How to Succeed in Business by Trying Really Hard and Freaking Out About It…

…or All the Tedious Details of How I Got Cast in Twelfth Night at Theater in the Round in a Role Usually Played By Men and Liked It November 29th: The Neverending Audition 7 pm - Arrived at the theater, signed in, then dutifully found a corner on the floor of the overly-actory lobby and reviewed my monologue roughly a million times.

8 pm – scored a coveted spot on what would turn out to be a very hard bench. Saw some familiars, traded witty banter at various intervals between the million-and-first and billionth reviews of my monologue.

9 pm – after getting out of her audition, a girl announced to her “friend” that it went REALLY well. Her monologue, she continued, was Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing. Damnit. Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing was the monologue I was REALLY reviewing for the trillionth time. Gah.

10:07 pm – “Leigha Horton, you’re on deck.” Thank GOD. I stand up and stretch and forget my entire monologue. Continue to obsess over monologue until called onto stage.

10:15 pm – called onto stage.

10:18 pm – Them: “Thanks Leigha, that was great! We’ll be calling people tonight to let them know if we’d like to see them again at tomorrow night’s callbacks.” Me: Tonight? Really? You’re going to be up pretty late! Them: yeah, well…

10:30 pm - Get home and want to crash, but instead phone Monkey with all the details. He tries to remind me of my official “Audition, Then Forget About It” Rule (if I don’t hear back, no big deal; if I do, it’s party time), and I try to explain how this one is different. How I really, really want this, and really think that I am able to do the show justice - me and Bill are tight, monkey! TIGHT. At this point I have officially become tired and whiny. Not the sexiest of states, but whatever – I’ve got needs. Rules no longer apply.

11:30 pm - no call. I go to bed very, very sad.

November 30: Wake up, still very sad.

In the afternoon, I get an e-mail explaining that David’s decision is way harder than he anticipated, and he needs more time to pull together the list of names for callbacks. The Horton Happy Dance ensues...I have not been officially denied yet. There is hope. SWEET. And then I realize that it just means more waiting and wondering. Horton Happy Dance comes to an abrupt stop.

December 3: I get a call from the Stage Manager – David would like to see me again at callbacks on December 6. Score. Resume HHD.

December 6: The Neverending Callback 6:30 pm until 10:45 pm. Callbacks. I’m there. Cool. Some of the mean people at the first auditions haven’t been called back. Also cool. Learn fascinating things about strangers while waiting in the lobby. Get called in to read three or four times over the course of the first three hours. Learn that fellow actor Stephen Frethem and I grew up about three houses down from each other when we were kids. Nothing for the last hour, watch proudly as the former strangers marry and bear children, get dismissed. Head home. Squeal all the details to Monkey. Sleep.

December 7?: It’s all just a blur now Get the call from David that I was funny and he’d like to cast me in the role of Feste. AKA The Clown. AKA the really clever, funny, exceptionally well-written part that’s always played by men. And then I said, "Let me understand this, ‘cause, I don't know maybe it's me, I'm a little fucked up maybe, but I'm funny how? I mean, funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you? I make you laugh... I'm here to fuckin' amuse you? What do you mean funny, funny how? How am I funny?"

Oh, wait, that was Joe Pesci in Goodfellas. I told you it’s all kind of blurry. I actually said something like, “YES!—wait, what? Feste? Really? That is a SWEET role, but I’m a girl. Well hell, if you want me to play Feste, I will play Feste. Cool.”

So there we have it…angst and sadness and joy and swearing-that-never-happened all wrapped up in a freak package just so that I can be your clown. Dig.