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12:45 am - Fri 8/27/04
Commercial Audition Recap

Commercial Audition Recap

Thurs 8/26/04 (11:06 p.m..)

In the "It Pays To Be Nice" Column: In yesterday's mail, I received a free pass from Five Star Theatres in Los Feliz (I'd sent the owner a letter a couple weeks back, thanking him for their low prices).


Just as I was once again starting to get discouraged about the lack of commercial auditions, I've had three over the past three days.

Tuesday was a PSA for the Colorado Ballet.

I took an early dinner break from work, since the audition was at 4:30, at a casting place down the street from the bookstore.

And I'd like to say I kicked ass, but sadly, that would be a bold-faced lie. It would be more accurate to say–paraphrasing a line from The Simpsons–that while it doesn't seem scientifically possible, I managed to both suck and blow at the same time.

I've noticed that I'm thrown by kind of a weird thing at commercial auditions–When I've been given the copy for a spot beforehand, and have memorized it, it screws me up to see the cue card in front of me when I'm in the room. I guess there's some sort of "cognitive dissonance" going on there; My mind doesn't know whether to try and ignore the card in front of me, or to read it, so I sort of "split the difference", stinking up the joint as a result.

(Whatever the deal is, in the future, I'm obviously gonna be better off if I just "familiarize" myself with the copy without trying to memorize it.)

It seems counter-intuitive, but I think I actually worked too hard on a characterization before I got there; when I got into the room, a moment before they turned on the camera, they told me, essentially, that they wanted something 180% different from what I'd had in mind. And by then, there was no time to figure out what to do (The solution? Spend more time thinking about a couple different ways the scene might be done, instead of putting all my audition ing "eggs" in one interpretive basket. If they don't know what they want, I can do it "my way", but if they have a particular idea in mind, then at least I'll have already "explored that option").

I made some other choices while working on the scene that went wrong for me when I got in the room. I thought I'd be standing, but they had me seated, and I thought I'd be doing the scene alone, but there was a bit with another actor (Another reason to not memorize: More than once, I've gone into the room, only to find they changed the copy slightly from when I got it). And I let myself get thrown by the changes.

And I'm not being "hard on myself" here. I really blew chunks, big-time.

Very disappointing, but I'm trying to see it as 1) "a learning opportunity", and 2) more practice at "putting these things behind me"; I was very disappointed afterwards, and it kind of ruined my night. But in reality, there are going to be many, many more auditions to come, so to obsess over one bad one is pointless.

Yesterday, I had a voiceover audition for some new Yu-Gi-Oh game.

Oddly enough, it was right back at the same casting place (I can't recall the last time I ended up at the same casting place two days running), though it was for a different agency.

It was yesterday morning, at 11:30, and this time, I didn't see the copy until I got there. I looked over it, read it out loud a couple times, but didn't make a concerted effort to memorize it, because I knew I'd have the copy right in front of me when I was in the room, since it was a voiceover.

This was a much happier experience; when I got into the room, the casting guy told me we'd do three takes of the copy–An "upbeat" one, a "sincere" one, and a "strong, authoritative" one–then had me try the first reading.

After a brief technical glitch, which he was very apologetic about, we knocked the three "takes" out pretty quickly.

Afterwards, he said "very nicely done...", and I did feel good about how it had gone. It was one of those times where I really think I did the very best I could, and now it's out of my hands. But I felt like I could definitely get it.

Interesting thing happened afterwards–I was walking back down the street, and I'd just gotten a block past a particular cross-street when I heard a squeal of tires and then a crash.

I jogged back, cellphone in hand, half concerned and half just gawking, and saw that an old man in a white caddy had rear-ended a woman in a silver Dodge Intrepid (And he whacked her pretty good, too–the rear panel had fallen off the car, and the whole back end was pretty much totalled. Then he had enough momentum to rebound off her car, go up onto the curb, and put a manhole cover-sized crater in the side of this stucco building).

If one witness's view was accurate, it was apparently another case of an elderly person hitting the gas instead of the brake. Another good argument for yearly testing for elderly drivers.

This morning, I had an audition for Taco Bell, playing an annoying neighbor who invites himself in because he thinks something tasty is on the grill (Just one line, so no big "issue" with memorizing or not memorizing).

It was another good experience. I got to run through it once, then they had us do a few takes (I felt like I did a pretty good job going wherever they asked me to go with it). Again, I felt like there was no reason I couldn't get it.

So basically, two-out-of-three. I would have preferred to nail all of them, but if I had to choose one to tank on, I'm kind of glad it was the PSA.

Having had these couple auditions in a row, I'm reminded that I have an odd little streak of optimism at times; Any time I have a couple auditions "outstanding", and I do well, I'm sort of surprised if nothing comes of it.

I guess that's the kind of thinking that serves me well. Better to assume things are going to happen rather than assume they're not.

Cause things are going to happen. I just have to keep pushing.


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