Risk and Reward

A few days ago, I had the chance to audition for a role in a major TV series.  It turned out to be just a few lines, but even still--lines are lines, right?  Afterwards, I was beating myself up for not being more quick, more creative, more unique.  So, I took a risk, and made a polite request of the casting director, explaining that so many brilliant ideas had come to me post-audition and asking if there was anyway I might attend callbacks to provide a better audition.  I received a very kind response which said, in part:

"Believe me... you looked professional - prepared - and interesting.  If they go with the 'irish look' I'm sure you'll get a call back.  The role, it would seem, is all about the look...."
Part of me thought, well, when is it not about the look?  The rest of me was simply amazed that the casting director responded!  Wow!  I'm sure I didn't get the job, though.  How do I know?  Callbacks were held yesterday. 


A checklist

As Twitter asks me, what am I doing? What I mean is, what am I doing the night before tomorrow's gig? Here's my checklist:

• washing clothes
• drying clothes
• learning lines
• frantically drying a blouse with a hairdryer
• ironing outfits (the client requests five)
• showering
• washing some dishes (they've collected...)
• mapping directions

    Okay. Enough typing. I need to get back to the checklist.


    Doin' it in the car

    My friend Sarah says, "I always have my best audition in the car on the way back." And she's right. This morning, I had my best audition in the car on my way back from auditioning for a role in a major TV series. I got to the audition locale early. I primped in the car, hoped the outfit I had selected could be readily modified as needed, and went in and patiently read a copy of SOCO Magazine that was lying about until the CD was ready for me.  There was no copy to be had in advance, as it was only a few lines.  So, I was provided a summary of the scene before going into the room and I had a chance to skim that page from the script.  I was offered two takes and I was asked to slate my height, which is unusual.  On the way back, all of these brilliant ideas popped into my head based on the minimal descriptors in the script.  Why don't these come to me when I need them?!?  I could have done much more than I did.  At this point, all I can do is hope my look and my height are enough to carry me to the callbacks.   


    Guessing Game

    Earlier this week I was invited to audition for a role in a major television series. When I spoke with one of the casting assistants, it was mentioned that--at some point--lines would be provided in advance. Well, 24 hours later I hadn't received anything, yet, so I sent a polite email message. No response, but I wasn't surprised. They're busy--I know that. So, I waited a few more hours and made a phone call just to make sure I wasn't missing anything important. I was told the "lines haven't been released, yet." Okay. Fine. Perhaps they're trying to give all auditionees the same amount of prep time. Well, I've since received a message telling me there "are only a few lines"--and those lines weren't included in the message. So, I know nothing. Nothing about the role, the character, the lines, the scene. Nothing. So, I'll have to make my best educated guess. Oh. Can it be called "educated"? Perhaps just my best guess.

    Lest I speak too soon...

    I just reported that I expected to be unbooked for an upcoming industrial video.  How did I know this?  Well, I'd had a conversation with the client a few days ago in which it was suggested that someone else would be used because I was booked one of the days they wanted me to be available.  Furthermore, I learned that auditions were being held, as well--auditions seeking women. 

    Well, go figure!  I've just received confirmation that I will be employed despite my book-ed-ness.  The more experience I have, the less I think I know... 


    Yet another no-go

    So, I was all excited several days ago when I received a phone call booking me for an industrial video.  It wasn't a gig I had auditioned for, but it was a gig I got because I was well-liked at a previous gig.  Well, now it looks like I'll be un-booked for this gig because the shoot date has changed to a day when I am unavoidably occupied.  Things beyond my control strike again!  I'm beginning to think the Universe is trying to tell me something... 


    AT&T and me?

    So, just a few minutes ago, a good friend of mine directed me to the AT&T Olympics commercial "We" posted below. She heard it earlier today and played it back three times on her DVR, in complete disbelief.

    "Oh my gosh! Is that Alecia?"

     [DVR rewind.]

    "Well, it sounds like Alecia..."

    [DVR rewind again.]

    "I'm sure that's Alecia! I'll have to ask her."

    I'll let you judge for yourself:


    Ups and Downs

    Just one day after my bad day, I received an uplifting phone call, booking me for an industrial video.  I was so happy!  Unfortunately, it did not come as a result of any of the three auditions I had that down day.  (Congrats, Margot!)  Rather, the gig is a result of a previous gig where the client really liked me.  It's nice to know my reputation is a good one. 

    Now, just this afternoon, I received an email inviting me to audition for a role on a major television series.  Yes, it's great news and an amazing opportunity, but I don't think I'll get to take advantage of it--the auditions are scheduled for a time when I'm unalterably occupied. 

    I'm feeling conflicted: grateful for the booked gig but irked that I can't make every audition I'd like. 


    An outtake


    One bad day

    Today began with such promise. At 6:45 AM I received a last-minute (dare I say, desperate?) email message from a casting director wanting me to audition for two roles mid-day today in Providence. However, I knew I had other commitments including another, previously booked audition and a meeting. So, I explained to the CD my inability to get to Providence and inquired, instead, if I might upload some videos for the client to consider. The CD replied quickly stating "let's try posting the video." Awesome!

