Friday, October 19, 2007

Turnabout

As I prepared for the auditions yesterday morning it occurred to me that things would likely go exactly opposite to my expectations. Which they did.

The "director" audition was going to be simple -- no lines to prepare. So I spiked up my hair and wore jeans and a black shirt -- nothing much beyond an ordinary day's preparations -- and headed out. In the waiting room I did start to jog my mind a little about the craft of directing -- what I admire in and want from directors I know, that kind of thing, just to put myself in the right frame of mind, just to ... prepare in SOME way. Because without work or practice it all seems very trivial.

Turns out it was a quick interview. I've had a number of these, where they just ask you random questions about you, your interests, funny stories from your past, etc. They don't really care so much about WHAT you say than how you say it. They want to see that you are expressive and interesting on camera. So they asked me about Halloween, one of my least favorite holidays. I don't like being put on the spot to come up with a clever, timely costume, and I don't like wearing one because usually it turns out not so clever. And every Halloween party I've been to (as an adult) has been a disappointing bore. Basically, Halloween is for kids.

So I thought for a second about lying, but then said that it wasn't my favorite holiday, but I enjoyed it a lot as a kid, and so they latched onto that and asked about my favorite costume as a kid and, not really recalling anything particularly outstanding (ghost, hobo, etc.), I managed to come up with something. Some weird costume where I had been in a bombing -- shredded clothes, sooty face, blood, etc. Bombings were a lot funnier in the olden days.

A bad story, yes, but I did my best to sell it.

The farmer audition, on the other hand, went really well. I did my best to look like a farmer -- flattening down my hair and wearing some sensible "work-like" clothes and putting on my little wire glasses. But most of all, I went over the scripts over and over and over. A couple of hours worth. We had to play three different characters (not at the same time, though that would have been an interesting exercise), and I did a pretty good job bringing out the humor and showing some range and generally having fun with it.

They still won't cast me because no matter what I do I don't look like a farmer. But I feel good about the performance.

I've really got to be more trusting about these things, not wasting energy worrying about being miscast and just going for it. The casting people know me and they clearly called me in because they thought I could bring something interesting to the role. And I think I delivered, and that's all that's important.

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