Jami Jackson's Music Player

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Audition for Dreamgirls on Broadway

So on Saturday, November 22nd, I auditiioned for the Dreamgirls Broadway Show. I was soo excited to audition because I thought it would be a great opportunity for me. They were looking for African American females in their twenties for the parts of Effie, Deena, Lorrell, and Michelle. It's an equity broadway show, but they had open auditions for people who were not equity. I'm not an equity actress, so it worked out for me. Equity is a union for actors and actresses, but one hasto do an equity show before they can join. There were a couple auditions for the broadway show, so it worked out with my schedule.
However, I did not know what I was getting myself into! The audition was at the famous Apollo Theater in Harlem, which I originally thought was cool, until I had to wait outside in the cold for 3 hours! It never got above 30 degrees outside! And the wind was vicious. Of course, silly me, I was trying to be cute for the audition, so I decided that I didn't need gloves or a hat. I did have enough wherewithal to wear a wool coat, but still! What was really funny about the audition was that a girl that I knew from college, who graduated before me, came right in the line after me! It was very unexpected because I hadn't talked to her for about two years, but I was so glad to see her there, and she was glad to see me. Had she not been there, I might have thought really hard about turning around and going home. But I didn't!
Not only was it freezing outside, the line was extremely long! It wrapped around the corner of the building. I was number 376 and I think there were more than 450 people there total! I had no idea that many people were going to show up. I had previously auditioned for the broadway show Rent and I literally walked in and walked out of the audition. As soon as I got there, I was able to audition because there was hardly any line. Apparently, though, the producers of Dreamgirls on Broadway advertised the auditions everywhere!
Now let me tell you about the demographics of the line. The auditions were supposed to be of women in their 20s, but seriously, there were women who were in their 40s and 50s auditioning too. I'm like, really? It was clearly written what ages the producers were looking for, but these women were in denial. It goes to show you that dreams never die! Not only were women way over their 20s, there were a good portion of women singing songs from the Dreamgirls soundtrack. Not that there's anything wrong with singing those songs, but it is too predictable. And the chances of someone else singing the same song is high. There were more "And I am telling you" renditions than I could count!
I ultimately auditioned with the song, "Never loved a man (the way that I love you)" sung by Aretha Franklin. Thankfully, they let us sing 16 bars, so that ended up being the first verse of the song, which was exactly what I wanted to sing. I love that song because it's got a lot of attitude, dynamics, and hits it hard at the end, in a short amount of time. We also had an accompanist which was nice because I didn't have to sing acapella. It was like deja vu because I had auditioned with the same song for the Amateur night and Showtime at the Apollo auditions. It was very cold when I auditioned for that as well and the line was extremely long. But this time felt different from then. The casting directors that I auditioned for seemed to really like me. They said I should definitely hear back from them is a week. Of course, I am to putting that much stock into those words. I definitely felt like I did great in the audition, but you never know about what these people really want. My look or voice may just not be what they are looking for, or it may be exactly what they are looking for. But it's got nothing to do with talent. So we'll see...maybe I'll hear something soon!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

How Time Flies!

It has been a minute since I've last posted a blog. I have been so busy with work, singing, and now school! I am studying for the MCAT and am planning to take it in May 2009. I am hoping to get into medical school in the Fall of 2010. I know you must be thinking, "WHAT?" Yes, I am applying to medical school! I am really a nut, but I have actually always been interested in medicine. When I was little, I made a little medical book for myself and I used to read our home medical book to learn about different diseases. I was a pre-med student in college as well as a psychology major. So I've decided to pursue psychiatry as a profession. But that doesn't mean that I'm finished with singing! I'm just getting started! I just want to have my eggs in more than one basket, because you never know!

So....about the singing. There's so much to say! I did a great show for the HBCU-UP and AAAS Sunday Brunch on October 26th. HBCU-UP is an undergraduate research program that is held at the historically black colleges and universities in America. They held their annual conference at the Westin Hotel in Atlanta, GA. The HBCU-UP conference is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and and organized by AAAS, or the American Association for the Advancement of Science. It was a fun show! The songs really seemed to resonate with the audience and they were getting into it! The food at the end was good too :). I worked really hard on the set because I had to break it up into 30 minutes of secular music and 30 minutes of gospel music, but it turned out really well. I even added 2 new songs to my arsenal, "I will always love you" and "The Battle is the Lords". I was afraid that my voice wouldn't last for that long, but thankfully it did. You can find the songs on YouTube. At the end, I signed many photographs for some of the audience members which was also really nice.

Now, I have really exciting news! Earlier this year, I blogged about a reality TV special that I was doing for BET. Now the TV special is set to air! It's going to air on BET on December 1st at 7:30pm (EST). It is called, "Are You Positive?" and it should be a very poignant show. December 1st also happens to be World AIDS Day so its making an impact in that way as well. I am so excited to see it! I saw a clip on BET and it looks really good. It's on www.bet.com/onblast under News and News Specials. There is so much more work to be done in the fight against HIV/AIDS but I am glad to be a part of it!