I had an audition a few weeks ago.
But wait, actually, I should start earlier. A couple of years ago I wrote This Post, giving a little background into my personal journey (pardon the pretension) into the world of…THEATRE! Feel free to peruse it if you like…it’s mostly just a rehashing of what’s gone on with me since I wandered into the Ottawa Fringe Festival in 2008 and discovered, ridiculously late in life if you ask me, that it turns out I love theatre. It ended with me not quite getting the part in my first ever audition. Great place to start, I figure!
Since then, I’ve had five or six other auditions (not counting the one I mentioned up above), and no parts yet, but I think I’m at least getting better at the auditioning part. In fact, I ended up working with Ken Godmere, who ran my first audition, on a couple of projects since then, having a non-speaking role in his digital short film bur, and a couple of voice roles in his award-nominated Fringe show Vernus says SURPRISE! That bit, in fact, led me to take part in a recording session for the long-running CKCU radio sketch comedy show Remote Planet, and I hope to do that again someday soon, as it was a blast.
And of course, if you’re reading this, you know that the blogging part of my theatre life is still chugging along. Took a road trip to Victoria Fringe, and that was awesome. I assembled a team of lovely lady guest-reviewers last year to successfully review every single show in Ottawa Fringe ‘12, an amazing thing indeed. I’m getting invites to shows from the NAC, Opera Lyra, GCTC, the Gladstone, even stuff in Montreal! I’m a proud little blogger, lemme tell ya. I was so chuffed with my growth on the Visitorium that I made a public pledge recently to take a rather unprecedented road trip this summer. My planned ALL YOUR FRINGE ARE BELONG TO ME tour would have taken me to eight Fringe festivals, from Montreal to Vancouver, reviewing and loving it all the way for over three months. It would have been AWESOME.
But it’s not going to happen.
There are two…no, three main reasons for this. One is that audition, which I’ll get to in a bit. The second is that I actually got offered…and happily accepted…a part in a show at this year’s Ottawa Fringe! And let me put on my promoter’s hat for a second and tell you it’s going to CHANGE YOUR LIFE (it’s definitely changed mine already)! I’ll be joining Tony Adams, Cory Thibert, Jonah Allingham and Nick Fournier at our supercool BYOV at the T.A.N.Coffeeshop in Sandy Hill (about 2 blocks East of King Edward) for the soon-to-be-classic THE TRAGICALL HISTORIE OF NICK WADE (AND OTHER FUCK UPS). Directed by the amazing Mado Manseau, about which I’m so very excited I can’t tell you. I’m thrilled to be making my stage debut with such an incredible gang of young theatre tuffs, and I hope they’ll nursemaid my old-man ass along enough so I don’t drag them down TOO much.
BUT…with the time commitment I’ll have to make for this show, it puts an immediate kink into my Montreal and Ottawa reviewing plans. So, there’s THAT. Hardly a complain, tho, not at all. I’m calling this a very big win. And I hope to have lots of friendly faces in the audience, cheering me on OR heckling me, as you see fit. Bring it on.
Which brings me to the third reason I’m cancelling my tour plans. And…this one’s hard to write about. I for SURE can’t talk about it, but I find it harder to lie while writing, so I’m giving it a shot here. Not that it should come as a surprising revelation to some, but…fuck. If I’m honest, and I should probably start doing that more often..I’ve been fighting with Depression since…well, as long as I can remember. It’s been a bitter fucking fight my entire adult life, and yes, blood has been drawn. And if I’m even more honest…it’s been a losing battle. Depression has pretty much crippled my life in perhaps irreparable ways…I’ve let friends drift away because I couldn’t convince myself I wouldn’t be bothering them by calling them up. I hardly ever even SEE my family, including my two beautiful nieces. More than 20 years after my ridiculous prom, I still find myself alone in rooms full of people I know, feeling desperate and lost for no good reason. I drink too much, I talk too little, and more times than I care to remember I wouldn’t say anything to the girl of my dreams (note: there have been several of these) even when she was right there in front of me. RIGHT THERE. So many times…and I still won’t. And alone I remain, year after year. It’s a shitkicker, truly.
The truth is, I couldn’t handle that road trip. Months on the road, staying alone in hostels or on strangers couches, in cities I don’t know? I couldn’t handle it. I know that, if I’m honest. And I’m gonna try and do that more, now.
Which brings me back to the audition.
Getting that part in the upcoming Fringe show reminded me of something. That feeling I had, during my first Fringe Festival back in 2008, when I’d stare gawk-eyed at these amazing performers, hanging around the beer tent at night, feeling like an outsider, and wishing to Hell that I just BELONGED there. For once in my life, belonged somewhere. A Visitor no more, y’know?
So I booked this audition, real last minute. And it wasn’t for a play, or a part. But a couple of days ago I heard back about it. And I’m so proud I’m almost crying to announce that, come this Fall, I will be among the new recruits starting up at the Ottawa Theatre School, in their 3-year Conservatory Acting program. I’m so utterly fucking terrified I can’t tell you. At age 42, I’m trying to reinvent myself as a Theatre Actor…in OTTAWA. I’d say I’m out of my mind, but I think I already tacitly admitted to that earlier in this post, and let’s not add redundancy to my list of crimes, hey? I mean, I don’t even know what changes this will bring to my life, I just know that I probably need them, more than even I can see. The Path continues, as they say…hope a few of you will follow me along.
Shit. Now you all know that stuff. Honesty’s ROUGH, guys. But then again…if I’m honest, I can’t fucking WAIT to start school! I can’t wait to meet my new classmates, learn every new thing I can, and even if I never have that ‘special someone’, at least make MYSELF proud. And yeah, I’ll still be writing up shows as much as I can, at least for now…we’ll just have to see what the future holds. And for the first time in a long, long time…I’m looking forward to finding out. Peace, love and soul, everyone,
Kevin Reid, the Visitor (and Winston)
PS: I’m totally heading to the Carleton Tavern to celebrate my big news after work tomorrow (Sunday the 24th, around 5 or so), so feel free to drop on by. Or not. I’ll bring something to read, just in case. 🙂