Call me crazy red! Part II

Last evening I received a voicemail message inviting me to today's "young mom" callback. What distinguished the voicemail message for this callback from others was the addendum near the end, "Oh, and if you could bring your mother with you, that would be great." Bring my mother? Really? Apparently, they were seeking someone 20 years my senior who looked like me to play my mother, but their files had turned up nothing promising. Having me bring my mother was their next best plan. My mom was not available.

I walked into today's callback expecting to see "young moms" and infants in the waiting area. Instead, perplexingly, I saw many real moms and dads sitting next to their pre-teen kids. Boys and girls of all colors and shades, including a redhead, were auditioning. There were also two infants. I saw no other "young moms". I signed in, had my photo taken again, and searched for some information somewhere that might enlighten me about this spot. Unsurprisingly, there was none. No storyboard, no description, nothing. At one point, someone taped to the wall a page ripped from a spiral-bound notebook. Scrawled on it in red marker were words reading, "Shoot Dates 30/31". Well, at least that was something.

My friend Sarah arrived and signed in. I was pleased to see her and she and I got to chatting. Apparently she had been called initially to audition for two parts: "young mom" and "older mom". Knowing herself well, she asked only to audition for "older mom" and got a callback as a result. She is great looking, but is also a real-life mom of four or five kids, between the ages of about 8 and 18. Part of me began to wonder if they had erroneously called me back to audition for "older mom".

So, knowing Sarah was auditioning for "older mom", believing I was auditioning for "young mom" (with an infant), and having overheard that the pre-teens were auditioning for the parts of siblings, I began to think I might have a shot at getting this spot.

A grandmother I had been talking with revealed to me that she had brought her grandson to audition and they had been waiting for an hour and 25 minutes. I began to be concerned about how long I might wait. However, quite quickly I was called into the audition room with a baby I didn't know and hadn't seen at the previous audition. He brought his mom into the room with him.

The casting associate was there, the camera operator was there, and there was a tableful of four or five clients. I slated first and was then instructed to take the baby and hold him in a stationary position for a few seconds so the camera could see him. The next instruction was confusing: "Now, go open the refrigerator." Hmm. The refrigerator? (Let me just say now, there is no refrigerator in this room.) "Behind you." I turned to see a large rectangle taped onto the wall with masking tape, and two vertical lines in the middle representing door pulls. Oh. Mime. Okay. I proceded to open and close the transparent refrigerator while holding my squirmy child.

It would have been helpful for the client to say up front, "For this audition, just pretend you're doing at-home stuff". I should have been more savvy and just asked outright what they wanted. They may not have known that I entered the room with no prior instruction. Anyway, I continued to mime my way around the large space, breaking one of the key rules of auditioning--Don't mime.--and opening and closing fake refrigerators, talking on an invisible telephone, and providing profile shots of the baby and me whenever requested.

I'm not sure what they were hoping to accomplish in this audition, and I'm not certain I gave them what they wanted. When I left the room, though, they did thank me. And they used the right name today.

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