5.29.2007

May be, May be not

Several weeks ago, a casting director asked me to come in to audition for a supporting role in a documentary of Louisa May Alcott's life--the part of her youngest sister, May. I couldn't believe it! An important part--with meaningful dialogue--in a major film that is certainly scheduled to air on a prominent national network in 2008! I had only three days to prepare, so I excitedly began my research. Libraries turned up little. Google to the rescue! (Or, so I thought.) How could I have known so little information about this person was available on short notice? I found two meagre descriptions of her tragic (albeit vibrant) short life and *no* pictures or images. Nothing. I don't always rely on photos for character development. However, in cases of documentary, when the life of a once living, breathing person needs to be illustrated, I like to strive for accuracy whenever possible. I did read somewhere that she had "golden" hair. Okay. Golden hair. My hair could be considered golden. I know it's an audition for a period piece, but I've never been one of those people to audition all decked out in costume as some do. I like to let the performance convey the role. Instead, I focused on memorizing my sides, developing her character to the best of my ability and interpreting the scenes as May would.

The morning of the audition, I arrived, signed in and evaluated my competition. There was no comparison to be had. There were women of all shapes and all ages present--from 7 to 55ish. And they all had dark hair. I knew multiple parts were being cast, but who knew what they were looking for?! I spent 10 minutes focusing, breathing and reviewing. My name was called and I entered the audition room to see the CD, and a panel of four or five people seated at the table. I was given some brief instruction regarding the scenes and how they were to be read. Then I was slated and I was off. The audition was going swimmingly, until I flubbed one name just a few words from the end, but I didn't let it show until I finished, when I couldn't help but smile. A woman at the table complimented my presentation and asked if I would like to read the last section again. So, I did, then thanked everyone and left the room. As I gathered my coat and prepared to leave, the CD came out to collect the next person. I passed by her and she made it a point to pause and say, "that was VERY good". Wow! What a kind compliment! Even if I didn't get the part, knowing someone else felt my audition was good was good enough for me. (I really wanted the part, though.)

Weeks passed and I heard nothing and I deduced (correctly) that I had not been cast in the part. However, I did receive a thoughtful call from the CD, at one point, who indicated that casting had been very difficult due to the need to present characters at different ages and ensure that they appeared reasonably similar. Was it the hair? Ah, well. On to the next audition.

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