11.28.2009

Professional Mom

After reading my latest blog post, my Dad sent me a cute email message.  It reads:

"It appears that your words from childhood were prophetic.  You stated, when you were about four years old, that you were going to be a 'Professional Mom' when you grew up.  When I asked what a 'Professional Mom' was, you stated, 'She works hard and fast.'  Based on reading your most recent blog, it appears that you have become one."
Thanks, Dad.  I hope you're right.  (And I hope I get a call back for that Mom audition!)



11.25.2009

Mom Once More

A couple of weeks ago, I auditioned for a big-name client and a commercial that had real promise.  Unfortunately I didn't get the job, which may have been the result of a combination of factors: I had been told to prepare a character I wasn't auditioning for; I was told the lines were improvisatory when there were lines to memorize; We were made to audition with nine other people in the room, all of whom were auditioning for the same role.  You know, factors.  Despite these it seems the client may have liked me anyway, as I was invited to audition again, but for a different spot.

So, earlier this week I prepared my best "mom look" as requested and arrived to find multiple small children milling about with parents in tow.  Oh, so we're to be paired with a child, I thought.  Given my past experience with children at this particular locale, I had very low expectations.  To my surprise, the "moms" were quickly rounded up and invited into the audition room with a small herd of six-year-olds.  There were two little girls whose colorings were similar to mine and, not surprisingly, we were paired up.  Since we had been provided no information in advance regarding the premise of the spot--no storyboard, no summary--we were all effectively in the same boat and victim privy to the same information provided at the last minute, which told me the content of the commercial was highly prized by the ad agency.

This experience turned out to be another of those random auditions where I left having no clue how I did.  Again, I was performing an undefined, mundane task with "my child", during which the child should react to something seen off-camera.  As "mom", I am to respond appropriately.  (In this case, the off-camera event was a casting associate saying, "Boo!")  I did my best to react appropriately as a mom and still cater to my understanding of the scene.  What is the commercial advertising?  I don't know.  How did I do?  I couldn't tell you.  There will be callbacks, though, and I am hoping they call me.

11.24.2009

Out of The Box

More than a year ago, I hosted a bloggy give-away associated with this photo:




Remember the tackiness?  I do.  Well, last evening a friend of mine came up to me and said straight away, "Oh!  I saw you in The Box!"

"You did?!", I replied incredulously.  "I didn't think my scenes would make it in there."  In fact they did, it seems.  I am somewhere to be seen in The Box with Cameron Diaz and James Marsden.  Apparently some aspect of my work as a NASA technician made it into the movie and, yes, this photo documents the circa-1975 outfit in which I was bedecked for the role.  (It's slightly Mary Tyler Moore, don't you think?)

Now I just need to see the movie...

11.22.2009

Anew

A few weeks ago, I was invited to audition for a commercial for a company with well-known advertising. Though I had prepared to the best of my abilities, the audition didn't go as I had hoped and I wasn't offered the job. However, all may not be lost.

Yesterday, I was asked to come in and audition again--same casting director, same client--but for a different spot. Wow! Perhaps the client liked me and my last tape, but felt I might be better in a different role. I'm trying not to get too excited. (I've learned that maintaining a neutral perspective can be beneficial for me.) Nevertheless, I've ironed my outfit, updated my resume and I am reviewing last-minute details.

I attended a class a few weeks ago wherein the instructor imparted a constructive mantra that I should repeat for myself every once in awhile: "This will not be my last audition." My fingers are crossed, hoping this one proves fruitful.

11.16.2009

A Cabbie Account

Sometimes I use the services of taxicabs to help me get to my audition locations more quickly than mass transit can provide.  Frequently the trips are uneventful.  However, one recent cabbie in particular really caught my attention.

After opening the door for me (which no taxi driver has ever done for me before), inquiring of my destination, observing that I "seem sane" and noting that his previous fare "was mad, but only because of the full moon", I realized the frail-looking, animated driver would make this a ride to remember.  Here, in no particular order, are some of the more salient facts I learned of my rather egotist and unkempt chauffeur en route:
  • He stated matter-of-factly that he is "the best driver in the universe."
  • He spends most of the year in Cambodia.
  • He lives "in a mangrove", not in a "hectic, chaotic city like Bangkok or Hong Kong"
  • He dislikes the hybrid cab he drives because "it's not safe in an accident" and prefers the larger, converted-from-cop-cars vehicles.
  • His father and brother died of cancer due to pollution.
  • He doesn't sleep well in the United States because the full moon here disrupts his "energy".  Instead, he sleeps much better in Asia where the "full moon is further away".
  • It's easier to earn money in the United States than in Cambodia, where he teaches English.
  • A fare he carried the previous evening had been "gypped" by a previous cabbie that same night who dropped them off at the Piano Factory and not in the North End, and as a result he "knew [he] would get no tip".  They were Bulgarians.
It should be noted that about halfway through my six-minute ride, he realized he had forgotten to turn on the meter.
  • He has a cell phone but tries not to use it or touch it.  He doesn't have a television, either.
  • People in the United States should be nicer.  "Not nice like Taiwan or the Japanese, but nicer."
With so much active listening, I felt thoroughly informed and a bit tired by the time I arrived at my destination.

