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8:25 am - Wed 12/04/02
If someone would just pay me to audition, then I'd be all set...

If Someone Would Just Pay Me To Audition, Then I'd Be All Set...

Had another commercial audition yesterday...

This one was a promo for NBC. All I knew going in was that I was supposed to be a zookeeper, which didn't really mean much to me; I've never actually seen a zookeeper in real life, so my only visual images are guys like Jim Fowler and The Crocodile Hunter, and I don't happen to have a closet full of safari gear.

Anyway, the audition was at 3:00, at Westside Casting on South Bundy.

I got directions off Mapquest, and thought I'd given myself plenty of time to get there early--I left the house at 2:00, and my travel time was supposed to be just 25 minutes--but by the time I got there and found parking and whatnot, it was just a few minutes before 3:00 (I worried, on the way there, that I'd missed a turn or something, because it was taking so long). But "no worries", as the kids say, because they were running late anyway (There was at least one other commercial audition going on at the same time. Something for Burger King).

I signed in, filled out my paperwork, and then noticed there were sheets of copy up on the wall by the sign-in table. JS hadn't said anything about copy on this one, but there it was, and it said "NBC Promo", so I grabbed a copy

and started looking it over.

It was pretty fun-- Some "expert" talking about the terrible problem of "Post Superbowl Stess Disorder" (Or "PSSD")--but it didn't seem to have much to do with zoology. But when I had a look inside the studio at one point, the same copy was on a big cuecard, like with the "Staples" commercial, so I assumed JS had just gotten his auditions screwed up or something (And that was pretty good news for me. As I think I've communicated in here before, I like having lines, and something to do).

Anyway, at around quarter-after, the casting person called three of us in (One guy with a weak chin and a perpetual hangdog expression, another with remnants of red hair on his otherwise bald head, and Yours Truly; Obviously, this wasn't a spot requiring George Clooney lookalikes).

I still had the copy clutched in one hand as she started to tell us what the scenario was--We were three zookeepers, at a stadium to corrall a runaway bear (One of us shoots the "bear", hitting a football fan by mistake).

No lines. No "Post-Superbowl Stress Disorder". Just a little "instant improv" (I found myself wanting to ask why I'd just spent the past 15 minutes studying copy that didn't have anything to do with anything when I could have been figuring out how I'd handle the scene she was now describing, but I managed to restrain myself).

So she "slated" each of us, then we did our little "scene" (Afterwards, it struck me again that improv training would be really helpful in this endeavor; I'm not nearly as good as I should be at visualizing stuff that isn't there, or just generally thinking fast on my feet. Actually, it's pretty disconcerting and disappointing how not fast on my feet I truly am).

Considering the minimal setup, and the fact we didn't know each other at all, I actually think it went all right (Or at least that's what I thought at the time, until I started tormenting myself afterwards with all the stuff I wished I'd done).

I left feeling like I'd at least done something akin to performing, and it was semi-fun, but I didn't feel anything magical happening; It was hard to imagine it leading to that big payday I've been craving (But who knows? I didn't think the Staples audition had been "magical" either, and I got a callback from that. So what the hell do I know about anything?).

Afterwards, I'd planned to go home, hop on my bicycle, and peddle straight to work. But there'd been some tension at work over this audition--More on that in a moment--and the drive back was taking even longer than the drive there, so I decided en route to just drive straight to work so I could get there ASAP (I'd been scheduled for 3:30, but asked for it to be pushed back to 5:00. I ended up getting there at 4:00. A little "pain-in-the-ass"-ish for me, what with my parking issues and the fact I hadn't brought any food with me, but what can I say? I was just trying my best to be "Agreeable Guy").

I'd gotten the message about the audition Monday evening (JS left it on my voicemail at 5:00; I received said message around 8:00).

Being the interim "Human Resources Manager", Kyle is now the person I'm supposed to go to with my schedule issues (Though John has been asked to be "kept in the loop"). Anyway, she was working that night, so I told her what the deal was, and to cut to the chase, she basically gave me the company line--It would be an "occurence" (Like being "written up", basically), because the schedule was already up and so forth.

(Kyle is much more of a "company man" than John. I think it also has something to do with her relative youth and managerial inexperience. Maybe it's self-serving of me to say, since his "managerial style" benefits me, but I think John has the people part of managing down pretty well, an area where Kyle is a little weak. But anyway...)

On my part, I felt a very quick rise of panic. I basically said to her, "If that's going to be the case, I'm not going to be here very long".

I didn't mean it in a threatening or confrontational way. It was more about stating the obvious; Of the seven commercial auditions I've gone out on so far, five have interfered to some degree with my work schedule. And if each time I go on an audition means I get an "occurence", and getting X number of "occurences" means eventually being fired...

Kyle conferred with John, and later, when we were both in the back sort room, told me I wouldn't get a mark on my permanent record "this time".

I knew I was supposed to be relieved and grateful, and say "Thank You", but I was still in "panic mode"--I wanted to say "That's nice and all, but this isn't going to be a 'one time only' kind-of-deal"--so all I managed to get out was "ok", which was probably not very politically expedient of me.

ANYWAY...where things are at present is that John is aware of developments, I think Kyle is at least considering being flexible with me, and I still have a job.

But I ratcheted up to "really scared" very quickly. And it wasn't much fun.

(The next day I tried, best I was able, to make things right; I called JS and asked if there was typically any "flexibility" with appointment times for auditions--He said sometimes, but often not, but that he'd remember to ask for morning appointments for me when possible--and when I got to work, I made a point of approaching Kyle, to let her know I wasn't mad, and what might have seemed like me being "mad" was actually me being "panicky" over the possibility of losing my job. She seemed grateful that I clarified that, saying she'd been unhappy with how things had been left between us.)

Well, I was going to move on to Buffy The Vampire Slayer (I finished watching the first and second season DVDs. Or most of them anyway; Of 36 episodes, I watched 30. 32, if you count going back and watching two episodes again with the director's audio commentary). It was a pretty interesting experience for me, in more ways than one.

But I'm falling asleep at the switch here, so I'm going to save it for my next entry, and catch some pre-work shut-eye.


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