There comes a time in every NY actor's career when you will say, "Fuck this place, I need a break," and you will book a trip to Paris or Cali or your mom's house, and Broadway will come knocking.
Every. Single. Time.
Maybe not Broadway in particular, although in my case that's happened so many times I have literally lost count. And it hasn't ever worked out.
If this hasn't happened to you, it's a matter of time. Remember, New York is like a bad boyfriend: as soon as you decide you've had enough, he will come calling again.
So is it worth it to fly back? I wish I had a concrete answer for that, but the truth is every situation is different for everyone. But for me, it boils down to these two questions:
1. How much will it cost to get back?
This is always my first question because I'm usually varying degrees of broke. I do not condone the usage of credit cards for stuff like this. A Wicked appointment is not an emergency. (Besides, it'll come around again: that show's gonna run forever.)
Southwest is the only airline I know of that allows you to change your ticket for free, the only cost being the difference in the ticket price. Does this mean I fly Southwest as often as I can? Toss in the two free checked bags, and the answer is yes!
But otherwise, if I can get back to the City for around $100, I will usually do it. Likewise, if I can take a flight credit somehow and return to the City at a reasonable price in a reasonable amount of time, I will do it. I define "unreasonable" as 1.) significantly more than $100, 2.) an overnight flight-- I learned the hard way my vocal chords will not cooperate, and 3.) a six to ten hour drive somewhere in a rented car.
2. How badly do I want the gig?
If you need the money or insurance weeks, I get it. But if this is a show you've already done that won't add anything new to your resume, I say skip it. See my blog about the magic of the word 'no.' And remember, if you're busy doing a show you've always done, you can't advance your career by doing new shows with new people.
The bottom line is that there's always another audition. My friend recently turned down the (supposedly) final callback for a show at the Goodspeed because she was in California at the time. She went back and forth about it, but ultimately decided she had made the right decision, in part because the length of the contract would have taken her out of the City during prime audition season. She's confident she can book something else, and that she'll work at Goodspeed another time.
Read on for some of my best/worst audition fly-back escapades.
1. The time I volunteered to get bumped in order to stay in town for a Les Miz audition that had suddenly come up. It was the middle of summer, and the Delta representative practically hugged me when I came to the desk. I was re-booked for a flight later in the week, I got a $200 travel voucher, and they sent me home in a limo. I did not, however, get Les Miz.
2. The time I charged $700 for an overnight flight from LA to NY to audition for Susan Stroman's Little Dancer. It was my first audition back after having a baby, I was not in good shape, and the flight wrecked my voice. (I thought I was really right for it...)
3. The time I refused to come back for a final callback for a show that I had been seen for dozens of times over the years. That show, I booked.
So take that into consideration the next time you're tempted by the audition gods-- or rather, devils.