES! production of Big River I got a call and was offered my first job in New York. I had submitted for LITERALLY a million things on backstage the day before and I got a call from the "Cranky Cabaret". I will make my New York debut on March 11th and 12th! I couldn't be more excited! The "Cranky Cabaret" is a bunch of crazy, cooky and upsetting songs so I thought that the "Villain Medley" I do would be perfect. On Thursday I saw my first Broadway show by myself. I saw the second preview of "Glass Menagerie". Personally I didn't like it at all. I found it very poorly directed. People were standing upon the balcony because the actors were coming too far down stage. There was also no a definite concept. There were so many different "symbolic" things that in a way cancelled each other out because they created too much clutter. There just wasn't a lot of clarity in intension. The actors were also all on different pages. All were great they just seemed like they were all in different plays.  I saw the shows 2nd preview so I'm sure some kinks are still being worked out.

On Friday night my classmates Natalie, David and I went to this great bar that is ironically in the building were I work. It's called Reunion Surf Bar. The atmosphere was equal to the beach and it was a blast. The next morning me and David went to the National History Museum and to Central Park! We spent 4 hours at the museum. It was incredible! The fourth floor was my favorite because of all the dinosaurs. We definitely got a selfie with the T-Rex. Then walked across the street to Central Park and explored for a while. We saw the reservoir and took incredible pictures. We also came upon this place called "The Loch". I later looked it up and it is Scottish for lake. It's a natural watercourse or waterfall. It was very beautiful. Everything was mostly frozen but the water was still flowing.  We walked further into the park and came upon the Minton Tile Ceiling at Bethesda Terrace. It was so beautiful and felt ancient as we walked through it.

Later that night we celebrated Asel's Birthday which was really fun! I love being with my class! Barely seeing each other makes every time we meet up so much more special. 

P.S. This week I started bringing lunch everyday! I made a week of lunch food on Sunday and then brought food everyday. It saved a lot of money and I didn't eat it once. I'm just proud of myself.

 

Week 5: Dana's New York Adventure

BLOG #5

*CHOICE EVENT FOR YOU *EVENT WITH ALUMNI

This week I started taking things a little easier.  I have been doing a lot of Bikram Yoga and it’s amazing.  It keeps my stress levels in check.  Internship was exciting this week because I sat in on my first call.  I monitored the invited dance call for Fancy: A Country Musical.  We had two separate calls first the men and then the women.  I got all dolled up to be the monitor and ironically a couple girls asked me if I was auditioning as well.  I was excited so I wanted to look good also you never know when you are going to meet someone really important.  For example, the director Denis Jones who was running the dance call is choreographing A Chorus Line at the Muny.  You just never know so its better to always look your best.  I got to play the music for the dance call, which was fun because I got to watch everyone learn and perform the dance.  I learned from watching that they seemed to like the people who never marked.  You always want to dance full out even when in big groups because then they will remember to watch you when they get to smaller groups. They were also looking for actors that could dance. Not the other way around which I found eye opening in regards to what makes a really good dancer.  The dancers all came into sing after and I was mind bogging to be how people who have Broadway credits can’t sing. I’m being completely honest there were people that couldn’t keep a tune.  That was shocking.  It goes to show you how IMPORTANT it is to be a DANCER in this business. The people behind the table in this particular instance wanted a great actor who could dance so singing wasn’t the biggest deal. It still blows my mind that they will hire people who can’t sing for the ensemble of a Broadway musical lab. Also I could say this a million times people don't look anything like their headshots.   Almost every person who handed me a headshot I would do a double take because the headshot was a different person.  It’s so unusual but I think it’s really important to invest in a picture that is you.  Over the weekend we had rehearsals for showcase to prepare us for our performance on Sunday.  We did showcase for around 25 alumni and it was a very fruitful experience.  I learned I needed to flush out my pieces a lot more and spend time working on them a little bit everyday. 

