Earlier this past week I had a callback audition for a gig with exciting potential: a national commercial for a major retail chain.  I was very pleased to be called back for this second round, which was conducted via satellite feed with some friendly folks in California.

The talent had been explicitly instructed to arrive before 1 PM, with 1 PM being the time when the Boston satellite feed would begin.  I arrived twelve minutes early to discover I was the last of the six of us to arrive and was most pleased to see the nice actor I had read with previously.  Seeing him was an encouraging sign for me, confirming the relatively good feeling I had upon leaving the first audition.

We waited and waited and waited.  In silence.  At 1:30 PM the satellite feed began and it seemed--based on overheard conversation--that the client had opted to go with the New York feed first, which explained the delay.

It was a quick audition for all of us, with each of us waiting in turn for the duration should there be a desire to mix and match actors.  I read last and with the same fellow I worked with before.  Even the agency noticed, remarking, "Did you guys read together before?"  We answered in the affirmative and smiled.

I left the audition feeling good.  The client clearly liked the actor I had been paired with and I hoped that positive input translated to the client liking me as well.  We did five or six takes with direction each time, and a few suppressed snickers were provided from afar as laugh track during our reads.  Funny is good, right?

This audition marks the first time I really felt I was on a team with the casting director (CD).  I knew the CD wanted us to do well and get the gig which, in turn, would represent the CD well and possibly lead to more work for both the CD and for the region.  I truly feel the six of us did our best for the sake of all involved.

The outcome?  The agency ended up casting the entire commercial in L.A.  Seriously, CA, what gives?


Opportune Means?

A few weeks ago I campaigned hard for a principal role audition in the upcoming Tom Cruise-Cameron Diaz flick currently called the "Untitled Wichita Project", and I actually got it.  In fact, I got to audition for two roles, both of which were airline ticket agent types.  It is currently filming in Worcester, MA, and I feel confident in stating I have not been cast as an airline ticket agent in any capacity, despite my adorableness.  (I haven't heard from anyone, you see.)

The two auditions consisted of varied reads:

Role One  Read one line three times.  Smile.  Look cute.  Be a prop.

Role Two  Read four pages.  Be interesting.  Be curious.  Be obvious-and-yet-not-so. 

I found Role One difficult.  There was not enough information for my taste.  I like detail.  I like expository data.  I wallow in TMI.  But since when has my preference governed an audition experience?  I've been a prop before: I once played a tree.  It didn't have lines.   

Role Two was exciting!  Four pages of condition, experience, environment, imagination.  Ooh!  I tried to make the delivery dynamic, curious, strangely appealing and subtle.  This character was fleshy, obscure and intellectual.  Not unlike myself, some might insinuate.

So what happened?  Nothing.  That's what.  No call back, no first refusal, no offer of a role.  What is it that I am failing to bring forth?  What can I do to grab those fleeting attention spans that are of such importance, short of jumping up and down before the camera, screaming, "Pick me!!! PICK ME!!!"?

This experience makes me recall my audition and the non-event outcome for another feature currently filming in the area, The Fighter.  At first I thought it was just a bad audition experience, but perhaps it's because I look not unlike Amy Adams, who had knowingly--but unbeknownst to the public--been cast as girlfriend to Mark Wahlberg's character.  (I have been considered for her stand-in on a few occasions.)  Or perhaps I was too short.  Or too subtle.  Or too unsatisfactory.  Or too whatever.

What is it?, I ask again.  Where are you, as-yet intangible thing?  I know you are there, waiting to be achieved, acquired.  A tool for my arsenal of skills, to be commanded according to interal will and external environs.  

It is my impatience that goads me onward. 


Concise Chronicles

9:23 AM: Quickly removed tights before dashing out the door for the bus. (The tights just looked bad with today's outfit.)

9:38 AM: Smashed my ring finger while closing the wonky door on one side of the Guild Room. Proclaimed a few choice words.

9:39 AM: Warmed up in the Guild Room to find I was in high voice today. (G6, anyone?) Reaching F3 was a peculiar challenge.

10:00 AM: Rehearsed with the Sanctuary Choir of Old South Church before today's performance.

11:00 AM: Sang with the Sanctuary Choir as part of today's services, including selections by Paul Simon, and Jean Berger.

12:20 PM: Found congenial camaraderie with parishioners of Old South Church over Friendly's sundaes during an ice cream social.

