Saturday, October 22, 2011
I have gone to a lot of auditions now, and I have learned a lot. You see in Hollywood there is what is being said on the surface, and there is what is being said underneath. Often times, those are two totally disparate things.
Let’s jump into an audition to see what is being said, and see what is really being communicated. Everyone, grab a hard hat, this could get dangerous.
Casting person walks into the lobby and looks down at the clipboard.
Casting Person: “Okay, Jeff, come on in.” (I want you to think that I’m apathetic toward your chances)
Jeff: “Yep, that’s me!” (Look at how enthusiastic I am about this opportunity)
Other Guy Waiting to Audition: “Good luck.” (I hope you fail.)
Jeff: “Thanks, man.” (I hope you fail.)
Casting Person: “Would you like to take a seat?” (Sit)
Jeff: “Alrighty.” (Okie dokie)
Casting Person: “Tell me about yourself.” (Impress me)
Jeff: Well, I have a lot of background in improv. (I know that improv is a buzzword these days, so I’m mentioning it.)
Casting Person: “Great. Do you have any questions about the character or the sides?” (Prove to me that you have read the sides.)
Jeff: “How would you describe Billy Mumphrey?” (I care a lot about this character).
Casting Person: “Billy is a simple country boy. You might say a cockeyed optimist, who got himself mixed up in the high stakes game of world diplomacy and international intrigue.” (See, I’ve put a lot of thought into this)
Jeff: “Great, now, I have to mention that I love the dialogue. I don’t always love what I’m auditioning for, but I can really get behind this. This is really good.” (You and I both know that I mention this at each audition, but it never hurts to suck up, so know that I’m saying that I think you’re awesome)
Casting Person: “When you’re ready.” (I’m ready)
Jeff: “I can’t stay here forever, Susan. I’ve gotten wrapped up in this world of international intrigue, but you’re the only thing that makes any sense to me anymore.” (Check it out, I had all of that memorized.)
Casting Person: “You have to stay. I don’t give a damn about the CIAKGB conglomerate that is hunting you down. Can’t you just stay for me, for love?” (I am saying this line monotone, with no feeling to see if you can just act on your own.)
Jeff: “Susan! Susan! Would you rather have me with you here, a dead man? Or would you rather we survive apart and I live to see another day so that someday I can come back to you? (Can you feel the conviction? I can still bring it, even if you are monotone.)
Casting Person: “Okay, great.” (Meh)
Casting Person: “Let’s do it one more time, but this time I want you to remember that you are one step away from losing your love forever. You are a man on the brink.” (I’m in charge here.)
Jeff: Okay, I can do that.” (What?)
Jeff and the Casting Person run through it again.
Casting Person: “Alright, so are you available to shoot next Friday.” (You can tell by my voice I’m not committing to anything, I’m just asking)
Jeff: “Yep, absolutely.” (We both know I have a job because I’m auditioning for your non-union project, but I intend to enthusiastically communicate that this is the most important thing in my life.)
Casting Person: “We should decide in the next couple of days.” (You’ve got no chance)
Jeff: “I look forward to it. I hope to see you again soon.” (I’ve got no chance.)
Casting Person: “Yeah.” (We both know the only chance of that is at the grocery store.)
Jeff walks back out to the lobby.
Other Guy Waiting to Audition: “See you, man.” (I hope you die.)
Jeff: “Good luck!” (I hope you die.)