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9:08 PM - Mon 2.23.15
Auditioning In My Undies

Auditioning In My Undies

For the longest time - at least a good week, if not longer - I had the opening of this entry on my computer.

Then I accidentally deleted it - It wasn't really much (Basically just "Nothing was happening and now a lot's happening - things sure can change in a hurry!"), but I was still annoyed with myself for losing it.


In my last entry, I wrote about having my first audition of the year (I think I said it was a regional bank commercial; it was actually a regional credit union commercial).

Well, after that audition, I had three more auditions in about a week's time (two commercials, and one "self-taping" for a pilot).

Then callbacks for the credit union spot were a week ago Saturday.

Could tell it had gone very well (Had the experience I've talked about before at callbacks, where I feel them "taking me out for a test-drive"), and sure enough, got word from JS that I'd booked it on Monday.

I shot it (In an old bank building Downtown), this past Thursday and Friday - didn't know, going in, that it was a two-day shoot (Neither did JS, apparently), so that was a nice "perk", in addition to it being so close to my apartment (about four miles away).

Regrettably, I need to be somewhat vague about the nature of the spot and what I did, but there was singing and dancing involved, which involved recording my vocals on Wednesday, at a sound studio in Santa Monica.

That was both very cool, and very nerve-wracking - I've only worked in recording studios a few times in my career to date, so the "novelty factor" made that fun and cool.

But at the same time, I think my relative inexperience made it more stressful when I was trying to execute direction that felt vague, or sometimes actively contradictory (Or, to be honest, direction that just conflicted with the way I thought it should go). I think I did okay, ultimately, but at times I wished I had better control of my "instrument".

(Because I had a callback for another commercial around noon that day - for Fruit-of-the-Loom - back in Hollywood, I also had the stress of "a ticking clock". The session time was supposed to be 1030 and last an hour, but it was easily 1045 or later before everyone got there and we were ready to go. It felt awkward to tell them I had to leave by such-and-such a time, but I did, and happily, they were cool about it.)

So it was nice, once the shoot started, to not have to worry about my voice (And interesting to have my first experience with lip-synching; a couple times the Director had to tell me to keep my mouth open longer at the end of the verse I was singing, to match the recording).

Most of my work was on Thursday, and having the issues I do (with sleeping, which I don't do, and fatigue, which I have in spades), I was a little stressed that my call was 8am (And I got up at 6am, after an absolutely miserable night's sleep), but didn't start doing my thing till around 3:30.

I didn't share my concerns with anyone, but inside I was feeling like "By the time they're ready for me, I'm going to be completely out-of-gas...!".

(Honestly, that's a frequent worry at these things...)

I danced a lot - "More than I do in any given year", as I've been telling people - doing every tap/soft-shoe style move I could remember from tap classes back in college, from 20 years of musical theater, and from just screwing around, pretending I know how to dance.

I'd worried about my stamina - fearing I wouldn't have any, basically - about pain in the back of my left heel (That popped up after the callback), and about my creaky knees.

(Basically, "pain" was something I was prepared for, as long as I could still do what I wanted/needed to do.)

But actually, I did better than I would have imagined on all fronts (I only shared my worry about making it through the gig with a few people - not with my agent, or with anyone involved in the spot - but I was genuinely afraid I'd "pull up lame" in the middle of the shoot, which would have been an absolute nightmare). I got through that first day, and while I hurt afterward, I knew I'd done the bulk of my "heavy lifting" for the spot.

During the shoot, it struck me, and I'm pretty embarrassed about it - I struggle with a basic fact of acting/performing on camera, which is "having to do multiple takes".

It has a lot to do with the boundless energy I very much don't have - and a panicky feeling that "you want me to do this thing over and over again, I don't know when it's gonna stop, and I'm already running on empty here..!" - but I think it has even more to do with some of the "bad wiring" that makes me want to be an actor in the first place.

I don't really want to "delve into it" too much in here, but I think it comes down to being eager-to-please, and wanting to be "good", but then quickly "losing confidence" as the process goes on ("I can't be doing this right, or else he wouldn't be making me do it over and over a million times...!").

Not a very helpful mindset to have in my line-of-work, and it doesn't really make much sense, since you want people to shoot until they get what they want, and till you've given it your best - That's the job, after all.

But all that noise was pretty much only coming from me, because I was getting all kinds of feedback that I was doing well - from my fellow actors (I'm one of three "principals" in the spot), from the crew (Particularly the wardrobe and makeup folks), from the Director (Who was very enthusiastic about what we'd gotten when it was all done), and really, from myself, when I thought about it.

