"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

Friday, May 1, 2009

Well, That Happened

Back now. Whee.

Had about 2 1/2 hours sleep. Too nervous to fully embrace REM. Boy, am I tired. Maybe it's not zen I'm feeling, but exhaustion.

Here's what went down:

Got into the waiting room and the other girls who were also reading for Grace ran the gamut in the looks department. We had Blond Grace in a cocktail dress there, Hippie Grace with the diaphanous baby doll and boots there, Casual Grace in jeans and a tee over there, and me: Desperate Please Pick Me Grace.

I was having a bit of trouble connecting to the pieces when I worked on my sides last night. I mean, t he concept of the film is incredibly beautiful, and maybe it was because it was 1am and I was sleepy, but I tried some other tricks up my sleeve to try and connect and yay, I did it, so I went to bed at about 2 am. Tossed and turned. Oh look, 3 o'clock. oh wow. 3:45. Hello 4:15. And I think I fell asleep around there, waking up at 6, 6:30, 7:02 and finally 8:20 before I said, fuck it, I'm up.

I did my pieces when I got up again and was very happy with them. Yay! Emotional Connect! I even got tears! Yay!

Drank coffee, got made up, got dressed, and bam, out the door.

So I'm waiting. It's running efficiently. People go in, people come out. I believe all the girls are running all three scenes. I go to the bathroom, and as soon as I come out, the runner tells me they're ready for me. Oops! Okay! Up the stairs I went.

Warm reception. The director is there, as is someone else I don't know, probably another producer, TJ is there behind the camera, and the reader was sitting right in front of him.

The director says hi to me. Maybe he remembers me from when I did background work for his two shorts. Probably not. He probably just remembers the video tape of my audition last Friday. TJ says hi. No hugs. [Sad emoticon] But that's okay!

TJ asks me what piece I'm doing.
"Am I doing all three?"
"If you could only do one, which one would it be?"
I felt stupid. "Uhm, the monologue." It's the longest, and I have the most fun with it.

Want to know what feels weird? Doing a monologue and not getting any immediate response. It was quiet almost the whole time. Then I did a punch jab thingee, which got a laugh and was great, cause I meant for it to be funny, but then, silence.

The hardest part about callbacks, especially when the writer/director is now in the room with you, is that you have to make his words sound even more amazing. If you can make the words sound like what he hears in his head when he reads his own stuff, great. But if you are able to make it sound even more amazing, utilizing the pauses and breaks inbetween the words that he wrote, making it feel like he's hearing his own words for the very first time, and they're brilliant, then, woohoo! awesome!

Maybe that happened. Maybe it didn't.

After they cut the tape, TJ asks me which scene I'm going to do next.
"Do I only get one more?"
"If you could only do one more, which one would it be?" TJ is killing me here. I'm nervous.
"That's hard....because the two scenes flow in a heightening direction, emotionality." Emotionality, by the way, not a word. Great. I look stupid too!
"Okay, if you were going to do all of them, which one is next."
"Drunk girl!"
I feel dumb. Oh well. I reposition the chair to where I want it, and act drunk. Now, I've had drinks. I like drinking. But I stop at 2 drinks, if I even get to that point, because I don't like being drunk. I should've done some research or something. I should've watched Tracy Clifton on Hell Froze Over in the Lesbian episode. Because I know Ms Clifton personally, and I know she does not and has never had a drink. But look at her amazing drunk character! She's even slurring her words! How did she DO that!?

I wanted to tear up in the scene, and I did! So yay. hit that mark.

"And for my last trick," I said, and went into scene three. Hey, wanted to cry there too. And I want to believe that I said one line differently than any of the other Graces there. But of course, I can't know this for sure. But it makes me feel good.

They cut the tape. They DID NOT SAY "That was great, thank you." What they did say was, "Thank you so much, Elle."

So, in honor of Jim B's teaching, I'll answer what I liked about my work:

I hit all the emotions I wanted to.
I used my whole body to show the character's physicality. I was swinging arms here, hugging myself there.
I addressed my monologue to the room, and kept the tender moments to the reader. Who wasn't reading, because it was a monologue. But still. she chould tell I was talking to her. Oh yeah. She knew it.
I looked pretty.

What I didn't like:

Hmm. Even though I felt like I had a complete character, I felt like still, something was missing. I can't quite put my finger on what that is, because like I said, I hit all the emotions I wanted to, and had real tears (and snot. ew.) It might even be just the silence of the room making me get all up in my head. There was no direction from the director. I don't know if these are final callbacks or not; they could have a whole 'nother round.

But I don't know. Like I said, I feel kinda zen. Or exhausted. Whichever. I don't feel as if that was the best I could've done (it was my first take. It'd be interesting to see how hands on the director is on set, and what else I'd be able to do with the scenes with another person in physical reach, and more than one take) which is a problem, because the person who did their absolute best usually gets the role. Actually, I take that back. A lot of things go into choosing that. For instance, what she looks like, does this actress look like she could be this person, of this class standing, with this educational background, does the director like her, do the producers like her, does the lead actor find better chemistry with her or someone else?

But I did it. I'm done. Now it's off to the Fates. If you'll notice, I am not holding my breath.


  1. Drunk girl practice? Now there's something you could have called me for. Next time: pick your poison, I'll make the drinks. :)

    I'll keep my fingers crossed for you, it sounds like you did a bang up job!

  2. When do you find out? Do they usually call you back with a yes or a no, or is it more of a "don't call us, we'll call you" with these kinds of things?


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