I went out last week for the spokesperson of a major hotel chain and the gig is pretty awesome: national commercial campaign where they will fly you out and film several spots in different hotel locations. Sounds like pure awesomeness, right? RIGHT!
I had my callback today. How strange.
The first audition required saying the monologue of copy and walking in a small circle. SAG rules require the copy also be printed and posted next to the camera so you can always find your spot in case your forget and need to pop your eyes over to be reminded. I walked and talked. Easy, done. Didn't think I had done an especially exceptional job, but I was called back nevertheless. Woo hoo!
The callback today required us to have the copy entirely memorized because the director didn't want us to worry about the lines. Now, having them be memorized was expected but I think it would've helped way more to have them in there just in case anyone forgot, because when you forget you go, "Uh.....um...." and instead of just darting over to the copy near the camera for a reminder, you say, "Oh, let me do that again."
Or at least, that's what I said.
BECAUSE: the director also wanted us to improvise during our monologue. We're walking in a circle, doing a line from the monologue, pretending to interract and improvise dialogue with people who are not there, and then going back to the monologue, about 3-4 times. Want to know what's hard? That.
Ask any actor about their memorization process and they'll tell you that once they establish a rhythm to the piece, they can then recite it no problem. But making them interrupt themselves to have a mini conversation to invisible people and then go back right where they left off in their monologue - that's tricky.
I forget my third line, and instead of being able to find my line at the copy or even starting over right away, instead, I said, "I'll just start that over." Kiss of death, folks. Kiss of death.
I do it again, make it through, but only talked to one invisible person. The director says, "Okay, now pretend you're walking through the hotel, people are passing by you left and right, you go into a room where there's loud music playing so you have to shout a little, and walk faster." "Still talking to people?" I ask, "Yes, still helping people."
I wish he had said, "Finish this algebra equation while dodging traffic on the 405 and reciting the alphabet backwards." Cause I can guarantee you I would've performed THAT a little bit better.
After I finish that little bit, the director looks at the producers in the room, all huddled around their laptops where the camera is being fed to their computer so they can get an idea of what you'd look like on tv. He says, "do you guys want anything else?" And the producers all look at each other and say, "No, no, we're good." Which means: This girl sucks, we don't want her, get her out of here.
Ah well. Next time.