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11:42 am - Tues 2/22/05
A Fresh, Pine-Scented Entry

A Fresh, Pine-Scented Entry

Tues 2/22/05 (8:40 a.m.)

I had an audition for Pine-Sol on Friday (Some cross-promotional thing with Pine-Sol and Costco).

I'd thought it went well, which usually means getting a callback, but felt discouraged when I didn't get a call that evening (In the weekly newsletter, JS said he might close early on Monday–Presidents Day–since a lot of casting agencies would be closed. So that being the case, I thought the casting agency for the spot–McBride Casting–would be letting people know about callbacks sooner rather than later).

I was still holding out hope–a rather obsessive hope, as a matter of fact–that I'd get the call yesterday. But I checked my voicemail every couple minutes at work, up to an hour or so past JS's normal closing time....and there was nothing.

Anyway...I idly checked my voicemail a short time ago, and there was a call from McBride casting; they'd called around 9:30 last night to let me know that I have a callback today at 4:50 (They called me directly because JS was closed; I really have to start giving out JS's cell phone at auditions, in addition to the office number, cause I don't like it when the casting places call me directly).

Beyond just wanting to book a gig (Cause I like money), I wanted that callback so much for two reasons–1) I'm kind of in competition with myself for callbacks (That's my 6th callback in ten auditions), and 2) It's a fun spot, the kind of thing that might provide the visibility I've been looking for.

The spot takes place in a hospital. Doctors and interns are gathered around the bed of a patient in a coma. Then they leave, and I come in as the janitor, with mop and bucket, and revive "Coma Guy" with the fresh, clean scent of Pine-Sol.

Good lesson about being "flexible"–At the audition, the sheet describing the spot had a couple of suggestions for how the janitor might respond to the patient regaining consciousness (Fainting, screaming, etc).

("Coma Guy" doesn't just flutter his eyes and slowly regain consciousness; he snaps awake and sits straight up in bed. Which I imagine would be pretty shocking.)

The suggestion I liked most was to look at the patient, then at the bottle of Pine-Sol, dumbstruck by the miracle that had just taken place. It seemed to make the most "comedic sense" to me (And it made even more sense to do something different than the guy right before me, who took the "screaming" route). But when I got in the room, they didn't have a prop bottle of Pine-Sol available, and I was afraid if I mimed it, they'd end up saying "Why's he looking at his hand...?".

So I dropped that idea.

They had me do two takes. For the first one, I stammered in terror, like the comic relief in a bad horror movie; for the second, since I'd been instructed to stay in the frame, at least initially, I stood frozen in place, shrieking like a little girl (Well, like a little girl with a deep bass register), then fainted.

It was fun.

Which reminds me, I wanted to share this advice with any actors who are reading along: When you have the opportunity to do a couple of takes at an audition, make sure you make each one different.

That might sound obvious, but in my own case, at least, I tend to think my first choice of how to tackle a scene is best, and use the second take to "polish up" that choice, to do what I did the first time, only "better".

I think that's understandable, but it's a bad idea. A really bad idea. You just look like a "one trick pony", like you can't think of anything else to do. Then what happens if the casting people don't agree with the choice you've made? Better to look as if you could do the scene all day, and do something different each time out.

____________________

Hunter S. Thompson died yesterday. He shot himself.

It was the first thing I saw when I checked CNN.com yesterday, and it made me sad; I'd read a number of his books when I was younger (Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, Hell's Angels, etc.), and for a brief period, I aspired to write like him.

(I don't think the "writing like him" really panned out–I doubt you can see much Hunter S. Thompson influence in my writing-because I never thought my body could handle the necessary truckload of alcohol and drugs.)

It always makes me sad, and a little scared, when someone I admire kills themself. Seems to suggest that whatever I admired them for didn't make them very happy.

It also suggests I might be admiring the wrong people.

Well, I want to be fresh–at least as "fresh" as I ever get-- for this callback today, so it's back to bed I go...

 

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