Friday, June 11, 2010

....The Life We Chose

For the last three days, I was downtown at a casting agent. Three different auditions, over three subsequent days, and I even parked in the same spot on the street two days in a row. One audition was for a medical training video, which required that I review and sign a release form saying that I understood the language might be "graphic, yet professional." They also discussed the idea of possibly filming "invasive procedures," or appearing in the video "fully nude." I had just faced the decision about nudity-for-art's-sake, so I was prepared to sign the paperwork saying that I was only interested in "non-invasive, clothed roles." Seriously, there was a box to check for that option. And this wasn't even a posting on Craig's List, or something that would show up on Nudity Required, No Pay. A friend runs the blog, go check it out.

The other audition was for a commercial for a used car company. The ironic thing, of course, is that it's the same company where I actually bought my used car. ("Not only am I the president of hair club for men....") Even though the casting agent had sent us a script, the first audition was a mostly-improvised scene where we had to riff on the story in the script. I worked with a great guy in the scene, and he and I had a lot of fun working together. After hitting the comic book shop (The Spirit #1 in the dollar bin!), I got the email from my agent that I got the callback for the audition. Which meant I had to go back to the office two days later for another read.

Arriving at the office on Thursday afternoon, there must have been thirty people there waiting in front of me. The director had apparently been taking his time with the auditions, and the casting director was trying to hurry him up, but I still got scene about an hour after my scheduled appointment time. Callbacks normally have fewer people than the original audition, but this time was a huge change. Lucky for me, I saw a whole bunch of people that I knew, and I really enjoyed the extra time to catch up with them before we went into the room to audition.

In the audition itself, the director gave me a whole bunch of notes and had me do it a few times. Walking back to my car, I know exactly the next step that my career needs, and that is a class on acting in commercials. I have tools to work in theatre, and I'm getting the tools to work in film. But what I need now is some commercial-specific training so I can really be confident when saying lines like "Are you kidding, this is from Car Sense" or "I use, and you should too." It takes certain skills to pull those lines off, and that's what the class can teach me.

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