Pageant of the Masters: Hold-Still Tryouts

Can you pose like a statue? Your big break may await in Laguna Beach.

Pageant of the Masters

If you think back, to the autumn, 'round about the beginning of November, you'll recall a freeze-in-place phenomenon sweeping social media, one that asked its participants to keep a pose for several seconds.

It was the Mannequin Challenge, of course, and office staffs, school groups, and celebrities alike tried their best to not move a muscle.

Of course, we here in Southern California know that the whole "don't move an inch" thing has been polished and perfected in Laguna Beach, to the delight of the public, for over 80 years.

One is tempted to call the famous Pageant of the Masters the original Mannequin Challenge, but, of course, tableau vivant, or the artful act of standing as though one is in a painting or a part of a sculpture, boasts a centuries-old timeline.

Still, the Orange County hold-still spectacular is certainly one of the world's, and history's, most celebrated versions of the form. And that you could actually be a part of it — yes, you — is a very real possibility.

For the annual open casting call for The Laguna Beach Festival of the Arts stage-based staple are just ahead, on Friday, Jan. 6, Saturday, Jan. 7, and Sunday, Jan. 8.

"No theater experience is necessary," says the audition announcement, though you will need to be available for the multi-week run of the summer show. A show which bears the thrilling, travel-nice theme "A Grand Tour" in 2017, so if that floats your particular boat, get jazzed.

Will you be picked and then placed inside an Impressionist watercolor? Or as part of a triptych or over-sized vase? Even if your eyelid itches while you're on stage, or you see your aunt in the front row, you'll need to stay strictly, and with total stillness and chillness, in character.

It's a fabled California tradition, the Pageant of the Masters, and a fine way for someone who has always wanted to try their hand at being on a big stage, sans the acting chops, to give it a go.

Good luck to all of those who step up, and then stay completely in place, to audition. Playing a figure in a painting is quite the challenge, as many people around the planet found out, via a whimsical and wacky phenom, in November.

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