Tonight I auditioned to read Trudy Howell in a staged reading of “Let Me Down Easy.”
The first time I read the monologue, I thought this character is so hard-hearted and matter-of-fact about this enormous heart-breaking tragedy. It seemed outside of my range and not very sympathetic. I wondered if I wanted to read an unsympathetic character, even if I could.
The second time I read it, a few moments later, I had already become curious about this woman. I was stretching. Or so I thought for a while.
The third time I read it in the audition. The audience was moved. I had found all this emotional depth in the monologue.
I didn’t get the part.
As luck would have it, there is a NYC reporter in the play, and as usual I’m the only NYC accent around. So that’s the part I got.
On the way home, I made some connections. I’m a retired corrections manager. I was a parole and probation officer, a trainer, a hearing officer, a grievance coordinator, a prison supervisor. I did many many jobs during my career. Always I carried a badge. I arrested people when they were an immediate threat to themselves or someone else, and I was often perceived as a “hardass.”
So it wasn’t all that much of a stretch for me after all.
It was an honor to read for the part.