On a whim, I decided to head to New York from DC to audition for Paula Abdul’s new reality show, Live to Dance. Why not, when I dance to live?
Auditions were at the Javits Convention Center at 8am on Thursday. I scheduled a taxi for 2 am to take me to Union Station for the 3:15 am train to Boston by way of NYC. I had my dance sword sticking out of my bag, so to avoid trouble getting it onto Amtrak, I draped it with my hoodie.
I had planned to fill out my audition registration form on the train, but immediately fell asleep. Miraculously, I woke up just in time to ask the woman in front of me where we were. (New York?! Thanks!) and hopped off, narrowly missing a trip to Boston.
Once in New York, I took another taxi to the Convention Center. Show hopefuls had started lining up at 6:30am, so by the time I reached the sidewalk at ten to 8, I was like 500th in line. No matter. I’m a trooper, and talking to the 9-year old contortionist and her mom in line helped the time go.
Paula showed up in a limo at 10. (Everyone cheered.) By 11 o’clock I’d inched up far enough in line to see the entrance of the building, and by noon, I was having my (dance) sword confiscated by security.
They kept us in the lobby for another hour, allowing us to trickle down to the registration tables in controlled groups of two or three. After registration they led us to another room-I liken it to a holding cell-, where we waited another hour or two before graduating to (gasp) the official waiting areas outside the audition rooms.
That’s when they finally returned my dangerous dance prop, and I got a chance to rehearse and warm-up in a private curtained room. (Near the ladies’ toilet.) A crew member from the show was required to remain with me at all times while I practiced with my sword, just in case I decided to stab someone, I guess. What it amounted to, in my opinion, was a valet to carry my sword and a private practice and dressing room. Sweet! All the cleaning staff saw my routine, and loved it, so at four pm, when I finally got invited into the audition room, I felt fairly confident, having adopted an “It’s now or never” attitude about the try-out. Besides, I do this all the time!
That is, I was feeling confident until I walked in there and stood on the X in front of the producer, and CHOKED! I even prefaced my performance with, “I’m really nervous, tee hee.”
Needless to say, I won’t have a chance to win a place in the hearts of America this season on Paula Abdul’s new dance show on CBS.