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!

Monday, June 1, 2009

So THIS is what that feels like?

I am in a really good place right now. Things are moving forward very nicely in all aspects of my career - in both theater and film I have been getting auditions, getting callbacks, and producers from the projects I don’t book are keeping me in mind of other projects. I really couldn’t ask for much more right now. One situation, in particular, has me saying, “WOW.” So I thought I would share a little bit about my experience.

First off- I am not going to be mentioning specifics about this show- no only because I am a wee bit superstitious about posting info before it happens, but also because of the evolution of this project (you’ll understand in a few moments.)

I am in heavy consideration for a 2-person musical, to be premiered at one of the festivals in NYC this summer. Now, there are tons of fabulous women who will. no doubt, submit for this project so I have no idea if I will actually be cast. But the producer of the show recently saw me do the musical reading of “Socks” and after a very nice, long conversation after the show, he mentioned that I may be right for this new musical he was producing, and asked if I might be interested in learning more? I, of course, said yes and thus began our relationship. And THIS is where I come to the point of the story. A producer has seen my work, and liked it so much that he has made it his mission to have me book his show. He is slowly selling my talent and skill-set to the director and writer, who are the final decision makers when it comes to casting. (The creative team worked on the show in another country, and they are premiering a revised, English speaking version here. This producer is on board for the first time with this production, so he doesn’t have as much pull with casting as a traditional producer might.)

Regardless, to have someone have such confidence in you is downright amazing. I mean, it’s what we all hope for when we do these readings where people get paid subway fare and are served donuts during rehearsals!

Picture this- I have been sent the script and the music, which the producer has asked me to keep “hush hush”- stating that no other actors would be given this information, he is simply trying to give ME a leg up for the audition. I have had conversations with him about how I would develop the character- something you don’t often get to do, even with new material. He pitched me to the director and called me later that day, saying, “Good news! I showed him your website and he loved your look and your voice!” When the casting notice was posted, not only did I NOT have to go through the process of submitting, but the producer called me JUST TO GIVE ME A HEADS UP THAT IT WAS BEING POSTED. I mean, really? I kind of shake my head and say. “So THIS is what that feels like? To be sought after?”

I have someone in my corner who believes in me as a talent, in whom he has a vested interest. It truly is the best feeling in the world. So good, in fact, that I will be fine if I am not cast, because I knew I had everything in the world going for me. Everything else is up to chemistry and logistics, and I cannot control those. If this project doesn’t work. I still have someone who is a fan, and I’ll sure as hell bet that we’ll work together sometime soon. And that feeling absolutely kicks ass.

I guess the moral of the story is... Do Good Work. Wherever you can do it. Be gracious to those you meet afterward, because you never know where it will take you. Be someone people will want to promote. And I’ll be sure to let you know how that turns out for me... =)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

All Soaped Up

Oh, lordy. Today was a good example of how busy I have been recently- and with lots of acting stuff! I shot two episodes back to back for “Guiding Light” today (to be fair, it was only a couple of scenes, but it did involve being on set ay 7:30am.) I got home from the shoot at about 2pm, and barely had my shoes off before I got a panicked call from the folks at “One Life to Live” needing a last minute girl to come in for a night club scene. So, I had to gather up 3 choices of clothing to show to their wardrobe department, grabbed by high heels, and left the house to go back on set. I finally got home at around 9pm utterly exhausted.

I want to get back to blogging more frequently, but I always have so much to say and not enough time to do it in. So, for the next few posts, they may be shorter than you’re used to, but at least we’ll be in touch!


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