Week 4: Dana's New York Adventure

BLOG #4

*BROADWAY SHOW *OFF OFF BROADWAY 

Here I am week 4 and one week away from my 1 month anniversary of living in New York, which is INSANE to think about! This week turned out to be extremely busy at internship I didn’t have moment when I wasn’t doing anything. We were preparing for The Non-Equity Asia Tour of Sister Act Open Call that was yesterday the 28th of January! I spent the whole week making a project book, director book, reader book, accompanist book etc. You name it I made it.  These books were monsters by the time I was done making them! It took 3 audition bags to carry them and even then no one could carry then for longer than a few minutes because they were so heavy. On Wednesday everyone was busy so I got to go see A Bronx Tale with Jay Binder himself. I was so nervous but it ended up being really fun and we talked the whole time.  I really like Jay because he is honest and real with me and he talks to me as Dana instead of talking to me like I am “The intern.” He would whisper to me during the show things that he noticed were good or bad and he wanted to know if I agreed.  He treated me like I was his friend and that’s why he is so great.  I think he gets a bad rap because of his brashness and “flying off the handle personality” but I find it to be enduring, funny and entertaining. I am a person who likes to look at people and things in a positive light. I don’t care what other people think, I like him a lot! He took me backstage after the show and I got to meet so many people from the cast.  Nick Cordero was brilliant in the show and is a really good friend of Jay’s so we talked to him for a bit.  I think everyone thought I was his granddaughter or something it was very funny.  Then later in the week I went to The Neil LaBute Theatre Festival with Lauren and Luke.  It was a cycle of 4 different plays the first written by Neil and the others by people he picked as winners of his Theatre Festival Competition! The plays were all so different and brilliant in there own way. I love seeing shows I know absolutely nothing about and lately that’s all I have been seeing.  I think I have discovered it is my favorite way to experience theatre! 

WEEK 3: DANA'S NEW YORK ADVENTURE

BLOG #3

*OFF BROADWAY SHOW *BROADWAY SHOW *EVENT WITH ALUMNI/CLASSMATES *SOMETHING FOR ME

Now that I have gotten a little more acclimated to “New York Lifestyle” this week I started going to the Yoga Studio across the street from my apartment every morning at 6:30 am before internship. It’s called Bikrum Yoga Astoria Queens. It may sound crazy but doing yoga in a 108 degree room for an hour and half every morning makes me feel super energized and prepared for my day.  I just didn’t take into account how long it had been since I had done it.  I may or may not have almost passed out the first day but it got easier every day after. This week at internship was very busy and I now feel completely settled in to the office.  The other day I ran an errand to drop off something at Disney Theatricals.  I was ridiculously excited to do anything in regards to Disney.  Their office is in the New Amsterdam Theatre where Aladdin is playing. Everything is so well designed and visually stunning....even the elevator was beautiful. I was only in the office for a total of 10 seconds but it still made my day. After a long week Evan and I thought we would rush "Oh Hello" on Friday because it was about to close! We stood in the cold for 3 hours but it was so incredibly worth it!  I have to say "Oh Hello" is one of the most interesting shows I have ever experienced in my life.  It wasn’t that is was extremely funny not that it wasn’t but it was like nothing I have ever seen.  First of all, John Mulaney and Nick Kroll are magic together. Nick Kroll has hysterical one liners and John can come up with just about anything at a moment’s notice and never fails to deliver monologues on the spot that are in one word brilliant. The shows guest star was Michael J. Fox so there were many “Back to the Future” jokes. The show moved so fast I could barely follow it. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time and I was exhausted after it. It was an evening in the theatre that I have never experienced before and I don’t think I’ll ever seen anything like it again. And to follow this up the next day I saw an Off Broadway play with Asel called "Yen".  This is my favorite piece of theatre I have seen in New York so far! I recommend everyone to see it.  It is cathartic, authentic and jarring all the way through.  There was never a dull moment.  This weekend turned into a Broadway show marathon and later that night I saw Jordan in "Phantom" with Natalie, Steven and Evan. It was truly the weirdest experience seeing Jordon on a Broadway stage.  He was incredible but all I could think about was 6 years earlier when I sat in the same house as a sophomore in high school seeing phantom for the first time. Viewing these people on stage as literal gods and then fast forward and see Jordan on the same stage "doing his thing" was pretty amazing. This week was definitely very memorable and special.

P.S. After "Phantom" we went to Schmackary's. IT WAS SO GOOD! Best cookies ever. That’s all.

