At least I think he was homeless. He sure seemed like he was, but how assuming of me. Because he had lots of clothes on and strange thick glasses over beady eyes and wild thinning black hair, I think he's homeless? OK, maybe not homeless, but surely crazy. He sat on a bench inside the building and stared at people, stared at me, for extremely long periods of time, periodically roaming around the room, sitting back down, staring, smiling his vacant half-smile. He was odd. But then, most actors are odd, so I first gave him the benefit of the doubt. Guess he thought there might be a part for him in "Marcy in the Galaxy," the musical. I had no idea what "Marcy in the Galaxy" was all about, save for what the casting call described. Maybe there was a crazy beady-eyed character in "Marcy in the Galaxy."
That's what I thought until I sat behind him in the audition line. It was his time to go into the room. He had given a headshot to the monitor. That's the only way he got on the line. The person before him had gone in, had sung, and had come out. She was finished, and it was his turn. But he didn't go in. He just sat there next to me as I looked at him. He looked straight ahead with his vacant expression. No book of music. He held nothing. Finally I spoke up. "I think you can go in, sir."
So he went in, with no music for the accompanist to play. He shuffled in and closed the door and I waited. We all waited. We all listened.
Ten quiet seconds passed before us. We stared at the door. We heard nothing. Ten seconds, and the door opened. Beady eyes shuffled back out of the room and wandered off. Off to where, who knows?
It was my turn. I walked into the audition room and over to a stunned accompanist and a bewildered casting director. We looked at each other wide-eyed. I tried not to laugh, but I couldn't help it. I laughed. They laughed.
"I don't know what that was all about," I said.
The casting director shook his head. "I thought I was being punked or something."
I sat my music on the piano in front of the accompanist. "Well, whatever you do," she said, "it'll be better than that."
I wouldn't mind a crazy homeless man showing up at auditions more often.