You're a Tweener, Zandi Carlson. 

I'm a WHAT? Photo by Danophoto

I'm a WHAT?
Photo by Danophoto

I was 20, or 21 when I got my first owl post notifying me that I was a "Tweener." 

Okay, it wasn't owl post, but it was a conversation with the Artistic Director of a local professional theatre company, which my college, Oklahoma City University, had a partnership with. 

For co-productions, the young roles were played by college students and the older adult roles by professional actors. There also would also be a complete understudy cast made up of college students. 

I was lucky enough to get to understudy AMAZING actresses who would commute from Dallas to do these productions. I got to understudy Mrs. Webb in Our Town, and Judith Bliss in Hay Fever. The women I was understudying were in their late 40's/early 50's. 


Have You figured out what a "tweener" is yet?

(Hint: It's not that awkward age before you turn 13.)

What I wore to my most recent audition. Photo by Danophoto

What I wore to my most recent audition.
Photo by Danophoto

This Artistic Director says to me one day, "You're a tweener, Zandi. You're not really an ingénue, but you're not old enough for the mom roles." 

Today, at the ripe age of 32, I had a casting director use that same word, "Tweener."

To be honest, it was used a really lovely, and personal note letting me know I had not gotten a role. I knew I was too old for it--the young, virginal side interest of the leading man.

"You are maturing beautifully into a true leading lady." She said--what a compliment!

This casting director went on to say I was way too young for the mother of the role I was up for.

Tweener. (P.S. I was not up for the actual leading lady role...that had been cast the week before, I think).

Back in college, I had a professor tell me I would play a lot of maids, sisters, and a lot of best friends until I was ready for the leading lady roles. Too bad there wasn't a sister or best friend in this show. Maybe next time. 

But dammit, in 15 to 20 years, I'm gonna be the BEST mom-of-an-ingenue. I'm coming for you again Judith Bliss. And Kate Keller, and Gertrude, and Mrs Bracknell, and....