WEEK 2: DANA'S NEW YORK ADVENTURE CONTINUES....

BLOG #2

*EVENT WITH CLASSMATE

And on to week two! This week I feel like I finally started to settle in at Binder and in New York. The whole first week all I kept saying was "I can't believe I live here?!?" over and over again because it is just so crazy to me that I am finally here. I don't know if I will ever get over seeing Time Square every morning and walking straight through it to work.  There is an energy here that buzzes though the air I have never experienced before and I am consistently inspired and driven by it.  

This week I helped with a lot more things around the office even if I had not been given a job I kept trying to be useful as much as possible.  Working 8 hours days is hard especially when you sit at a computer all day.  I think I definitely know that the office job life is not the job for me. When I have stuff to do time passes quicker and I feel more useful. So I took every opportunity to organize anything.  As the week progressed Jay started to get more comfortable with me and he has had me help him A LOT! He even invited me to see a show with him but it didn't end up working out. Hopefully we will get a chance to see something together in the future because I feel like I could learn so much from him even if we just had a 10 minute conversation.  

This weekend my roommate/friend Asel and I took a bus back to Ohio to surprise our boy friends for the long weekend. It was so fun we got to Columbus at 4:30 am and went straight to Otterbein. The surprise was hysterical and Max and I had an incredible weekend together.  It was nice to be back at Otterbein even for a moment I didn't think I would miss it as much as I do.  It's a big step going from a peaceful village to the most exciting city in the world. 

WEEK 1 : DANA'S NEW YORK ADVENTURE BEGINS!!!

BLOG #1

*BROADWAY SHOW *EVENT WITH ALUMNI

This week has been a whirlwind! I started internship, saw The Color Purple on Broadway in its closing week and I did my first open call in New York with Kayla Walsh.

I will start off by recounting my first week at Binder Casting.  I must say it is very different than I thought it would be.  When I walked in to the office on Tuesday I was shaking because of all the nerves.  And I was the first person to get to the office. So I had to wait and wait and wait….. That was the worst part.  Once everything got rolling I felt much more at ease. It has been a pretty mellow week I haven’t had a lot to do.  However, everyday they have opened up a little bit more.  I’m starting to be less shy and to feel comfortable at Binder so I am happy.  I really like Jay he yells a lot but never at me so that’s nice.

I saw The Color Purple on Wednesday with my mom before she left.  It was brilliant. Every single person was outstanding as an actor and singer.  The set was very minimal yet it worked perfectly for the show and made you focus in directly on the actors. The only issue I had is with the diction.  It was very difficult to understand what some of the actors were saying because they would slur their words and speak extremely fast at times.  The shows meaning really held true with me. I think it’s a show that everyone should see.  It’s about learning how to love yourself and I think everyone needs a little more of that nowadays.

This morning I was on the N train at 6:30 to Manhattan to sign an unofficial non-equity list for Head Over Heels.  Kayla Walsh and I had gone out to dinner the night before and she said it would be fun to go together.  Unfortunately, I had to leave to go see an apartment I might move into and by the time I got back Kayla had been seen and I missed my chance.  The lesson I learned today is don’t leave an open call. But I came back later on and got seen. Sooo I also learned to not give up! It was a super quick audition and a lot of waiting but I learned so much.  I can’t wait to start auditing constantly and learn how to really show up in the room. 

New York is proving to be very harsh and scary but also so beautiful.  Walking to internship every morning this week all that I thought about was how grateful I am to be here. This city is crazy but amazing. I can’t wait for the future!

 

   OUTSIDE BINDER CASTING ON MY FIRST DAY!!!!!!

   OUTSIDE BINDER CASTING ON MY FIRST DAY!!!!!!

Pugsley Addams at your service!

After a crazy summer of theatre I have returned to kick off my senior year as Pugsley in the Addams Family! Who knew that my senior year I would be playing a 10 year old boy, I didn't! Although it may seem odd the Addams Family is the oddest of them all and I couldn't be happier. Playing this role and exploring the kooky world of Pugsley Addams has been a blast and so rewarding in an unusual way! I guess sometimes the most unexpected things bring you the most joy :)