Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Every superhero has to have their one weakness. For Superman, it was kryptonite, while for Batman, it was George Clooney. If I was a superhero, my weakness would be thinking I had enough time to fit in 5 activities, when I only actually have time for 2 of them. I’ve always been that way. If it is 7 pm and I have to meet with friends at 8 pm and I still want to go for a run, shower, eat dinner, watch Glee, and pay some bills, I will assume that I have enough time to do all of them. The sensible person (Michelle) might say, “Jeff, why don’t you just do a couple of them, and save the others for later?” I will usually respond with, “Trust me, I can do this.” At 7:45 I’m a sweaty mess taking a shower that doesn’t stop the sweatiness, with a Lean Pocket in the microwave, trying to sign checks, while trying to listen to Rachel sing Barbra perfectly.
All auditions want you to bring a headshot and a resume. The resume should be stapled to the back of the headshot. Different auditions ask for different things in terms of performance. Some of them give you “sides” ahead of time to practice and then use for the audition. Sides just means a snippet or scene from the overall script. You will learn it as best you can, so during the audition you can perform it with someone else, who is usually off camera. It is often just the casting director or an assistant.
Other auditions won’t want you to use sides, instead they will want you to perform a monologue. A monologue is a part from a film or play where it is mostly one person speaking. A monologue is something you have rehearsed a lot so you can showcase your acting chops in the minute or so that you have. It should be something that shows your your strengths as an actor.
I looked and looked and looked for a good monologue, but I couldn’t find one. I’m best at comedy, but all of them were either too silly, or too iconic to try to emulate. The dramatic ones were too dramatic. It seems to me that when an actor goes into a monologue in a film it means that something overly dramatic just happened, or something overly silly is going on.
So, I wrote my own.
I think you’re probably not supposed to do this. I don’t care. I’ve heard that you don’t want to repeat overused ones. I wanted something that was funny, with some heartfelt feel. If they ask me what film it is from I’ll just say an independent film called the Mystery Year directed by Russell Westbrook (a football player with a director’s name).
Want to see it?
Again, I don’t know if it’s actually any good. It’s not supposed to be super funny. I want it to seem like it’s coming from a longer movie.
“Stop! Listen. Listen to us. What were we even initially arguing about? Something about your sister and her mannish nose. I don’t even care anymore. Maybe you’re right. Maybe noses are gender neutral. But, for the last half hour, we haven’t even been arguing about that. We blew past that and have been arguing about who can best recall the facts of what the other said in the first part of this argument. That’s it. Well, I haven’t been sitting here taking notes. Maybe I should have been writing it down. 14 minutes ago, my wife, Tina Jenkins claimed her sister had her nose broken at 21. Or wait, better yet, I could have a stenographer read back what we’ve been saying. Come on out Gloria, yes, yes, it says here that you misremembered what you said, it was a deviated septum at 22. This is asinine. Okay, okay, I’m sorry…I’m sorry for my part in this. Really, I am, but we’re getting nowhere. We’ve got to get off this carousel and talk in the morning. And, I think your nose is very feminine…too soon? Okay.”
After having dinner at a friend’s house in Pasadena, I drove to UCLA to audition for the role of a janitor in a short film. I got there right on time, but then I had to wait forever, so I asked the guy if I had time to plug the meter for my car. There were a lot of guys there already for the audition so he said I had about 2o minutes. Not considering my big weakness, I thought, “Great, I can plug my meter and find a place to print off a resume.” I had forgotten to attach one to the headshot I had. I ran to my car, Yelped a printing place only a mile away and hurried there. I parked in a loading zone and ran in, printed it off, stapled it to the back and ran back to my car.
I got back in a half hour, proud of my escapade. When I opened the door to the hallway I had been waiting in with everyone before, it was empty. Nobody. Just the bottled water. It was like the Rapture had happened and I was Kirk Cameron. I think they were all called in at the same time for a group audition. I missed out completely due to my inability to estimate time.
Disappointed, I looked around, stole two bottles of water and walked out.
Admiral Albino strikes again!
*Admiral Albino is my superhero name.