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11:20 pm - Thurs 2.09.2012
Mamie, Brian, and Me

Mamie, Brian, And Me

Had two auditions today...

The first was for a low-budget indie movie called Resident Advisor (For the role of "Chancellor Norden").

It's funny - I was happy to be going in for the role, because it was not the usual lower-class, "sad sack" thing I've done before, but am now doubting I'll book the role...because it's not the usual lower-class, "sad sack" thing I've done before.

But I actually thought it went quite well. I know I felt much more natural doing the three lines in the audition scene than I ever do when I'm working the "Sad Sack" vein.

Before my audition, I was surprised when Mamie Gummer signed in (Mamie Gummer is Meryl Streep's daughter, and currently has a recurring role on The Good Wife).

Kind of wanted to say something to her (She's very good on the show); sort of regret that I didn't. But on the other hand, it's awkward being a "fanboy" in situations like that, like you're putting yourself on a lesser footing, as a "fan", instead of being a professional amongst other professionals.

But speaking of "being a fanboy"...

Last week, I was very surprised, when I went in for my Modern Family audition, to see Bryan Cranston in the room.

(He was directing the episode.)

If you don't know who Bryan Cranston is, he's the star of Breaking Bad, one of the best tv shows ever (He was also the Dad on Malcolm In The Middle, and had a recurring role on Seinfeld as "Tim Watley").

To me, he's a rock star.

And it was pretty cool when the casting director told me he'd seen my last episode of Shameless, complimenting my work, in front of said "rock star".

Wanting to keep the fun going, I said something to the effect of "That was a controversial episode, because he - (meaning Bill Macy's character) - basically kills that woman".

Then I realized I was saying this in front of Bryan Cranston, who's character on Breaking Bad has killed a number of people at this point.

Sure enough, he said, mock-defensively, "Hey, just because someone kills a person doesn't mean they're a bad guy...!".

The role was just a one-line thing, but I was happy I asked an intelligent question beforehand (basically, wanting to know how far away I was from the people I'm addressing the line to).

Anyway, I did the line, and BC gave me some direction (I'd assumed the line had to be at least somewhat loud and forceful, because in the script it motivates "Phil" and "Luke" to "run away like scared little kids", but he basically told me to "throw it away", like I wasn't so much "angry" as "mildly annoyed").

It was just one line, and it was a simple enough bit of direction, but I left feeling like I hadn't really gotten to where he wanted me to go, which meant I was not very happy with myself afterward.

But that said, it was still pretty cool that I met Bryan Cranston in an acting context - not as cool as acting with him on Breaking Bad, mind you, but cool nevertheless - and he'd been told by the casting director that I was good on Shameless (Which BC doesn't watch).

(Epilogue: I found out a WW member in one of my meetings knows BC, and she actually asked him about me - She was told he remembered me, and I was good...but the part had gotten written out of the final draft.)

Back to today's auditions...

The commercial audition was disappointing, in that my "role" (As "Driving Instructor") was pretty minimal.

(That said, it was nice that, once again, they weren't looking for a "Sad Sack" character, as I thought they might be going in.)

While I was waiting, a guy who was in for another audition came up to me and said, "I bet you got the 'Modern Family' thing, didn't you?" (He'd gone in for it as well).

I told him how I'd found out the part had gotten written out, and we chatted for a moment.

There was also a woman there I'd almost auditioned with (For the State Farm commercial where the wife thinks her husband is making a late-night call to another woman, when it's really your friendly neighborhood State Farm agent).

We commiserated a bit over that - we'd worked on the scene together, and had great chemistry, then a minute before we were going to go in, they paired us up with other people - both hoping we'd actually get to work together on something (She was in for a different audition as well).

Afterward, I thought about how nice it is that that can happen now - I have enough of a "history" here that I can run into people I've worked with before, or auditioned with, or who I just recognize from being at the same auditions over and over (That's how I met Bob Clendenin, a character actor who's having the career I might have had if I'd gotten out here a few years earlier).

It's nice to have gotten past that "babe in the woods" feeling I had for my first couple years here, where I didn't know anything or anyone, and had no professional credits to speak of.

And it's cool that I've put myself in a position where it's possible to meet (And sometimes actually work with) people I admire like Nathan Fillion, Bill Macy, and Bryan Cranston.

I want more - I always want more - but sometimes I need to remind myself I've made a good amount of progress since moving here almost 11 years ago.

And give credit where credit is due.


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