ME: (Shakily) Hello?
KINDLY VOICE: Hello? Is this Austin Savage?
ME: (Equally frightened/hopeful) Yes.
KINDLY VOICE: This is Chuck Smith.
ME: (Trying to play it cool after immediately recognizing the name thanks to online research leading up to my application essay, including this clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNNLYsNL39k) How are you doing, sir?
KINDLY VOICE: I’m doing fine. I was calling to see if you were still interested in working on The Good Negro. Are you still interested?
ME: (Scrooge on Christmas morning giddy) Yes, sir! Absolutely! Yes, very much, most interested. Definitely interested, sir. Uh...yes. Thank you, sir.
KINDLY VOICE: You don’t have to call me “sir.” Just call me Chuck.
ME: (Afraid of already blowing it) Sorry, sir...Chuck! Sorry Chuck.
KINDLY VOICE: Alright, I’ll let them know and we’ll get all the arrangements taken care of. You should get your contract soon and I look forward to meeting you.
ME: (Officially catatonic) Me too.
KINDLY VOICE: Take care.
ME: Me too.
That was it. In less than one minute I was going to be working at the Goodman. (I had actually interviewed for an internship at the Goodman this past fall after getting the call from them while working at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. I flew back home and the next day hopped into a rental car with my girlfriend to make the 24-hour drive for the interview. I didn’t get that gig, but karma and work ethic eventually get you where you want to go...)
Unfortunately, there was no one around to immediately share the good news with so I just jumped around the room like Tommy Lasorda after Gibby’s homer in ’88 (for those of you who don’t know or have forgotten, check out the 9:15 mark: www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzkTAdF6I2A).
That abundant enthusiasm has still not left me. We are nearly two weeks in to our rehearsal process, but being in a room at one of the greatest theaters in the world with an incredible director, talented cast, and incredibly talented playwright. As required by the SD&C I am “observing this process in order to further develop myself as an emerging young professional.” So far the Goodman Theatre has held true to its claim that it is “what great theatre should be.” It’s hard not to be continually excited when you find yourself surrounded by intelligence, inspiration, and artistic sincerity on a daily basis. It is my hope that I can take these lessons learned here and apply them to my own start up theatre company back home. I am thankful for the opportunity provided to me through The Good Negro and I hope to share the journey with you in further posts.
Observer for the Society of Directors & Choreographers