by Alexia Sky
I recently found a journal entry from just after my first audition for Hamilton. I was fairly new to New York and had never been to an Equity Chorus Call before. I was not part of the union and had heard what an ordeal the day can be for non-union dancers. Since all Equity dancers must be seen before non-union performers, dancers who aren't in the union begin lining up to sign up hours before the actual call starts. I arrived around at 8am and fortunately had a friend that signed me in. There were what seemed like hundreds of dancers on that list, but he had placed my name there here, so I was in the 70s.
Sitting in the waiting room watching Equity members roll in hour after hour, a lot of doubt started to creep into my mind. I wondered if I would even get the chance to audition that day. However, I was determined. I was “willing to wait for it.” At 6pm, casting announced they only had time to see the first 20 people on the non-equity list. As I left the waiting room without getting the chance to audition, I felt discouraged and frustrated.
Months later, I got the chance to audition again through an agency call. Luckily, this meant that I knew I'd get the chance to be seen by the creative team. From that audition, I was called back twice for the show, but wasn't offered a role. It wasn't until a year later I was called in again, which led me to join a Hamilton Bootcamp.
Like a few other Broadway musicals with multiple companies, the Hamilton creative team offers some auditioners the chance to participate in a "Bootcamp." This extended audition is a week of learning and performing material from the show. My opportunity to attend Bootcamp was at the same time as I was performing in On Your Feet! on Broadway. It was an exhausting but exciting time, and I could taste the sweet victory of my next journey. However, Bootcamp ended and I did not hear anything at all from the Hamilton team. Shortly after, On Your Feet! closed and I was back in the audition rooms.
I had an opportunity to work in some pre-pros for upcoming projects with a creative team member from Hamilton. This is where my lesson of time, patience, trust and hard work truly set in. I was asked back into “the room where it happens” to audition for the Hamilton. This time, I was offered a role in the show. Yes, that audition that changed my life, but it happened, in part, because of all the work I had put in over the months and years beforehand.
Now that I'm performing in Hamilton, one of my favorite lyrics I hear everyday is, “I’m not standing still, I am lying in wait.” Just as Burr tell the audience, I've found that the journey is just as important as the destination. Soak it in. Be present. Be grateful. Opportunity is all around.