Back in my musical theater days here in NYC, I had many an audition and eventually worked in many shows over the years including Jesus Christ Superstar, The King and I, Hair, Godspell, West Side Story and more. My first big Broadway audition was for Miss Saigon. I was a huge fan of Les Miserables. Miss Saigon was by the same people. I really liked it and felt I was totally right for it. After all, I'm Asian for pete's sake! Over the years, I got more confident with auditions and learned my limitations. But then, I just felt like it was my destiny to get this show. I had a Miss Saigon tee-shirt that I wore for inspiration as well! Yeah, I was that nerdy about it. And I had history on my side as the original "Kim" in the show was fellow Filipino Lea Salonga!
Day of the audition came. I wore the tee-shirt underneath a nice button down shirt for luck. I sang my song and that was that. I knew right away that I wouldn't even get a callback. It just wasn't to be. My voice was nowhere near strong enough but I thought maybe I'd be considered for chorus just because I looked the part. Alas, no.
It didn't deter my love for the music and story. If you're not familiar, it's basically Madame Butterfly set during the Vietnam war. American G.I. named Chris meets Vietnamese girl named Kim and they fall in love. However, at the fall of Saigon, he gets out but she doesn't. Many very powerful moments in the show. So many great ones but one of my favorites is the song embedded below. A short duet called "Please" between Kim and John (best friend to Chris) a few years after the war. John is struggling on whether or not to tell Kim that Chris has moved on in life though he always remembered her. Meanwhile, Kim has been waiting 3 long years for her lover to come back and meet his son. Just a beautiful moment between the characters and you can really hear the hope in "Kim's" voice and desperation in "John's".
I auditioned for the role of "Thuy", ("Kim's" original betrothed), years later. And while my voice was stronger then, I still didn't get a callback. A few of my friends were cast in the Broadway production and national tour so I got to enjoy seeing them in it at least. And while I may not have been right for it, I can be Miss Saigon any day by just playing the soundtrack and singing along.