Audition Notes – Embracing Freedom

A few years ago, I auditioned for Embracing Freedom, which is performed on Ellis Island, about the immigrant experience, seven times a day, five days a week – it’s all very Six Flags: Statue of Liberty. I knew t’would be hard and not very glamorous work, but it paid well and would make me eligible for health insurance. Twenty work weeks during one calendar year equals one year of health insurance thru Actor’s Equity Assoc., for the following calendar year – or something like that, the last time I had Union insurance was eleven years ago, things might’ve changed, remember Jew and Gentile Readers, both, nothing I publish on for your VINformation will hold up in a court of law, go to Wikipedia for that….

The same day, I had a dentist appointment. To be fitted for a crown. Never having been fitted for a crown, I didn’t know what was going to happen. All I they told me was to expect it would “take about an hour.” The appointment was at 3:00. I was hoping to get a spot beforehand, but by the time I got to the Equity Lounge, the only times available was 3:00, 3:30 or 4:30. I had no choice, I handed the moderator my Equity card, made the mental calculations,  and decided, “It’ll be close, but I can make it happen.” I know what you’re thinking, “If the audition was that important why couldn’t he change the dentist appointment?” Well, my current health insurance was fast running out. It was a now or never situation.

I went to Borders to kill an hour. Remember Borders? They had the most comfortable public seating, oh it’s too bad…then, the dentist.

I kept my eye on the clock and asked if I’d be done by 4:00. He assured me. “No problem.”

Four shots of Novocaine later – he had found a cracked tooth with a deep cavity about to turn into a root canal. “Pull it.” I yelled. “Just pull it.”  At one point I believe there might have been five hands in my mouth.

So to keep you up to speed, I’ve got an audition in thirty minutes, I got fitted for the crown, got four shot of Novocaine, had a rotten molar ripped from my skeleton with a pair of pliers and was bleeding from the mouth.

“Octta?” I asked.


“Ow wong weel a oovacaan wast?”

“Give it a couple of hours.”




At exactly 4:01, as I was biting down on a piece of cotton roping and running down Seventh Ave, I literally bumped into a cameraman who filming the dog from The Shaggy Dog remake eating at the Carnage Deli. Well, outside the deli, they don’t allow dogs inside…I kid you not, the dog had five handlers. But I digress…

I made it to the audition, minutes to spare; checked-in with the monitor and asked, “Please tell me you didn’t call the 4:30 group yet.”

“If I did, I’d be lying.” The clock over his head read 4:19. “Here are the sides, use any accent that you’d like. I’ll be lining you up in a minute.”

Third to go, I sat and read the monologue in my head. Russian? Italian? Irish? The right side of my face sagged and swollen, my speech slurred, drooling; anything I tried aloud came out as drunk.

“Hewoh, I’m Winnie and before you ass, no, I did noh ave a stoke.  I just had thome emergency dental work. I didn’n unt to miss this audition. I’ll do the best I can, but please know this is not permanent. Or if it helps my chances, it could be…”

I did not book the job.