My job is to give you, the casting director, the best audition possible.
I work hard and am never underprepared. Maybe I'm not always perfect, but I strive to be so and I always give you something worth your time. And I enjoy this as part of my job as an actor. Even though it's often unrewarding, seemingly pointless and occasionally embarrassing, I try to approach every audition as an opportunity not just to gain employment but to improve. To get better. To get stronger.
However, I recently encountered a situation in which a casting director made it impossible for me to deliver my best performance. Here's why:
- I was given less than 24 hours notice. No big deal, right?
- I was given 7 pages of dialogue. Do-able.
- As this was a taped audition, I was given the following requirements:
1) Have "perfect" lighting. Ok...
2) Have "perfect" sound. Wait...
3) Use a "real" camera. Whatever that means in this day in age...
4) Use a boom mic if possible. What...?
5) Have a competent reader. Ok, but, um... I have to use whoever I can get in such a short---
6) For the slate: start in close up, say your name and height, zoom out for full body shot, do not linger too long but do not rush full shot, zoom back in, don't smile. I'm sorry, I don't...know... what...
7) Keep your auditions simple. Don't go big. But don't underplay the action. ???
8) We are not providing a script, so don't bother casting with requests. Play the context of the scene- it gives enough detail and background (it gave neither of those). So...can I just improvise...?
And the final caveat... "if tape does not follow directions to the letter, you risk not having your tape submitted to producers."
So basically what you're saying is I need to:
a) cast my audition tape by calling in favors to fellow actors who:
- just happen to not have anything else to do in the middle of pilot season
- don't suck
- go to one of the few "professional" places that charge an arm and a leg and who also happen to
have availability to last minute for said taping,
b) act as my own Director of Photography for my audition,
c) be my own lighting and sound crew,
d) find my own professional-grade equipment,
e) deliver a performance that outshines not only all the actors from whom you will be accepting tape but those whom you will also be seeing in person...
And if I don't meet your high level standards, then you'll just simply click delete- erasing all my efforts while I'm in a bar downing numerous but necessary glasses of whiskey and/or vodka to ease the stresses of pulling off such a monumental task until I have to stop relieving the tension because I just got another audition for tomorrow to play "Pizza Dude On Skates" for the new ABC Family pilot at 9 am on the other side of town during morning rush hour traffic.
Pardon me while I perform CPR on myself.
I'll get right on that, Rose.
PS. I chose this industry because I love it and I believe in it. I love it and I believe in it. I love it and I believe in it. Keep it together, keep it together, keep it together...