What a feelin’

Like most actors, I make a habit of attending open calls. It’s dreadfully unpleasant, but in truth, these packed rooms full of insanity are our version of a batting cage. Rarely does anyone book a job from a cattle call, but to skip them is a mistake. I always like to say that my job is auditioning, booking a show is the bonus. Open calls are the best place to sharpen your skills, they also (coincidentally) can make you lose your mind.

Imagine: a room full of actors, some in the union, some not, waiting for hours to sing a 45-second blip. The women, more often than not, carry with them enough gear to take a small vacation. As you look around the room you’ll see oversized Poppins bags, rolling luggage, backpacks and other purses. These are the suitcases of dreams. Inside? Heels, flats, tap shoes, jazz shoes, dresses, skirts, tops, makeup for a circus and enough curling irons to twist the world once over.

Is the equipment necessary? Do they ever unpack those dreams? Are the cases left packed, waiting patiently by their front doors for the next (inevitable) open call?

I’ll never know, it’s much easier being a boy.

In September I zipped by the Flashdance open call, my agent hadn’t been able to secure me an appointment (that’s the other kind of audition, a much more pleasant experience). I assumed the room would be filled to the brim with women in legwarmers and men in, well, men wear the same thing to every audition. So I expected women in legwarmers and men in jeans and a button down shirt.

I was pleasantly surprised to find the room nearly empty (though I also had a moment of panic that I was in the wrong place). I put my name on the list and was seen not ten minutes later. I joked with the casting director that she had a slow day ahead of her, then sang my requisite 45 seconds, smiled and left. As with most open calls, I assumed the show was already cast (this is too often the unfortunate truth) and went on my merry way.

The next day my agent called with an appointment. The casting director at the open call had indeed spotted me during batting practice and wanted to see me hit in a real game. Over the next 2 months I auditioned a number of times for the creative team, reading for a number of different characters and singing whatever pop ballad they threw my way.

I waited impatiently after the last audition, nagging my agents for information (they with none returned). Weeks later my agent called to tell me they had made an offer, but that she thought it was unwise to accept. Excuse me? Turn down work? Paying theatre work? Yes. The offer was to be an offstage swing (that’s why they had me read so many parts) and she wanted me to be onstage every night. She told the casting office as much and they said they were hoping to find an understudy position for me, but wanted to run the swing position my way first.

(Sidenote: Understudies are generally in the show every night, they are in the ensemble and cover another track. They’re bumped up if someone is sick. Swings are off-stage every night. They aren’t in the ensemble and they are the first to go in if someone is sick or injured. My agent didn’t want me to be a swing, she correctly predicted that I’d go insane traveling with a show, not performing and waiting for someone to get hurt.)

Again, weeks passed as I chipped away at my fingernails and called my agents all-too-frequently. I wanted to know what was happening with this potential offer, I have no patience. I went into panic mode, assuming that rejecitng the first offer was a terrible idea and I had made a rather large mistake. I emailed my agents to tell them I felt as much, they said to hang on.

And not 24 hours later they forwarded an email to me from the casting office requesting my presence at one more audition. The creative team was still trying to find a place for me in the show and wanted to remind themselves of my voice and reading. I went back in, and the following week I had another offer.

The news: I’m playing Andy, a featured steelworker (and a number of other colorful background characters) in the first national tour of Flashdance the Musical. Yes, this is the stage version of the movie that brought you Maniac, Manhunt, Flashdance, Gloria and I Love Rock ‘n Roll. We’re touring America for 6 months and if I’m coming to a city near you, I’d love to have you in the audience. The tour schedule is below, find me on the road!

We’re tumbling.

Here’s the official site.



Jan 1 – 6, 2013

Pittsburgh, PA

Heinz Hall

Jan 8 – 13, 2013

St. Louis, MO

Peabody Opera House

Jan 15 – 20, 2013

Louisville, KY

Kentucky Center

Jan 22 – 27, 2013

Grand Rapids, MI

DeVos Performance Hall

Jan 29 – Feb 3, 2013

Wilmington, DE

DuPont Theatre

Feb 5 – 10, 2013

Atlanta, GA

Fox Theatre

Feb 12 – 17, 2013

Baltimore, MD

Hippodrome Theatre

Feb 19 – 24, 2013

Tampa, FL

Straz Center for the Performing Arts

Feb 26 – Mar 3, 2013

New Orleans, LA

Mahalia Jackson Theater

Mar 5 – 17, 2013

Fort Lauderdale, FL

Broward Center

Mar 19 – 24, 2013

Nashville, TN

Tennessee Performing Arts Center

Apr 2 – 7, 2013

Minneapolis, MN


Apr 11 – 14, 2013

Spokane, WA

INB Performing Arts Center

Apr 16 – 21, 2013

Seattle, WA

The Paramount Theatre

Apr 23 – 28, 2013

Portland, OR

Keller Auditorium

Apr 30 – May 5, 2013

Tempe, AZ

ASU Gammage

May 7 – 19, 2013

Costa Mesa, CA

Segerstrom Center for the Arts

Jun 4 – 15, 2013

Houston, TX

Hobby Center

Jun 18 – 23, 2013

San Antonio, TX

The Majestic Theatre

Jun 25 – Jul 7, 2013

Dallas, TX

Music Hall