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1:37 am - Fri 6/13/03
Drawing Closer To The Prize

Drawing Ever Closer To The Prize

Thu 6/12/03 7:03 am

Saw Spellbound yesterday afternoon.

I thought it was quite good–See it if you get the chance--but I was a little distracted when, in the middle of watching it, I got a page from JS; I'd gotten a callback for the HBO spot!

It's today at 9:45.

I'm sick, I slept very fitfully (Waking up before 6:00 am when I'd set my alarm for 8:30), and I wish I'd known there might be callbacks today, because I'm concerned about the state of the outfit I wore at the intial audition (Since I wore it for over ten hours on Tuesday, riding to and from work in the process).

(I didn't know there were callbacks at all–there was no notice about them at the first audition--but by the time I found out there would be, and they were today, it was too late for dry-cleaning. It was even too late to go out and buy an iron, since I was kind of paranoid about putting my gray dress pants in the wash after what happened with the black ones. And I didn't even have quarters for the laundry. In other words, I coulda/shoulda been better prepared for this contingency, but what can I say? Obviously, that month as a Boy Scout 30 years ago didn't leave much of an impression...)

But as I said to Lauren yesterday, I only have to "sparkle" for a few moments, and I can do that. And I'm sure the outfit could be "fresher", but it doesn't stink, which is my only real concern.

And while whatever-I've-got seems to be defeating the medicines I've thrown at it so far (Histenol-Forte, Sudafed, and Alka-Seltzer Plus), I'll just get some nasal spray at Ralphs (There's one right next door to the casting agency), which will "unplug" me long enough to get through the audition.

But I don't want to let "technical difficulties" overshadow the happy news–I got another callback! (That's callback #7, if you're keeping score...and I am.)

Obviously, whatever it is I'm "bringing to the table", I'm making an impression. And I think I can stop worrying about whether I'm going to be "commercially viable" out here, cause I've got seven callbacks, not to mention the "on avail" for Yahoo, that suggests I am. It's just a matter of time till I score with one of these things.

But more later. Time to go book a commercial...

10:15 pm

The casting today went well. Very well.

I got there a few minutes early–After stopping at Ralphs for my nasal spray (And a refreshing Diet Coke)–only to find out the director was "running late" (Things were supposed to have started at 9:00; My appointment was at 9:45).

He got there at 10:00. There was a fair amount of grumbling in the room, and I have to admit, I felt a twinge of annoyance myself–I wouldn't get away with being an hour late to meet him, that's for sure!--but then I remembered it was my day off, I had no big plans for the rest of the day, and I was exactly where I wanted to be (And to give the guy credit, he did come out and apologize to everyone after he got there).

There were a lot of people there. They were having callbacks for both "water cooler" spots, so there were 15 or 20 of us in suits and ties (Mostly white guys), who were supposed to have gone between 9:00 and 10:00 and more casually-dressed men and women for the "office workers", who were scheduled afterwards (I found myself wondering if it's actually going to be two spots, as I've been thinking, or one longer spot, with the "office worker conversations" kind of "folded-into" the "water cooler president" monologue).

(Well, I'm really tired, so I'm going to skip all the stuff that happened before my time to audition, and just "cut to the chase"...)

Sometime after 11:00, an assistant told me I was next up, so I hung out near the door, till I saw the actor before me come out, then I was ushered into the room.

At some callbacks there's been a gang of people in the room, but this time, there was just the director and a camera operator.

One of the things I was uncertain about going in was just what take on the material they were looking for (They had us do it two different ways at the initial casting; Once like a "straight spokesperson", then like a subject in a documentary).

Turned out they were looking for the "straight spokesperson" thing, at least initially. The director had me do it a couple times, and most of his direction involved getting me to be "drier", with the exception of one or two lines he wanted punched a little more.

In addition to the initial copy, they'd added a "tag"–which we were given while we were waiting–that was actually longer and more involved than the initial copy ( I was particularly nervous about getting my mouth around "intricately constructed plotlines", but I was fine when I was in the room). And I was pretty happy with myself for how close I came to having the "tag" memorized by the time they called me in. I think that made a difference in how I did; At this point, I'm still not very good at using my peripheral vision to read cue cards, and I can't imagine my eyes darting back and forth from the cue card to the camera looks very professional

Anyway, he worked with me for awhile, then said three magical words–"Don't leave yet"; He had me go out for a few moments, while another guy read, then called me back in.

He had me do it standing still, straight at the camera. He had me do it moving. He directed me at one point to be "telling a story". I did just the first part. I did just the second part. Then I did the whole thing a couple times.

In short, he put me through my paces. And it felt great, because I knew he wouldn't be spending all this time on me if I wasn't being seriously considered. And I felt like I was doing a really good job of going wherever he wanted me to go with it.

Had my oddest "celebrity contact" yet as I was riding my bike home...

I'd gotten maybe a block away from the casting agency, when a horn honked near me. It was on the other side of the street, so I didn't think they were honking at me, but I looked up anyway, and there was Pauly Shore, in a truck, stopped at a red light.

He looked at me, all dressed up on my bike, said "Nice...", then the light changed, and he drove off.

Well, he's kinda a celebrity, isn't he...?

I'd been home for about an hour when I got a page from JS; I had another callback.

This one was for Kids WB, the one where I was supposed to be reacting to seeing the WB's stable of animated characters (I'm a worker getting the space ready for some big gala, when limos containing Bugs, Daffy, et all, start pulling up to the curb).

I'd thought the time for getting called back on that one had come and gone, but I was quite happy to be wrong, because I'd felt like it had gone well at the initial casting, not to mention thinking my odds would be better-than-average since they were looking for a bunch of "backlot workers".

So, callback #8 will be tomorrow at 12:30.

And you'd think that would be enough fun for one day, but there was more to come...

Sometime around 5:00, I got another page from JS...

I am "on avail" for the HBO spot, which means "Don't make any big plans for the 17th, 18th, and 19th, because we may want to shoot a little commercial with you...".

This has happened to me once before–with Yahoo–and nothing happened, so I'm not ready to break out the bubbly just yet. But that said, I was pretty happy to get the call (Though a part of me wanted to yell "How many more ways of teasing me are you gonna come up with?").

And on top of callbacks and pages about more callbacks and being "on avail" and all that, I also talked to Cary (We arranged to have breakfast in North Hollywood on Saturday morning), chatted with Lauren and Mark and Jane and Anita, though not all at once, and I bought a bookcase, table, and two chairs from a young woman in the building who's moving (I thought Jane would be particularly happy about the table; When she and Mark came to visit, she seemed to think my lack of a kitchen table was a major problem).

Well, there's more to say, on this and a host of other subjects, but bed beckons. At this writing, I'm still a very sick man...


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