12:47 PM: Felt somewhat conflicted that I had to miss out on auditions for a new series by an Academy Award-winning playwright due to the morning's singing obligations. Still hoping the producers might email me some alternate audition times.

4:23 PM: Noted that The Town was again shooting in my neighborhood by observing the various parking sign directions for the cast and crew. (Darn it, if I don't need to improve on my lacking Boston accent!)

4:23:02 PM: Noted the ambiguous-looking person standing next to the parking signage as s/he used the plastic straw from the beverage in-hand to scrape wax from the right ear.

5:12 PM: Realized it has been more than 24 hours since my last tweet.

5:43 PM: Wrapped up this blog entry.


On the mark?

Yesterday I had another commercial audition. It was exciting to know this one has interesting potential--including travel--for the talent selected. Like most auditions, it is multi-step process, including yesterday's initial audition, a call back or two, and the gig itself (which I'd love to get!).

I was paired up with a nice actor whom I had not met before. We entered the audition room to find a nicely-staged space, complete with a couple of props. (I always give props to props because they avert that unfortunate miming awkwardness that can mar auditions.) There was a natural, professional comfort in the room and we were asked to perform the scene three or four times with direction provided between takes. I like to think of such occurrences as promising signs, but it is possible that every pairing was offered multiple takes.

Was I en pointe with my performances? I don't know. I felt good about what I provided. Hindsight can be quite 20-20 though, and I found myself thinking, Oh, I could have done that! This would have been a good choice. I should have remembered to do X.... As with all opportunities, I try to remember my internal tricolon: I go; I do it; I leave. And I try not to think about them again.


Tell me Universe...

Tell me universe--surely it can be no secret--why is it so difficult to garner auditions for those brainy girl feature film roles? You are aware, no doubt, of the current role to which I refer. I think I fill all the necessary criteria:

I am a girl. I am a professional actress with a variety of experience. I've worked on feature films before. I am a very intelligent person with nerdy tendencies not limited to:

I am certain there are a few friends out there who would be pleased to corroborate my brainy girl status if this would help acquire said audition. Then again, perhaps five languages is too many? Or having been eligible to attend any ivy league institution is overkill?

Or could it be because I do not fit film and television industry's ethnic stereotype?


Gettin' on the Horn

A few months ago I recorded a telephony system for a new company and a few weeks ago I did some pick-up work for the same group.  Well, I am delighted to announce...

[A drumroll please.]

...the company and the telephony system have now launched.  [Insert cymbal crash here.]  Yay!  The entity is Gozaic, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and its focus is heritage-centric and culture-rich travel and tourism.  The web site is an abundant--dare I say it?--mosaic of travel resources, personal experiences and visual excitations from which travelers of all types can broaden their travel horizons.

To hear the accompanying voice over fabulousness, dial:


That's 1-877-694-6924

(I can still hear myself reading those very words in the sound booth!)

So, call 'em up!  Not only is their work super-cool and fun (and it may lead you to some places you never considered visiting either as a vacation or a staycation), but there's a really lovely voice to escort you through the menus.


Maine Made

Earlier this week was the benefactor of some last-minute casting for a Maine-based commercial.  In this instance, I played the featured teacher in a comedic spot pertaining to an upcoming vote topic.  We shot in a real high school which had just reopened after the summer break, floors gleaming.  Teachers were about, still in summer-wear, cleaning out classrooms and preparing for the return of students next week.  The location had that classic high school character and at times between takes I found myself thinking of cult movies like Pretty in Pink and Sixteen Candles.

Much of my day was spent dashing in and out of frame and my legs were really feeling tired by the time we wrapped.  My holding area between scenes was a corner of the cafeteria in which the faculty met a couple of times to discuss planning for the new academic year.  Ironically, as one of the meetings was breaking up, a few faculty members approached me and introduced themselves, thinking I was a teacher new to the school.  I had to tell them sadly, no, I was not a new teacher, but I was playing one in a commercial and I sincerely hoped I would represent them well.  I had a great time with the crew and despite the multitude of shots, it was an efficient day.

Here's a quick photo taken between shots of me with friend and fellow actor Kevin Fennessy who played the principal:


We Interrupt for this Brief Message...

Recently I reported that I worked on a national commercial and may have gotten some good face time as a result.  Well, this Boston Globe article documents the entire experience from a media standpoint and the commercial is there to view as well.  Do you see me?  Some other time, remind me to tell you who the students are...  Grr.