11.11.2009

Haste (and a Clean Toilet)

This morning, while I was in my pajamas and cleaning the bathroom, I received a telephone call.  It was from a number I didn't recognize, and since my hands were a bit damp and dirty, I didn't answer.  Upon returning the call (once the toilet was cleaned), I discovered the number belonged to the line producer of the commercial for which I had been booked, and who was on set and wondering if I could arrive earlier than my call time, which brought up an interesting issue and a revelation:

Needless to say, I was late to set.  I had been as responsible as I could be, calling and sending multiple emails at various times to follow up and check in regarding any information pertaining to the shoot.  Unfortunately, I never received any responses to my inquiries from the parties I knew to contact.  So, I figured something had happened to the production schedule and things were changing.  This was not the case, actually, and somehow the ball had been dropped when it came to contacting me.  (It is nice to note, after my arrival the line producer was reassuring, letting me know my tardiness was not my fault.) 

Thank goodness for Zipcar and GPS!  I was able to reserve a car as soon as I hung up the phone and jump into it a half-hour later.  (I still had to wash my face, put on clothes and make my hair look not so bed-headdy, after all.  At least I had ironed and bagged some wardrobe options the night before!)  GPS helped me get to the set in 14 minutes.  (No, speeding was not involved.)  

To date, today's hair/make-up/wardrobe session stands as the fastest I've ever experienced, with all of it taking place in less than 15 minutes.  The shoot was great, involving crew I've had the pleasure to work with before.  Again, I played a teacher, and I had a classroom filled with professional fifth- and sixth-graders, many of whom fancied themselves 'tween-shot comedians.  I shouldn't divulge too much about the content of today's spot, but know that when completed it will involve bread, a survey and a statesman.  Despite the hasty and harried start to the day, I look forward to seeing the completed spot!

11.10.2009

Saturday Night Laments

Last evening an actress and friend of mine told me she worked on one of my favorite TV shows--a show for which I've been campaigning for an audition for years, literally.  I couldn't believe it!  Friday Night Lights, a show that films in and around Austin, TX, was in the Boston area filming all day Saturday!  My friend said she and some other actors were on set, discussing the fact I would be disappointed to know I wasn't working with them.  But she also pointed out that I didn't seem to fit the demographics the casting director was tasked to fill: college freshmen (an age bracket for which I can no longer pass, really) and university professors (I would look a bit under-age to most as a faculty member, don't you think?).  Didn't they need college seniors or grad students or an administrator or something?  Man!

11.08.2009

Vice-Versa Again

This past Friday, I accepted a last-minute audition with good potential. And, again, it turned into a less-than-ideal experience wherein I tried to make the best of the situation. I had been told the audition would be completely improvisatory and I would be playing a customer in a quick-service restaurant. So, I arrived to audition, signed in, and learned there were lines to memorize and that I would be portraying an employee in a quick-service restaurant. (Knowing what I knew at that moment, I would have worn different attire.) And--once more--I auditioned with other actors in the room. So, upon entering the room (and after waiting 40 minutes), I politely paid attention as other talent auditioned before me while silently running through variations of our lines. (We all had the same lines, after all.) I auditioned with the remaining talent watching, providing the most interesting delivery I could muster, and left, irked.

Sometimes I sincerely wonder if CDs understand that giving all the specifics they have to the talent before arriving to audition, as well as providing a top-notch environment for auditioning, could result in high-quality results that may benefit all parties.

11.03.2009

Flubs

Vlogging is not always a cakewalk*.  In creating yesterday's vlog there were a few behind-the-scenes flubs I thought you might enjoy. 

1.  The first take was recorded with the mic on mute.




2.  Then the video camera had a minor flip-out.



Too much sun, perhaps? 


3.  There was also this:




Oh well.  Practice makes perfect, right?


*As a personal digression, once, when I was in elementary school, my family and I attended my school's fair where I participated twice in the musical cakewalk.  I won both times!  We went home with two huge cakes.  Bizarre!  

11.02.2009

Advice and Perpetration



(n.b. Did you catch that misuse of the verb "perpetrate"?! Wow! Talk about a crime! That's not how that verb should be used; legitimately working as an actor is not illegal. I could have used: portray; present; depict; characterize. Did I? No. Oh well.)