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Sunday, March 1, 2015

The ups & downs of one NYC adventure & then another trip to NYC

So Allen & I had originally decided to not share about this audition round, but then we decided to go as a family for this next callback round so here goes.  

As many of you know, in mid January Lily Brooks was cast as a lead in SAG feature film, 'Shark Lake' starring Dolph Lundgren where Lily Brooks was cast as Dolph's daughter, 'Carly'.  She had an amazing time in Biloxi & the surrounding areas filming off & on for 4 weeks from the end of Jan-Feb. 13th.  While we were filming a notice popped up on a casting site for auditions for both Les Mis & for the part of 'Matilda' in the show 'Matilda' both on Broadway.  Allen & I talked about it & originally decided against taking her because we had traveled so much.  However, we both had second thoughts & decided to use her per diem money from 'Shark Lake' to take her to NYC to audition for both musicals.  

We left last Saturday & from the start it was a BUMPY ride.  Our direct flight was cancelled, as soon as we made it to Atlanta on our rescheduled flight Lily Brooks started getting sick from that horrid stomach virus that has made it's way around Memphis, we had an 8 hr delay in Atlanta, got to Newark at midnight & Lily Brooks promptly got sick again as soon as we deplaned.  (where there was a bomb threat, late arriving luggage caused by said bomb threat, no cabs because of snow, a shuttle with 8 other people & 8 other stops).  We made it to the hotel at 1:30am & then spent most of Sunday am in the hotel - she got sick in the am twice but swore she felt better by noon.  We ventured out for a stop at Walgreens & the TKTS booth for Aladdin or Les Mis tickets because she was dying to see one or the other.  Broadway is dark on Monday & we were leaving on Tuesday so Sunday afternoon was her only chance.  

She had Sprite & crackers, anti-nausea meds & we thought we were good. We saw Les Mis and she did great until after intermission when she got sick twice.  Poor thing.  :(( She rested the rest of the evening & I think slept for 14 hours that night.  Monday am we headed to Les Mis for her audition. This was an open call audition but the night before they changed to only accept Equity members for auditions.  Poor Lily Brooks who was finally feeling better was crying into her bowl of Cheerios & I felt like a complete failure as a mom & what a waste money.  A mom from Texas & another mom from Indiana also sat on either side of me.  What a group we were.  The Texas mom & I decided to wait it out because we really had nothing to lose as Matilda auditions were that afternoon.

Now for the turn around but I will go back a minute.  On the set of Shark Lake, the producers & director suggested that Lily Brooks should have representation in NYC & LA to expand her acting possibilities.  We love her & Colin's Atlanta agent but she covers only the south & nationwide searches.  Saturday am as I was finishing packing, I contacted via email 3 top talent agencies with strong children's theatrical (film, TV, theatre, & commercial) divisions in  NYC to submit Lily Brooks & noted that we would love to meet Tuesday am if they were interested in her.  As Lily Brooks is crying into her bowl of Cheerios, I receive a phone call from arguably the top agency saying they would love to meet with us & did Tuesday am work for us?  I had held it together for Lily Brooks but had to call Allen after that & cry a bit because I didn't feel like I had let everyone down.  We were thrilled but realized that they only sign probably 1 in 10 kids that they meet with so I didn't tell Lily Brooks much about the meeting because she had Matilda still to audition for that afternoon.

The Matilda audition went great!  She was nervous after the Les Mis letdown but they asked her to sing two songs & she felt great about it.  The casting assistant for Les Mis eventually heard Lily Brooks & the little girl from Texas but it was really a waste because I found out that the Les Mis auditions were union required casting calls with really no hope of being cast.

On Tuesday we met with the NYC agency that also has a wonderful LA office.  They told me that although Lily Brooks does need training both in cold reads & vocally, they loved her & want to sign her to represent her in cooperation with her Atlanta (southern) agent.  They want her to come to NYC during the summer (July & half of August) to train, meet with casting directors & audition.  We are going to try to go to NYC as a family with Allen working out of the NYC office for a few weeks.   Colin I know will be in heaven but I am a little worried about Hannah being such an outdoor kind of girl.  Thankfully she will get to do swim team all of June & do a couple of soccer camps as well.  We left NYC on a high note and were happy with the trip.

Bye NYC - see you next time!
We got home Tuesday night late, school on Wed (& catch up on homeschooling with Colin), Thursday a field trip with Hannah & head straight to Oxford for Lily Brooks to sing the national anthem at an Ole Miss game (which was a bit of an ordeal bc of the snow & more but that is another story).  While we were at dinner with Allen's parents I received a text from Lily Brooks's agent letting us know that Lily Brooks had an appt. callback for the part of Matilda - in 5 days!  This group of Matildas (they have 4 girls share the role & rotate performances) we think would start in the late summer.

Friday Lily Brooks & I had to head to Nashville at 5am for her to film a web/tv episode that we had agreed to do because we like the script for her & she has needed footage for her reel to submit to casting directors until Shark Lake is released.  She had a great time with it & I really liked the director.

Yesterday she worked all day on polishing two different songs than the ones she sang for the Matilda casting director last week, memorizing a very long monologue and more.  We had promised the kids as their Christmas gift from us to take them to NYC in April & as Allen didn't want to miss this experience, we decided all 5 of us should go this time.  (Allen had also already scheduled vacay time for a trip for the two of us which has now been postponed for who knows how long & both sets of grandparents (who were amazing during shooting for Shark Lake) were otherwise committed).  Colin will miss his championship basketball tournament, but he is excited about our adventure.   I was also so proud to hear him this morning telling the gentleman he was sitting beside on our first flight about his sister making it to the final rounds for the part of Matilda on Broadway.

I will post more pix & updates as soon as I can.   From what I understand from our NYC agent the casting of the 4 Matildas is a LONG process & this group (if this is the group she is auditioning for - that is even uncertain right now) won't start until the late summer.  Please pray for her to do her best & be confident in her abilities.  We trust that God will lead us as he has quite clearly since we finally agreed to let her try TV/film acting last August (after 8 months of BEGGING several times a week).

We would love your thoughts & prayers.