(Seriously, I went from fearing, in the days leading up to it, that I'd physically crap out in the middle of the shoot, to having to be instructed, at one point, to basically "not be so good", because the Director didn't want me looking too much like a trained dancer.)

And everybody was very nice - I was totally crushing on Brie and Valerie (The wardrobe and makeup/hair people), my fellow "bankers", Peter and Michael, were great fun, and other than me second-guessing myself and the process and worrying about "holding up", it was really a very positive experience.

The second day my call was a couple hours later, and I really didn't have anything to do till the end (When me and my fellow bankers come together in an ending tableaux).

But just when I thought I was "out of the woods" in terms of the physical demands the shoot had placed on me, the Director decided he wanted me to go down on one knee at the end.

That's the kind of thing my knees don't really want to do anymore, and again, I was deeply concerned about simply being able to execute what was being asked of me (but at the same time, I really don't want to tell someone, "I can't do that", unless it's really totally impossible for me to do that, whatever "that" is).

So I borrowed a set of knee-pads from the choreographer's assistant, and gave it "my best college try" (And happily, once they finally figured out how they wanted the three of us to get into that final "picture" - which took quite awhile - they didn't do that many takes of it, and I made it through).

So, that was my first gig of the year (From my first audition of the year, which felt like "a good omen").

And with it, the "Dancing Curse" has been broken - I've now booked something based, at least in part, on the fact that I can move (That said, I still want to book at least one more gig, a bigger gig, where I have to move in some fashion, on tv, or maybe in a movie...while I still have "moves").


Tues 2/24/15 (7:28 am)

The credit union thing's been the biggest development this month - and I haven't had an audition since I booked it (Though I did have a callback for Fruit-of-the-Loom, which I'll get to shortly) - but the first half of the month was pretty exciting in general.

The Fruit-of-the-Loom callback was on Wednesday, the same day as the recording session for the credit union gig (A busy day, involving way too much driving - I went from the recording session in Santa Monica, to the callback in Hollywood, to a wardrobe fitting in Venice).

When I went in, I was unhappily surprised to see my fellow actors all in fresh white t-shirts - I thought I'd clearly missed a note in the callback notice to "come in wearing a nice t-shirt" (I was wearing an undershirt, mind you, but not a nice fresh one I'd want to show off in public).

But no, I had not "missed a note in the callback notice" - I was instructed to grab one of the t-shirts that were being provided, "and a pair of briefs".

And I don't know if I'm just that naive, or I didn't really want to understand, or what, but my first thought was "Oh, that's nice - The Fruit-of-the-Loom people are just giving us some complimentary underwear, just for auditioning...".

No, that wasn't what was happening.

("You will be doing the callback in your underwear" was clearly the note I'd "missed" in the callback notice.)

It was a little weird...but not as weird as I imagined.

The two things I thought about - mostly afterward, thankfully - was 1) That the two women in the room (Not sure if they were Fruit-of-the-Loom women, ad agency women, or what) were the first women who were seeing me in my underwear in quite some time, and 2) Everyone in the room had to be checking out my "package" (And I don't even mean salaciously - If you're filming an underwear commercial, it's an issue).

Well, since that was Wednesday, and today is Tuesday, I clearly didn't book it, which is disappointing.

...but at least I got some new underwear out of it.

(And no, they were not "tighty-whiteys" - For the record, they were camouflage boxer-briefs.)


(11:07 pm)

And the other cool/nerve-wracking thing I did since my last entry was get myself on tape for a series regular role in a Fox pilot.

Honestly, I don't think I really thought anything would come of it - they were calling in a few people they actually wanted, but were "willing to look at self-tapings" if we wanted to give it a shot - but there was still a certain "What if?" factor that made it exciting.

But the "What if?" excitement was tempered somewhat by the fact that the script was...not so good.

And by "not so good", I mean dreadful.

It was an interesting "hypothetical" to ponder - What if I actually booked the role, and the pilot became a series? And people liked it?

And it changed my entire existence financially...and I was embarrassed to be part of it?

But it felt like "good practice", and I've never taped something to be sent to casting before (So I have to thank my friend Kim H. for helping me out with that).

(It's late and I think I've gone on long enough, but in my next entry, I want to write more about the experience of doing the taping, because it brought up some interesting things.)

So, acting-wise, it's been an interesting period of time.

And the fun's still going - Brett called today about a sitcom audition on Thursday (Only a co-star, but a nice one, and right now, I'm just looking to rack up some wins).


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