    Immediately, I emailed my meeting partner to explain the situation and indicating I would aim to arrive by 10:15. (The meeting was scheduled for 10 AM, mind you.) I hastily began doing hair and makeup while working on lines. I set up the camera, put on my first outfit, waited for the workers outside to stop their yelling and recorded the first take of the first role. Upon review, I thought it was good and used that take. I cropped the end to get rid of the jackhammer noise and uploaded it. One audition down. Excellent!

    For the second audition, I changed into my second outfit, which was really my outfit for my audition later in the day. I then tried to wait for my upstairs neighbor to stop blasting some strange country music/Björk-like blend quite so loudly before beginning on the second role. I'd like to say I did it in one take, but that is not the case. It took five. (Perhaps I'll post some outtakes, but be forewarned: there are some not-nice words contained therein.) I used the last one which was the best of the lot, and uploaded it. Two down!

    I hoofed it to the bus stop, and got there later than I wanted to: about 10:05 AM. There was a bus just pulling away. Man! However, knowing the MBTA penchant for bus caravans, I figured another bus would be arriving any minute. C'mon bus. C'mon bus. Where are you? Where was the bus! Aarrrgggh! No bus. No bus! Needless to say, aggravation was present. At about 10:30 AM I pulled out my phone to call my meeting partner. Oh, a missed call. From the meeting partner. I didn't even bother checking the message and called straightaway. I tried to explain the bus was late and that waiting for the bus I didn't hear my phone and that I would be there shortly, but it was succinctly conveyed to me that there was no time to chat, things were not going well, and that I should be there. I could tell there were other people listening in on this conversation and I wrapped things up by saying a bus was coming and I would be there in five to seven minutes. And I was.

    I walked straight into the meeting and held my own for the next 90 minutes. The meeting broke up. I finally listened to that voicemail message. It was lovely. It seemed like my partner was trying to show me up in front of other people. "It seems you've forgotten about our meeting." Yeah. No. I had not forgotten. I was waiting for the bus.

    A little while later, my meeting partner felt the need to discuss the matter with me, observing me to be unprofessional and irresponsible. Yep. That's me. Unprofessional and irresponsible. I listened attentively and tried to communicate politely. Then, later on, my meeting partner felt the need to email me about the matter, summing up the morning's events, calling me "disrespectful", stating that I "demonstrated poor judgement" and CCing other people on the message. I responded politely and courteously, doing the best I could to diffuse a seemingly never-ending bad situation.

    Time came for me to go to my third audition. I hopped in a cab. While in the car I warned the cabbie I needed to talk to myself and I proceeded to rehearse the lengthy copy. He chuckled and turned down the radio. I arrived with ten minutes to spare. Oh, no... I had forgotten to bring a headshot and resume. How could I be so dumb?! I went in and explained I had forgotten to bring my headshot/resume. The casting associate shrugged slightly, told me it was okay and proceeded to record my audition anyway. On my way out, I asked how long the associate would be there. "Almost another hour." Great! I offered to run home, get my photo and dash back. And that's just what I did.

    I hopped in another cab and asked the driver to step on it. I dashed in, grabbed a photo and stepped back out. Hmm. Bus or cab? A bus is cheaper. A cab is faster. Cab. Oh, great. I have to go to an ATM. So, I went to the ATM. I flagged down yet another cab who had evidently just come on duty. "I have to stop and get change, okay? Or, can you pay for your fare?" I couldn't as I'd just been to an ATM. Instead, I asked him to go straight to the location to save time, indicating I would run in, drop off my photo, and then run to an adjacent bar to get change and pay him. And that's just what happened. He was well-tipped.

    After so much darting about I opted to stroll home. It was a lovely day. Upon arriving home I discovered another voicemail message from my meeting partner left earlier in the day, wondering where I was and asking me to call. ¡Ay, Dios mío! $30 in cab fares. Three auditions. Getting a gig out of any one of them would be a miracle.


    Say it with a smile

    So, in a few days I'll be auditioning for an industrial video segment. As I've mentioned before, industrial videos and commercials aren't the end-all be-all for me. But, they can be a nice source of income. However, getting to it is always a challenge. The last industrial I really wanted I didn't get. I "did a wonderful job" in that audition (as I do in many of my auditions, thank you very much), but my "look and performance was too close" to that of another talent they already used. They said they'd like to "keep me in mind for future projects". I haven't heard from them, but perhaps not enough time has elapsed.

    For this upcoming audition, I'll be reading some copy for the part of a product spokesperson. I know they're looking for a woman for this role, so I won't have to compete with men, but I will be up against friends I know. In this particular market, the world is quite small and it's simple to know everyone. I don't expect to have any copy in advance, so I'll be doing all the research I can, planning a snazzy outfit and practicing my speaking-smile in the mirror.