In 2005 I applied to audition for a company that sent actors and musicians to Turks and Caicos to do a scripted show on evening sunset cruises. This seemed like the perfect opportunity, and I sent a killer video of my audition piece. In addition, I also sent a cassette tape (yes cassette tape) of my guitar stylings that I recorded in my bathroom.
A few weeks later the good news came, and I got the call to audition in Boston for the owners of the company! There was a 12 minute monologue that I had to perform for the audition. The emailed instructions specifically said please do not memorize this piece for the audition. So I worked on the piece for two weeks, and I boarded a bus at port authority at 3:00am on a Sunday and headed to Boston.
I went into the hotel suite, did the piece, ate cheese, and drank wine at 10am with this middle-aged husband and wife team. They said they liked my interpretation, and that I would be a great candidate for the show. There was a promise that they would be in-touch in a few weeks. I left Boston on cloud nine, I thought, “Turks and Caicos here I come!”
Two weeks later I received an email from the owner thanking me for my audition. She said I was their second choice and would not be receiving a contract. I would have been their first choice if I had shown to them I could memorize the 12 minute piece. She then further explained that I was the only one who didn’t memorize it.
Wait, what? She was saying I should have memorized the piece after I had received instructions from her not to? I double checked her original email, and there it was right there, “please do not memorize the piece for the audition.” I was completely baffled. I had lost the contract because of false expectations on the producers end, as it’s clear, they wanted someone who would go above and beyond despite their instructions.
I still have mixed feelings about the way it all played out, as I am not sure that I would have done things the same way if I were a producer. But I am not a producer, so I guess it’s moot.