Thursday, June 23, 2011
Here’s the thing about being a struggling actor. If there is an audition you go to it. Even if it is far away and pays very little. Even if it means not going to a taping of the TV dance sensation, So You Think You Can Dance, with your wife. Even if it means being scoffed at by a small fantasy novel loving little man who is holding the audition.
So, Michelle had tickets to SYTYCD today, and I love both popping and locking, yet I could not go because I had an audition in Orange County for a GPS installation industrial. I was auditioning for the role of host, teaching people how to install their GPS antenna on a variety of surfaces.
I practiced some in the morning while sitting in bed. “THE IDEAL POSITION IS AS CLOSE TO THE GPS RECEIVER AS POSSIBLE, WHILE STILL PROVIDING LEAST A TWO HUNDRED AND SEVENTY DEGREE VIEW OF THE SKY.” I tried to sound knowledgeable and warm while I tried to imagine myself imagining what a 270 degree view of the sky looked like. I left without printing out the sides (the script for the audition) because I try not to print too much off of my host family’s printer, and because I had it on my phone, and because every audition I’ve been to has a pile of them to look at while you wait. This would come back to haunt me.
I hopped in my car for the hour plus drive to the audition. I practiced to myself in my car. “A HIGH EMI ANTENNA, FOR LOCATIONS THAT ARE SUBJECT TO A HIGH DEGREE OF ELECTROMAGNETIC INTERFERENCE”
I finally arrived at the place. Some auditions are held by casting directors on a studio lot, or in a nice audition room. Others are held at small places that seem to give off the air of, “we don’t really know what we’re doing.” Those usually are conducted by a guy who is desperate to give off the air of, “I know what I’m doing!”
I signed in at the receptionist’s desk as she got the guy holding the audition. He was fairly sloppy wearing khaki’s and a red polo shirt. He made up for his general sloppy appearance by buttoning his shirt all the way to the top.
From here, the story will be told by the vantage point of the guy holding the audition. The facts remain the same.
Oh great, the receptionist just told me that another person is here to host. I was just going to get twinked by a warlock in WoW. I’d be ticked off if she wasn’t so hot. I better go greet him.
“Hi, I’m Jeremy,” I say holding my hand out. Oh geez, I’ve been holding my hand out for like a minute and he’s still signing in on the clipboard. Bad sign.
“Hi, Jeff,” he says to me. His hands smell like Strawberry Shortcake Extra Dessert Gum.
We walk back to the audition room. When I say, “room,” what I really mean is an alcove in a well trafficked hallway. I sit down and look up at him. He doesn’t seem to understand my body language. Idiot.
“Say your name to the camera,” I explain.
“Jeff Houghton,” he says.
Then, he lays this one on me, “I don’t have sides with me, I just have them on my phone.”
All I can muster is, “Okay, great. Great,” in as sarcastic tone as I can possibly say it. I make a marking on my clipboard.
He starts in. Not bad actually, for an idiot. However, he has to keep looking down at his phone to get the next line. Bush league.
I’m going to screw with him.
“Okay, now let’s see it like you’re really trying to sell it to me,” I say. He pretends like he’s excited for it. He has no idea that I’m just screwing with him because I see him as a composite character of all the people that picked on me in my childhood and screwing with this yahoo is my one chance to get back at all of them.
He obliges. His idea of “selling it,” is to just speak louder. Moron.
“Okay, now let’s see it like you’re speaking to a room of kindergartners.” That was the age it all went downhill for Jeremy. It’s not my fault my shorts ripped, it was bad stitching. Stop calling me The Crack.
His kindergartner voice is a little creepy.
“Okay, now let’s see it like you’re speaking to a room of PhDs.” He’s actually going to do it. In what scenario would you be speaking to a room of PhDs about GPS installation? Imbecile. That one is for mocking my jeans in 8th grade. How was I supposed to know they were girl’s jeans? They were all on the clearance rack together.
Room full of PhDs to this idiot apparently means talk like a robot.
Now, I’ll really screw with him some more.
“There were more to the sides after the first one I sent out,” I say.
“Really?” I didn’t get them says the pale rider. I like to see him squirm.
I am sure to communicate to him that that is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard a human being say. Then, get this, I hand him a paper with the sides on it. It has the new stuff and the stuff he was just stammering his way through trying to read off his phone. I’ve had them the whole time! I just wasn’t giving them to him! I wasn’t using them, I was just holding them! Take that! Maybe now you’ll believe that I spilled my milk and did not pee my pants in 5th grade. It was milk! It was milk.
He reads through the new stuff as people walk by, since they only gave me a hallway alcove to conduct the auditions.He seems flustered.
Can you give a condescending handshake? Because if you can, I just did.
It’s me, Jeff, again. That’s exactly how it went. After my four minutes of auditioning, I went back to the car and drove an hour and a half back home. We went to our friends, Evan and Kerstin’s house for dinner in Santa Monica. They are the opposite of Jeremy. It was nice.