1:07 pm - Tue 4/01/03
Mon 3/31/03 12:57 pm
A quick breakdown of "The Past Month In Acting":
1. Sent out 18 headshots.
I actually was given the choice of going back the following day for the Music Man audition--I was instructed to come back with something the accompanist could play ("Something melodic", the accompanist suggested)--and when I left, even with the crushing weight of failure heavy on my shoulders, that's what I planned to do. I didn't want to leave things on " a down note"; I was anxious to recover, and not have the experience be another step towards my developing phobia about musical auditions ("I was in musicals for 20 years back in Lansing, but suddenly, I can't even audition effectively...").
So I went home, and called the bookstore to make sure they had the soundtrack (I had them hold both the movie and broadway soundtracks; I told them to skip the recent tv version). Then I called Hollywood Sheet Music to check if they had a music book from the show (They did).
I drove to the bookstore, to pick up the soundtrack (I opted for the Broadway version, which I think now was a mistake. While I was there, I also picked up a Back Stage West). Then I stopped at Hollywood Sheet Music, and picked up the songbook they'd held for me (I also bought the book for Big River; Even though the accompanist had said "Guv'ment" was wrong for the show anyway--And I wanted to say "How do you know? You just said you didn't know the song"--It's going to be a good audition song for something, and I will now be prepared when that time comes).
(Do you ever get in the middle of a story and realize you're stranded? I've grown bored with this tale, so I have serious doubts you're still interested, but nevertheless, here we are...)
The particular "melodic" song that was "suggested" to me was "Till There Was You" (From the show). And I thought Robert Preston sang a reprise of the song at one point in the movie--And I've certainly got more of a range than Robert Preston!--but either I was mis-remembering things, or else they'd changed things for the movie, because on the Broadway album, there's just Barbara Cook, singing in her lovely soprano-ish way.
Even taking the song down an octave, there was no way I could sing it. And after the experience I'd just had, the last thing I wanted to do was go in the next day, in the blind hope they'd have this "reprise music" I was remembering, only to embarrass myself all over again.
And the accompanist had defined not just "Guv'ment", but all of Big River, as not being "right" for this show (He described it, dismissively, as being all "talk-singing"), so I didn't think they'd appreciate my coming in with "Waiting For The Light To Shine", even though I think it's a pretty song, and quite "melodic" (I've realized that when a notice "suggests" singing something from the show, they really mean "sing something from the show". I thought I was "safe" because they'd said "...or else a legitimate show tune". But when I came in and said I wanted to sing something not from the show, I immediately felt a wave of not only surprise on their part, but mild displeasure).
So the song they "suggested" I come in with wasn't going to work, they had put the kibosh on the song I'd wanted to do in the first place, as well as my "backup song", and I didn't think I had the ability to rustle something else up on such short notice, at least not anything good enough to erase their initial impression of me.
So I called and cancelled the next day's audition.
But I think the reason this feels superfluous in the retelling is that none of what I've just described is at the heart of the matter; Basically, I once again went out for something I didn't really want to do, and as a result, self-sabotage was the result. I know what being "prepared" entails, so to not be prepared--to not have appropriate sheet music an accompanist can actually play--means, at some level, that I didn't want to succeed (Even if I'd done the song and they deemed it "not right", they would have heard I could sing or at least "sell a song", and would either have had me do some scales, or asked me to try a song from the show. In any case, I think I would have emerged from the experience without feeling like I'd humiliated myself).
The experience leaves me not knowing quite what to think...I guess it's become pretty clear that I don't want to leave L.A. at this point, at least not for this type of opportunity, so I might as well save the headshot and not submit for those things (I submitted for the show initially not because I wanted it, but because I could). And I don't think there's necessarily anything wrong with that, but it leaves me wondering--If I have to be "excited" about everything I'm auditioning for in order to give it my all, how am I going to get anywhere, when I don't have access to the kind of projects I'd really want to do at this point, given the choice?
In essence, I guess it's an issue of "amateur" vs "professional". The actors I most admire dress up every project they're in, whether it's a great movie or tv show or play or not. And that's the guy I want to be. You can't really control the quality of the project you're in, by and large--Even big-time actors end up trapped in some crappy movies--but you can endeavor, at the very least, to be the sparkly rhinestone in the big pile of crap.
But more on this, and a host of other, hopefully more interesting subjects, later...
I just got back from a commercial casting at Westside, where I've been a number of times before (This time out was a promo--to air during Gilmore Girls--for Aquafina water. I was a non-speaking hot dog vendor).
As I was waiting at Westside, prior to going in to be put on tape, I got a page from JS. There wasn't much I could do about it right then, so I just planned to do my audition, go home, and give him a call, but on my way home, I got another page from him, then another, and I started to get anxious (The thing that came to mind, from all the pages? That I was going to get home, and he was going to tell me another casting agent at Westside wanted to see me today, so I'd have to hop in the car and drive all the way back to South Bundy).
It turned out to be just another casting for tomorrow (For a grocery store. I'm a "small-town postman"). He'd paged me a bunch of times because his phone was acting "funny", and he wasn't sure the pages were going through.
But anyway, that's good news. We're getting off to a fast start this month with the commercial thing (And I'm always happy when a commercial casting falls on my day off, with no workplace fuss-and-bother).
In other good news, Jane's package of videos has arrived; A tape of the play she was in--The Waverly Gallery--along with my first Six Feet Under tape of the season.
Jane recently e-mailed a couple of pictures of her old-age makeup from the show, and the makeup looked great! Honestly, it was way more impressive than I'd envisioned it (I imagine that must have been really reassuring to Jane. She'd had "concerns", but it looked as good as any age-makeup I've ever seen in a movie).
Crap...I'm not nearly done here, but I've gotta lie down. Last day of my work week today, and I'd like to end it on an "up" note...
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