I met real-live Snow White last night.
My friends like to joke that my alter-ego is Snow White. But this girl was Snow White. And, like any Disney Princes, she was absolutely charming, adorable, poised, and had just the right balance between sugar and spice.
I met her at the auditions for my show. Correction: the auditions were for my one-act, another one-act, and another full-length production. 2-8 actors auditioned in twenty-minute blocks of time for three shows. Please imagine how that works.
(hint: it doesn't.)
But despite the hectic and crazy, there were moments of absolute beauty.
As a theatre artist, you live for those lovely moments that surprise you, and remind you: this is why I'm here. I think that moment for every single one of us in the room was watching Snow-White give a brilliant performance in three different scenes from three very different plays, with an equally brilliant (and equally quirky), naturally comedic freshman boy. Their natural chemistry was palpable and their willingness to follow the scene wherever it took them was utterly charming. These two actors perfectly illustrated why it's called a play. Because the best actors know how to play, just let what happens happen, and above all, do not get in their own way.
As they charmed their way into our hearts, I was leaning forward in my seat, hanging on their every word. As I was laughing my heart out, I looked to my right and saw that everyone else was doing the same. All of us were completely enchanted. Utterly seduced. Human beings will do that to you.
I turned to my director, and whispered that they read for us as well.
She stifled a burst of laughter, nodded an enthusiastic YES, and proceeded to choose a scene for them.
(Sidenote: And that's why I love her.)
Another sidenote: my show has three characters. All girls.
But we were so in love with these two, we just wanted to see them give a scene a shot.
It ended up being absolutely marvelous and hilarious, and I began to wish I had written a guy part.
For most of the audition process, I limited myself to smiling and introducing myself, and saying: "Thank you, have a good night, thanks for coming in, etc." to actors as they left. For my naturally verbose, bossy self, it was a challenge.
But I couldn't contain myself as these two delightful actors finished reading:
"You guys are magic!" I cried, barely able to breathe due to the laughter.
As soon as they left the room, we all relished in the experience together. In contrast to the rest of the night, we weren't vying over actors, or negotiating time, or discussing callbacks or schedules or critiquing actions.
Rather, we all just sat and shared the "that's why we're here" moment we'd just experienced. That wasn't just an audition, we had just witnessed some real theatre.
And that's kind of magic.