Desirable (Part 2)

I auditioned for Showtime's Brotherhood this morning. Typically, I enjoy receiving as much information as possible in advance of auditions. But I realize that, in some cases, this is not possible. And this audition was one of those cases--one in which I knew next to nothing about my character beforehand, and could only use that information which is already common knowledge (as well as those tools contained in my handy bag of acting skills) to my advantage. Arriving early is always a boon, and I used my time to scrutinize the script pages I had been handed, seeking every bit of information that could be useful.

After a quick glance, I soon learned my character's scene is of great importance but is also very short and demands a wide emotional range within a period of, say, 10 seconds. After surmounting the initial surprise of the scene, I got down to business and paced around the room, attempting to visualize, understand and embody this woman whom I've just met, and who is about to experience tremendous shock.

When the time came to perform, the CD came in, inquired about any actions I might take, provided some direction and then we began. Two takes were done in about seven minutes' time. The CD then thanked me, I took a minute to compose myself and on my way out, the CD told me when the episode might shoot, that the tape would be sent off for consideration today, and that I did well. How kind!

Now, if I could get a callback, I would seal the deal. Or, they could just offer the part to me outright, which would be even better! Ah, if wishes were horses...



Exciting news! I've been invited--yes, invited--to audition for the highly-acclaimed Showtime political drama Brotherhood. Wow! For those of you who haven't seen the show, it's a fictional episodic detailing the life and intra-familial conflict of an Irish-American family in Providence, RI. Though the overall viewership of the show is relatively small, the show has received rave reviews for its presentation, direction and writing. Season 2 is currently in production and, apparently, they're seeking someone like me to portray a character! I don't know much, yet, and I don't want to say much for fear of jinxing the whole thing. Wish me luck! I'll fill you in on the details post-audition.


No debate here

I've just learned the new Paramount Pictures film The Great Debaters is currently in production and under the direction of Denzel Washington! It's being produced by Harpo. The film is slated to shoot in the area in coming weeks and I know casting for local principals and supers has begun. So, I've begun my auditions campaign. My goal? A principal part. This is a period film and I love to do period work; I feel my talents are best exhibited in period pieces. Knowing the plot of the film is a plus, too. The story involves Texans from a small college who debate Harvard and, having lived in Texas for awhile, I think I'm rather well-suited for the project. Perhaps not coincidentally, I happen to know the casting director who is in charge of the locals casting. (You see, as with most major feature films, all the major roles in this project have already been cast in L.A., but the smaller parts have been farmed out to a local CD.) So, my next best bet is a principal part. I've already mailed off a photo and a quick cover note to the CD to let her know of my interest. Wish me luck!


What makes a career?

You know, I was reviewing the subtitle of my blog, "one girl's odyssey toward that career-making part", and I thought to myself, "I've already got a career--of sorts." So, what makes a career? Is it a fame-making part? (William Hung's audition brought him fame. Does he have a career?) Is it a defining character or type with which one is consistently identified? (John Wayne commonly played the Everyman in Westerns and war epics. Was that his career or the premise of his career?) Is it simply the path created by experience?

My Pocket Webster School & Office Dictionary tells me that the noun "career" can be defined as "an occupation or calling". The unabridged (v. 1.1) Dictionary.com tells me that the term career can refer to "an occupation or profession, esp. one requiring special training, followed as one's lifework" as well as "success in a profession." It may be a combination of the latter--success in a profession or endeavor--and fame or prominence in that profession with which the general public typically associates a career. Essentially, in order to be deemed to have a career, one must be successful (is that financially successful?) *and* well-known within one's vocation. I'm already working in various media formats. Casting directors know me and my skills. I do audition successfully on a regular basis. Is this a career? I have identified myself as a professional auditionee (I know, not a word) so, in essence, auditioning is my occupation.

I may need to reevaluate my subtitle.


I'm Read-y!

Recently, I had the opportunity to record voice over copy for health insurance firm Blue Cross Blue Shield. Pleasantly, the copy was quite good. For those of you who don't do voice over, sometimes the quality of the copy can be a toss-up. In many cases, the talent doesn't receive the copy (that is, the stuff one has to read into the mic) until showing up at the studio to record. And, when there's poorly-written copy, it just makes it that much harder to deliver a great read and do what the client wants. (And, yes, many times, the client is in the room along with the engineer.) Anyway, I was quite pleased to get into the booth and have good copy in my hand. These were a series of 15-second radio spots targeting Gen Y-ers, which is one demographic in which I specialize, and the spots were quite funny, which only made the read easier. Overall, I think the client was pleased with each take and I'd like to think they'll call me again sometime. (Hint-hint.) I have to say, though, that in this market, it can be difficult to actually solicit work.

Once, when living in a different market, I had a great voice over agent who enabled me to audition for and subsequently win more voice over jobs than I've been getting lately. However, voice over agents haven't seem to have caught on as an industry here. So, essentially, every voice over artist in the area has to go freelance. While I've got good demos, and good relationships with area studios, I think I may have to modify my demos so that each showcases a specific attribute or skill--those things which my former agent was aware of, but which my demos don't necessarily illustrate.

If there's anyone out there who is an established voice over artist in a non-agency market, I'm seeking a mentor.


Professional Diver

About three weeks ago I got a phone call saying I had been cast in the new Katherine Heigl/James Marsden flick 27 Dresses. Wow! True, I had been invited to audition about seven weeks ago, but I had not expected to actually hear from them. This past weekend, I drove to Rhode Island for the afternoon shoot. I got to play the "Scuba Bride". What does this mean? Well, the premise of the movie is that Katherine Heigl's character, Jane, is a bridesmaid in 27 different types of weddings and one of them is an underwater, scuba wedding. Do I know how to scuba? No. I am not certified to scuba. In fact, as I am slightly bathophobic, I don't know if I would ever want to scuba. Anyway, actual, certified divers did the underwater bit; I just got to appear on land in an absolutely outrageous outfit. It was one of many outrageous outfits, actually. (I've got a photo I could show you, but we were *explicitly* instructed not to disseminate images, so I'm not going to risk it. You'll just have to look for me once the movie comes out.)

This was a huge scene with 10 main characters, two supporting characters, five featured characters, and about 150 extras. So, needless to say, it took quite a bit of time to get everyone ready. Hair and make up took about an hour per character, so there was a veritable army of artists prepping every character that would have any valuable screen time--including me! More importantly, there was quite a bit of time spent sitting around waiting, so I had come prepared with my trusty iPod in tow.

When called by a PA, we hoofed it about two blocks through sand in order to arrive at our beachside set. It was perfect--one of those idyllic Hollywood-ized sets with the Atlantic Ocean in the background. The set designer did a fantastic job. After another hour of waiting in near-silence while all the closeups were shot, we were called in by director Anne Fletcher for the medium and wide shots. About fifteen takes later, and after the sun was nearly gone and we were oceanside popsicles, we were wrapped. I'd love to tell you more, but I think the movie should hold its own and really tell the tale. So, when it comes out, go see it!