"The label you give yourself cannot impact external forces that are not motivated by your own psychology or influenced by a third party's pre-existing consciousness of you. We are all presented with reasons to struggle which come from completely external forces; to pretend that one is not struggling is either arrogance or an admission of defeat. To admit that one is struggling is a sign and a source of strength." - Evan A. Baker

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

My New Famous BFF Amy Paffrath

Oh man, oh man, oh man, I'm still excited!

SO! I was at the audition for the series lead role of "Heather," and if you've never been to an audition, the first thing you do is pick a chair to sit in and go over your sides. And when you look at people, you really look at their shoes first.

Well, an unbelievably cute pair of purple suede boots sits next to me. I glance up higher, and the shoes compliment a yellow top. Those of you who know your color wheels, it sounds terrible, but just compliment each other beautifully. Top that with a celebrity and whoa! Amy Paffrath!

I know, right?

Well, one day I was perusing Craig's List (Oh CL, the website I hate to love) and I saw some spam posting about the cable channel E! auditioning for their new E! News Online Host by a contest where you had to send in a video and have people vote for you. Okay, people, that's all crap. They will never hire you like that. BUT, I had an in! G4, (I believe an E! subsidiary, but don't quote me) has called me in four times to work for them in funny little sketches, and the two networks are in the same building. I emailed the producer who kept bringing me in and said, hey, I know this isn't even your jurisdiction or channel, for that matter, but I heard they're going to be hiring new hosts at E! Is this true? He was such a dear and checked it out for me and got me the name and number of the person's assistant I needed to get ahold of. All of a sudden, I had an audition to be an E! News Now host! Oh, the glamour of it all! But I needed to research!

So I hopped on E.com and finally found the perfect person to study: Amy Paffrath. And man, did I study her! I studied her voice, her inflections, everything. She's pretty amazing. See?
And once I got to the E! waiting room to sign in for the host audition, I found out that the assistant actually gave me the wrong day to go. After all the sleuthing, after all the homework! I was so incredibly sad. But I figured, well, if I ever get a hosting audition to come my way ever again, I was now studied up and ready to go all Amy Paffrath on it.

So there is Miss Purple Suede Boots Paffrath sitting right next to me! Of course I gush; she was my hosting teacher and she had no idea! After I calmed down enough to sound relatively normal, we started talking about the audition. I was reading for Heather, she was reading for Tristan, the antagonist. A few minutes later, after we had settled down and were going over our sides again, in our own worlds, another actress sat down next to us and asked if we were friends. "Oh, no..." I said, about to explain, but Amy Paffrath cuts me off, saying "Yes we are!" And I'm sure she said it with glee and happiness in her voice. Cause that's how I heard it. The words sparkled coming out of her mouth. Glitter flashed its way down into my hair.
Amy also told me that apparently (shhh!) one of the other E! hosts may be leaving soon, and she would let me know if and when they'll have auditions again. (!!!!!)

So yeah. Me and Amy Paffrath are total BFFs.

( Oh my god. You are so green with envy! )

Sooooo...... the audition:
I absolutely love it when I can hear other actresses doing their auditions. Because it's really interesting to see what words the other people play up, how they sound and where they put their emotions, and whether or not an actress is still sounding like an actress reading lines or like a character talking about her life.

I was nervous. I never get nervous! But there were SO many beautiful tall young girls there. It's intimidating. And I always feel like I'm not stylish or trendy enough. (Amy Paffrath complimented my tights! Thanks AshBryHo!)

But anyways, here's an audition trick I've only recently learned: Do all your improv the night before. Find the funny, put the funny in, and then at the audition, ask if they're open to improv, and do it. Way easier to sound clever and on the spot.
So I asked, hey, are you open to improvising? And when they said yes, I thought, yay!

Casting directors, and in this case, the director/producer/writer herself, hear their same lines said over and over again for 8 hours. And if you can make them laugh with the same material they've already heard for half the day, it's a great feeling. And everyone was laughing.
I wasn't given any adjustments (a double edged sword; I was either so bad they didn't want to bother, or I was spot on and they saw enough....) but I was told to try reading the antagonist's sides. So sure! I went from happy optimistic lead, to snarky bitchy antagonist. Nice polar opposites to show off my chops, I thought. And again, no adjustments. They thanked me with big smiles.

So I was done. I felt great. I was able to take the sides I was given and give a great performance that felt far more series ready than any of the other auditioners I eavesdropped on. And yes, I sound like a huge bitch, but with all the rejection an actress faces, we have to celebrate the good feelings and let it power us through to the next job, because the jobs are always far between.

And yes, I've had great auditions before where I made the directors and writers laugh and never heard so much as a callback. (Chris Hampel: what gives?) So who knows. I could've sucked hard.

But whatever - that's what we actresses say! Usually because our vocabulary is severely limited unless we're using other people's words....but we just have to keep on focusing on how great we felt in the moment while we were auditiong and let it go.

Even if I do now have daydreams about me and New BFF Amy Paffrath going out for frozen yogurt after our long day on set together as best frenemies.

update: I JUST found this: the rerelease for "Heather"
LEAD. AGE 18-21 Years Old NO OLDER

hee hee hee! Never mind! I guess I look too old! They asked for early 20s in the original breakdown....Hmmmm..... Perhaps I can no longer get away with playing 22.


  1. a) you don't sound like a huge bitch when you are confident and worked hard on your audition; b) if they changed the breakdown description, you can convince yourself (and probably fairly accurately, given your audition experience) that you nailed the part until they realized they were looking for something else. Boom. Everything that was in your control, you handled beautifully, and then you let go of what you couldn't control. The perfect audition and learning experience.

  2. Yay! That's exciting. And I'm so interested in these purple boots -- I love purple and I love boots so they sound awesome!


Play nice.