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4:33 pm - Tuesday, Mar. 13, 2007

A Nice "Circularity"

Tues 3/13/07 (11:47 a.m.)

Having a hard time getting started...distracted by the Internet (Just logged off), and my powerful desire to get a call from JS or PMG (For an audition, a callback, a booking, whatever), and I’m struggling to figure out what I want to say first. But anyway...

It’s been an interesting period of time.

I’ve been very happy that the commercial auditions are coming fast and furious (I believe yesterday’s audition was #17, and we’re two-and-a-half months into the year; for a frame-of-reference, last year I had 37 auditions total. So I’m hoping this means 2007's going to be a banner year for commercial auditions...and bookings).

And the auditions have been fun, by and large, funny spots where I’d actually have something to do, where I’d get to play a little “character”. Gigs that, when I think about it, offer better “parts” than the two things I’ve gone in for so far on the theatrical side.

Yesterday’s audition, for example (For Nabisco).

I went in for the part of a “donut”–which amused me right there–but while I thought the tone of the spot would be a donut-version of the “Maytag Repairman” (“I’m so lonely...”), it was actually better than that; I went in with an actress, and the scene was us in a car, with me playing the “donut” as aggrieved boyfriend/lover–“What, so now we’re not talking? That’s rich. It’s a far cry from last night, when you were all over me...”.

(Her reply? “Shut up...!”)

The “tag line” is something like, “Have a better relationship with your snacks”.

I find that scenario pretty funny, and think a lot of other people would too, so that would classify as a good “get” for me. Cause whatever I do, be it commercial, tv, movies, or stage, and however much money I’m getting paid to do it, I really want whatever-it-is to be entertaining.

The audition I had on Friday, for AirTran (An airline), would be good too–In that one, I was the manager of a Chili’s-like restaurant, watching a college-age kid in a Jalapeno pepper costume do a lackluster version of the company jingle; I start out all businesslike, then when I tell him “No, that’s all wrong--Ya gotta sell it. Here, I’ll show you...”, suddenly I turn into a combination of Bob Fosse and Louis Prima, before reverting back to my managerial self–“There. See what I mean...?” (I think it’s one of those “Need to get away? spots).

With years and years of experience in community theater musicals, that spot seems the textbook definition of “right up my alley”.

I find both those spots very appealing–Not just because they’re both funny and involve playing “characters” and would show me off to great effect, but also because they’re very different from the “Bahamavention” spot (Since my theatrical gigs so far haven’t resulted in very impressive footage, I’m thinking that if I got the right contrasting commercial spots on a reel, featuring me being two different kinds of “funny”, that might help me on the theatrical end, either in getting an agent, or being seen by casting people who don’t know me yet).

And speaking of “the theatrical end”...

On Sunday, Ivy Isenberg–a former casting associate from Paul Weber who’s now on her own–ran into me at the theater (she was there to see The Namesake).

She was one of the casting people who called me in last year, after seeing me at a workshop (for a co-star role on The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman, a cable pilot). She remembered me, and told me she’d really liked my reading–she said it was very funny--but a friend of the Producer ended up getting the part.

Of course, while it wasn’t fun hearing that it really is sometimes “who you know”, I was pleased she remembered me-and remembered me being funny-and, reading between the lines, seemed to suggest that if it had been up to her, I would have gotten the part instead.

Then she said, “Make sure you catch me after the movie so I can get your contact info again...” (Since she’s still a little bit jumbled in the new office).

I was usher-greeting that night (Another nice touch–She got to see me be funny as “Myself” in front of a group), so I knew “catching her after the movie” would be tough, if not impossible.

Then, as I walked away, I remembered I had a couple of my new “Actor” business-cards in my wallet, and while the previews were still rolling, I went to where she and her date were sitting and gave her one.

Now this contact is even more noteworthy than it might sound, for two reasons:

1) She’s the only casting person I’ve ever heard tell people, after doing a workshop scene, “Wow, that was really terrible”. In other words, she’s tough (Some of the workshop people have less flattering terms for what she is). But for some reason, I took to her immediately, and I don’t typically respond very well to “mean” people (I guess I just found her more “refreshingly honest” than “mean” or “bitchy”).

So anyway, to have her make a point of telling me what she told me means something. She doesn’t just give strokes willy-nilly.

2) When I ran into Scott David at the theater a day or two before, he didn’t make any mention of the Criminal Minds audition he’d brought me in for in January (Scott David is an associate for April Webster, that does Criminal Minds and Lost).

(For the record, I didn’t feel very good about that audition, so I wasn’t surprised he didn’t wax lyrical about it himself.)

But at least he remembered me.


(3:24 p.m.)

Remember how I started this entry saying that I was having a hard time getting started, in part because I was distracted by my “powerful desire to get a call” about an audition or a callback or a booking?

Well, I took a break to walk Lady (The neighbor’s dog), and on my way back into the apartment, I got a call from JS (Which I let go to voicemail), telling me I “might” be working on the Lexus commercial tomorrow, so “stay by the phone” (And call him to confirm I got the message).

I don’t know if I’ve even mentioned the Lexus commercial in here. It wasn’t one of the spots where I’d be doing a funny bit or playing a fun “character” or anything like that; they just wanted weird “character faces” for some bizarre “dream sequence” (In other words, I’d “be getting paid for being ugly” again. But I guess that’s better than not getting paid for being ugly).

I got the call from JS a couple hours ago, and he said he expected to know “in a couple hours”, so once again, like with the Jiffy Lube “avail” that didn’t come through, it’s feeling like “no news is bad news”.

But I guess we just have to wait and see.

(On the “glass half-full” side–as if making all that extra money wouldn’t be a pretty "full glass"-- if I do book the job tomorrow, it couldn’t fit more easily into my “schedule”; it’s one of my days off, and I don’t even have a workshop in the evening.)

Well, I was going to write a lot more (I didn’t even mention the big "investigation" to-do at ArcLight, my discomfort after the last AMG meeting, or my growing distaste for the US economic system), but I’ve run out of time.

Besides, I think getting the call I wanted to get at the beginning of the entry is a nice “closer”.


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