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10:12 AM - Thurs 6.01.23

Understanding The Assignment

(As I begin, Dick and Jane are en route to LA, having traveled an impressive distance already. I'll be seeing her for Lunch tomorrow, with Josh, after he and I do our weekly picketing stint, this time at Paramount. But anyway...)

In acting news - Happy to report I had an audition yesterday!

It's been so slow, I hadn't considered the possibility of booking a commercial during the strike (WGA writers write for TV and Movies, not commercials, so there's no conflict there - That said, I'd wondered if the strike wouldn't have a "chilling effect" on commercial production as well).

I'm a little embarrassed to admit my initial response to seeing I had an audition was an inward "Ugh...!".

(This strikes me as bizarre - under the circumstances, it seems like I should see a commercial audition as a white knight riding to my potential rescue - but with Vero Beach approaching, I might have been in "Oh great! The one I time I don't want to get an audition...of course I get an audition!" mode.)

But it times out just right, with the audition and callbacks happening before the festival, and the actual shoot happening after (A minor "monkey in the wrench" is that I'll be "in the air" when the fitting is scheduled. But that won't be a deal-breaker if they want me).

So the audition was yesterday afternoon.

I was going in for the role of "Additional Employee", so I wasn't exactly expecting to have a ton of fun acting-wise.

But I actually did.

Signed an NDA, so I've gotta be super vague here, but they brought us in three at a time to act out the scenario of the commercial - there are a couple lines in the commercial, but it was also pretty "loose" (I think they wanted to see "what we would do" with the scene).

So we do the first take, and even though I don't have any lines in the script, I drop in one-word, very deadpan, and get a laugh (There were three people in the room, in addition to the actors, with two cameras going - I'm presuming it was casting, the director of the spot, and the client, maybe? It was a little weird for an initial audition, which is usually just you and the camera guy. Anyway, after the take, they repeated my one-word "line" among themselves, laughed, and said, "That was funny").

Then we do another take, and I pick a spot to drop another deadpan, one-word "line", and they laugh again.

Now, as I write this, I realize my view of the situation could be skewed/biased/whatever, and they weren't as into me as I was thinking they were...but in the moment, it seemed like I had killed it - I'm "Additional Employee", they'd given me no funny lines or business in the spot, and I'd made them laugh in each take.

In other words, if this had been a Tik-Tok video, people in the comments would be saying that I'd "Understood the assignment".

It doesn't mean I'm going to book the thing - Lord knows, I've felt like I killed the initial audition, then not even gotten a callback - but it feels good to know "I did what I could do"

A little thing happened before we started shooting that I thought was interesting...

As they were putting our names into the system, I was first up.

The gentleman I assumed to be the "Director" asked me my name. And when I told him he said, "Of course! I should know that...!".

It's a casual thing, really. But I did really want to say, "Why should you know that?", because I was genuinely curious (Did he mean because he used to watch Shameless, or that I'm a "known quantity" in commercial casting circles, or what?). But I decided to let it go, lest it come off like I was fishing for a compliment (He could have said it just to be nice, so I didn't feel like a non-entity).

Well, this feels short, but I'm going to end here, so I can close my eyes for a few before getting ready for painting class at GenSpace.

(Till next time...)



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