Day 140. The Other Side of the Audition

Monday, July 11, 2011

Today, I spent most of the day on the other side of the audition process. My friend, Sean, has a web series he’s creating, so he held auditions. He called me the other day and asked if I would help him out with the auditions. At this point, I’ve done a lot of auditions, but I have never been on the casting side of the table, so I was excited.

I rode my bike, arriving on time, but not hot and sweaty.

An audition can take place in any room. Usually, all there is inside is a a table, with casting directors sitting behind it, a camera, and maybe a chair on the other side of the table for the actor auditioning.

My role was the camera guy. Very important. If I didn’t hit record, it wouldn’t have been recorded. Basically, it was all riding on me and my record button hitting thumb.

We were auditioning for three roles, Claire, Cliff, and Shirtless Guy. Sean or Jen, who was also involved, would read the lines with the actor, I would record it, then Sean would write down notes about each person that came in.

Highlights

My favorite thing from the whole day was the question, “Would the actors auditioning for ‘Shirtless Guy’ take his shirt off or not?” Early on, they didn’t. Some would ask if they should and Sean would say, “Don’t worry about it.” Then, an especially hunky guy asked and Sean replied, “Sure.” This was my first experience with this, so I had to put my Coke in front of my mouth to hide my giggling. Just to make clear, I’m the immature one in this situation.

Seeing good auditions and bad ones. Either way, they last about the same amount of time.

Sean and Jen were both respectful of people when they left the room.

I like the quiet awkward time from when the audition was done, we would say goodbye, to when the actor would reach the door. Everyone was silent until they walked through the door. It was kind of like saying goodbye to someone and then realizing you’re walking the same way as them. I thrive on awkwardness.

I auditioned for the role of Cliff. It is strange to audition for people you know. I prefer strangers.

My Takeaways

I need to take an acting for film class. I feel fairly raw on that. I think it would do me good. I will add it to my list of classes I want to take, screenwriting, more improv, and acting. I can afford none of these, so I will keep faking it.

Even on that side of the camera, my confidence would go up and down and up and down as I watched. I would go from, “Hey, this acting thing is easy,” to, “I don’t know what I’m doing.” I’m used to this roller coaster, however.

The people that auditioned that were the best were the ones who really connected with the person reading the lines. Some of the people just seemed like they were reading lines, the ones who seemed to really be acting were the ones who connected. It seemed that the ones who did this best were the ones who were listening to her lines and not just thinking about what they were going to say next. Huh, just like real life. The other trait that worked well for people was just likability. The people on the casting side of the table want someone that they can work with, that they like.

Also, from now on, I’m going to take my shirt off whenever I enter an audition room.

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