I had an audition this morning, SATURDAY, at the ungodly hour of 9:50 in Santa Monica. Why is this ungodly? Most struggling actresses wait tables in the evening to make ends meet and we work very late, midnight or later, and when we get home, we're up for a few more hours just to wind down. So bedtime on the weekend for us? 3am at the earliest.
And if you live in the valley like I do, getting to Santa Monica can take either 20 minutes or an hour. Yeah. 14 miles and an hour commute. Jealous?
I actually really liked the sides. It was for a feature film, where 6 people sit around a table playing Russian roulette. And apparently, the character I read for, Number 6, is a black widow psychopath who kills the men she sleeps with. And she discovers Number 5 is the old therapist who raped her when she was 9. Fun, right? She's all CRAZY!
When I arrive at the place, I am presented with a release form for their behind-the-scenes segment for the dvd, so that they can use my audition in the footage if they want.
Now, most times, no production is going to go all "American Idol," on you. If you suck, they're not going to show you. In fact, they're probably not going to show your audition if you're not cast anyways, but I ALWAYS, write that I will let them use my footage "ONLY IF CAST." So if you're feeling the production is a little sketchy or whathaveyou to make you siign something like that, but still want to audition, just write that. One actress who came into the waiting room after me, said she was feeling a little uncomfortable about signing the release, and when I said she can alter the contract, she was very happy about that. No struggling actress wants to look bad. Sometimes we have an off day. We don't want anyone to see that shizz. No thanks.
We were given two scenes, the first, an establishing character scene where we see her act a bit like a loose cannon. This was the more fun stuff, which is a great showpiece for your innate comedic timing and how you translate the speeches from words into character because the dialogue could be read in a variety of ways. The second scene is the monologue where the character reveals Number 5 raped her. The director came out when there were 2 girls in front of me saying that for the monologue, the character is very matter of fact until she directs her one piece of dialogue to her rapist, where she really speaks daggers to him. I thought, DUH. But maybe other actresses don't know this: When you download your audition sides, DOWNLOAD EVERYBODY'S. You get to read more of the script this way, finding out your relationship with the other characters better. It's homework, it's research. It's going to make you better.
I can hear the girl before me do her read. Well, not as much do it, as yell it. Badly. I mean, wow, you yelled the aside? You yelled what was clearly meant to be said under your breath? Yeesh. I guess these walls are super thin and that the audition is taking place behind the receptionist.
When it's my turn, I am not led to the room behind the receptionist, but to another room, quite far away. (and I heard that girl yelling?)
I walk into the room, and the three guys sit at their table, and there's one camera set up to record my audition, and there's a cameraman in the other corner, who is focusing solely on the panel of dudes. I sit down in front of the audition camera, and the director looks at my headshot and says, "What color is your hair?" "Reddish brown," I reply. Weird question. I slate my name for camera, state my phone number even though it's printed right there on my resume, and off I go to do the second scene, the calm monologue. "Are you ready to give us crazy?" the director asked. Not if I'm doing this subdued scene, I'm not. "I hope so," I say.
This is the second audition in the last month I've been on where the reader can barely read. I'm waiting and waiting for the girl to finish tripping over words and pause too long between character speeches to get to my part. I mean, seriously, directors, the day will go faster if you hire a reader who passed English with flying colors. Don't hire your girlfriends.
My read: I punched up the relationships, added some character movement/tics, vary vocal inflections and drive the last bit home. I improv a kiss as a final FU to the character I'm talking to.
"Great read. Thank you."
Um. you're welcome. But they're not looking at me. What are they looking at? The table top?
I grab my bag, as I think this is my cue to leave, but um, what about the other scene? So you can see me be crazy?
Oh! Okay! I see! I'm done! Oh! I get up and leave.
I'm slightly annoyed that I didn't get a chance to do the other scene, as the other one really had some great moments in there. I'm guessing I wasn't "crazy" enough for them and altogether not what they were looking for because they didn't give me any direction and had plenty of time to see me take an adjustment if they had given me one.
Or my brilliant wonderful read sucked balls.
Hard to tell.