5.09.2008

Screamin' from the rooftop

Today's commercial audition was another one of those unusual auditions. Coincidentally (or perhaps not), it was for the same "very well-known formerly-all-breakfast food-chain that seems to be branching out into other meals" group I'd auditioned for before. I was told yesterday that I was to be a "casual, suburban mom" and that there were no lines to review. Furthermore, this was an audition for a demo--not an actual commercial. In this case, the ad agency wants to prepare an animatic for the client to illustrate what the potential commercial could look like. So, I prepared my "casual mom" outfit and a headshot/resume. I arrived, greeted a few of the other "moms" in the waiting area I know, filled out all necessary forms and reviewed the storyboards, which were firmly applied to the wall: one featured just the "mom" and the other featured a heterosexual couple. Today's product? A coffee item.

The CD came out and briefly explained for everyone in the waiting area what to expect in the room and what to do. Because I'd made great time, I had a few extra moments to review my own mental list of things to remember in auditions like these. I'm realizing more and more that I need to review this list each time I have an audition if only to keep me focused in the audition room.

When my turn rolled around, I was called in with the lone male actor who'd only recently arrived, leading me to believe I'd most likely be acting out the heterosexual storyboard. Poor guy. I had read all the paperwork at the sign-in table, and had seen the direction to "TAKE A CUP", many of which were on the table. However he had not. This is what ensued in the audition room:

"So, slate your names first and then you can begin. Oh, do you have a cup?" The guy glanced over at me with my cup in hand and that look of realization sprung to his face.

"Oh, yeah. Hang on." And he left the room briefly, returning with his personal coffee cup. He resumed his place and looked over at me saying, "I hope you don't mind that there's real coffee in it."

"Not if you don't mind losing part of it," I retorted. The CD quickly inserted, "Go out and get a cup."

"Oh, are there cups out there?" He went back out. It was hard for me not to laugh each time he left the room. On a good note, though, it did give me more time with the CD and the quiet client at the table. The CD asked what I'd been up to lately. I summed up my recent accomplishments.

The actor and I did our bit for the camera once he'd returned. Strangely, we slated again at the end of our scene and then he left. I would also be performing the "mom" scene, it turned out. I asked a couple of questions before my scene to make sure I had the gist. The client took a moment to explain the interplay of the coffee product, likening the effect of the product to that of angeldust or heroin. Seriously. No joke. I couldn't tell if he was serious, or if he had a really, really dry sense of humor, or if he just wanted to test the talents' nerves. Nevertheless, I smiled warmly and said, "I think I know what you mean."

The scene called for me to enjoy the product and then yell from atop my imaginary roof to my imaginary neighborhood, "People of Cherry Tree Lane! This is the most fabulously wonderful coffee I've ever had!" (That's actually a paraphrase of the text provided, but that's what I did for the most part. And I smiled a lot.) I slated a fourth time and then that was that.

As a friend of mine had observed after her audition, "I left there thinking, I don't think I did very well, and I don't know if I care. " What to do if I actually get the demo? I don't drink coffee. At all. I guess that's why they call it acting, right?

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