This is a topic I’ve really, really wanted to write about for a long time. I finally got the inspiration (as well as the extremely clever term being used as a title)
after talking to a fellow actress at the UPTAS who shared the same feelings I did.
For those of who who may not have been on the audition scene in New York (it may also be like this elsewhere), allow me to paint a picture for you. You wake up at an ungodly hour (3, 4, 5) to sign up for an audition slot, then when you get to the holding room,
you begin the process of getting ready (side note: I like to listen to the music from Memoirs of a Geisha while I get ready, since it contains one of my favorite makeover/transformation/putting my face on montages). After you put your face on, you put on your
outfit along with your stylish and quirky heels that you picked for the occasion. You look around the room when you’re done only to realize that most of the other actresses in the room seem to be dressed similarly. How so? Well my dear sweet naive reader,
let me tell you. Imagine an A-line dress akin to the 1950s housewives style in a jewel tone color. The most popular hues you see are blue, purple and green (especially green if it’s for Wicked), but no orange or yellow, those are too neon to be a proper jewel
tone. Their makeup is flawless, and their hair perfectly curled as though they just stepped out of a Meghan Trainor or a Back to Basics-era Christina Aguilera music video. Rounding out this ensemble is a pair of sky-high heels, sometimes in black or red, but
mostly beige. If you are bold enough to get near them and sneak a peek at their audition books as they page through their music, you will see that a majority of them are sopranos, with Rogers and Hammerstein and Light in the Piazza and, if they’re real MT
nerds, Carnival filling their repertoire. Although they don’t always travel in packs, one of them will always show up at every audition you attend without fail, like a high school student waiting at the DMV to get their paperwork sorted.
Now I’ve seen them very often, but until recently I didn’t really have a name for them. That changed when I went to the UPTAS and found to my dismay that they seemed to have followed me from New York to Tennessee. As I waited for my time, I had a quick chat
with another actress who stopped what she was doing to admire my outfit (a simple red peasant dress from Francesca paired with some fierce faux snakeskin boots courtesy of my dad). I in turn admired her outfit wherein she commented about how she’d rather dress
her age (which I won’t give away) than be a part of what she dubbed “the jewel tone mafia.” When I asked her what that was, she told me “You know, the girls that all wear the jewel tone dresses and look like they stepped out of Mad Men.” Perfection.
So, next time you see that group, now you have a name for them. And if you happen to be part of the Jewel Tone Mafia, know that you are not alone, and you are part of a community.