Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Props at Auditions; and Fibbing

I did a commercial audition a few weeks ago for Panera Bread- and the casting director asked us to bring our own chopping knife to be used at the audition. All of us actors in the waiting room had strange looks on our faces as we came into the studio- it was a little nerve-racking to carry a large knife on the subway (!)

Once in the room they gave very little direction- they told us that we would be asked to do a “model slate”- where we say our name for the camera, then turn our body’s 45 degrees to the left, turn to face 45 degrees to the right, face forward and show our hands to the camera, and then the casting director would ask us a question to answer. I did my slate, and then the casting director asked her secret question: “Do you like to cook?“ For some reason, I completely lied and said, ”Yes“ and then, as I could hear crickets filling the silence, I realized that they wanted me to say more. So I made up some BS about loving to cook Italian food, and how I prepared it with vegetarian sausage. To this day, I think it would have been infinitely more interesting for me to have been honest: I actually hate to cook, because when I am hungry, I want food right away- I’m too impatient to cook an elaborate meal! I think I could actually be good at it, but luckily we have a tiny kitchen with limited counter space, which makes it easy to avoid cooking altogether. I really wished I would have been brave enough to say how I really felt- it would have been infinitely more interesting! People can smell inauthenticity a mile away.

This particular spot was to promote their non-bread items in their restaurants, like Chef Salads. So, after we slated, we were also instructed to use our handy dandy knife to prepare a chef salad, using many of the ingredients they had laid out in front of me. I could choose from things like celery, ham, turkey, cheese, lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, peppers, etc. I thought I did an awesome job cutting up all of the ingredients. Never mind that I am terrified of knives, especially those used to chop stuff, so in that way I really hit a milestone!

I wasn’t cast for this one, but add this experience to the ”We do WHAT for a living?“ file!

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