Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ah, yes, auditioning is why I moved across the country!

It seems projects in this town come in waves; some weeks the booking websites will be full of great breakdowns, other weeks, there's nothing... There has actually been a good amount to filter through lately. Although, I've been more selective in what I submit for; by that I mean I play the role of casting director and only submit for parts that I truly think I'd be called in for. I've heard from multiple casting directors that submitting for everything not only lowers the percentage of auditions you get, but never getting called in also lowers your self esteem! It's better to submit a little and get called in a lot. With gas prices and the dread of LA traffic, I also careful consider travel versus compensation versus networking and experience.

Anyway, I had and have some auditions which are thankfully helping to pull me out of that funk I kept whining about. This past Friday I auditioned for the director and writer I worked with for the short musical festival back in May and June; they're doing a play that will be part of the same theatre company's "ACTober Fest." I doubt I got the part at this point because I haven't heard from them, but at the audition they were pleased that I "got" the character and all the nuance in the writing. They said my acting and facial reactions were wonderful, but that I was a bit too perky for this bitchy, dry character. I don't think there's much I could do about that; sweet and perky is probably how they'll always see me, since that was the character I originally played for them for four weeks.

Whether I get it or not, I finally experienced something I should go into every audition with - calm and confidence. Because I knew exactly where I was going and the people I'd be auditioning for, there were no nerves, no panic about being on time and finding parking, no concern that the project might not be what I thought it was... I was able to walk in without a care in the world and give a solid reading that I'm proud of. As an actor, that is all you can ask of yourself.

I booked legitimate extra work on a non-union film for this afternoon. I was going to get fifty bucks for six hours of work as a high school prom-goer, however, I had to bail on them at the last minute. I hate looking unreliable, but in this town you have to take the better opportunity... In this case, my acting teacher, who is also a casting director, alerted the class to a breakdown for a popular country singers music video that he is casting. I was called in to audition for the 17 year old, sweet but sexy teenage lead; my audition is right in the middle of the extra work. Everyone always thinks I'm younger than I actually am, but 17? I don't know, but I'm willing to show up with next to no makeup and channel my inner teenager to the best of my ability!

My guilt about bailing lessened when I got a second audition for today that would have also conflicted with the extra work. This audition is for a non paying student film. When it comes to submitting for student films, I go through phases; sometimes I ignore them completely, other times I'll submit if the story or character intrigues me. Or, in this case, if the shoot would be convenient. This student film is shooting on Universals backlot! In my submission notes I wrote that I as a tour guide I already have clearance to the backlot. I don't know if they're calling me in based on that convenience, or if they really like me for the part; either way, I would absolutely LOVE to actually act on the backlot. Even for a student film, it would be fucking amazing! The funny part is, the role is a bustling New York pedestrian. Hhhmmm... Where exactly on the backlot are they filming? I can't wait to walk in to the audition and ask, "You realize New York street burnt down about four months ago, right?"

Speaking of Universal, I'll be auditioning to get into their prestigious industry showcase this Thursday. They only take twenty guides (meaning ten scenes, each running two minutes or less). I've been told you often have to pay to get into talent showcases, and even then they're usually at some seedy bar with no real industry folks in attendance. So the opportunity to be in a completely reputable showcase, now in its 23rd year is very exciting! Although he's not in our class, my acting teacher allowed my scene partner/fellow tour guide to come to class last night and worked with us before and after the cold reads with the guest casting director. We're doing a hilarious scene from the musical, turned movie, The Full Monty. No, no one gets naked in our scene, but I do throw a g-string at him with rage, thinking he is cheating on me. In actuality he's trying to become a stripper to make extra cash; it's funny because both the character and my scene partner are bigger guys. It works for us because we're both musical theatre types; it works for the showcase audition which will be cast by TV types because fat guys with cute skinny wives are very common on TV sitcoms right now. Thus, we're showing both our talent and castability!

And now that it's going on 4 a.m., I should probably get some beauty sleep to help me look more like a 17 year old...


Anonymous said...

Okay, I'm dying to know who the country singer is...details, please? I'm a huge country fan with connections to a few. ;)
I'm guessing Trace Adkins...???

Anonymous said...

Toby Kieth!

- Buckeye...

Jeff Mac said...

Actually, Full Monty was a movie-turned-musical, not the other way around. Said the uber-movie geek. :)


Anonymous said...

Ahhh, now that would be a good one to get into...I like him, too! My cousin (hubby's side) is not a big fan of his though. He thinks he is a real player of people. By the way, check out his band if you can, the Adam Ricker Band. His album is called Raisin' Cain. He is touring with Steve Holy now. Steve's most popular songs are "Good Morning Beautiful" and "I got a brand new girlfriend". I am excited for Adam. Hopefully this is his big break!