One Phone Call
By Missy Dreier “Lucy”
Summer of 2010, I was at the doctor’s office with my mom, for something minor. While waiting for the doctor, my mom received a phone call from her childhood friend and next-door-neighbor, Janice Fuld, who my mom describes, as “not having a bad bone in her body.” Janice, aside from being my mom’s long-time friend, also happens to be good friends with Nicole Kempskie, the writer/director of Helen.
Now, she called my mom and said, “My friend Nicole is doing a staged reading of her new musical with a bunch of girls Missy’s age, and for her birthday, we all read the script with her. It’s really funny, and I know she’s holding auditions soon. If Missy’s interested, I can give you Nicole’s information.”
My mom and I were quite excited!
“Of course!” I exclaimed. And from there, I got an audition.
I felt good and confident that day, and although my audition was in the late afternoon, Nicole and Robby were cheerful and happy to see everyone who had come out.
Sitting outside the audition as kind of an “intern” was Emma Young, who, although I didn’t know it then, would soon become my good friend when she joined the cast as “Maxine”, along with the rest of the soon-to-be Helen cast. When practicing the sides I had been given for “Lucy,” the character I now play, I couldn’t pronounce “Andromache.” Instead of being competitive and letting me go through with it, Emma kindly showed me the correct pronunciation, and even gave me some advice. This is pretty atypical in the world of competitive children’s auditions!
Soon, I found out I was welcomed to the cast as “Lucy,” the character I now know so well and love. Ironically enough, Janice told us that when she had read the script with Nicole and her friends that was the character she played.
Now, after three readings, and an Equity Showcase coming up, “Lucy” has become my second name, and “Hector, (the character Lucy plays)” my third. The Helen cast and production staff has truly become my second family. Each new member is welcomed in so kindly, and each rehearsal, although crammed with lots of blocking and choreography, is tons of fun.
I am so thankful for that one phone call that has given me this amazing opportunity. And what lesson have I learned? —Always keep your phone on you!