Friday, September 23, 2005

an audition, a callback, a showcase, oh my!

yesterday started with an audition for law and order: criminal intent at chelsea piers at noon. i got there a little late (i can never find those freaking rooms!) but they were running behind, which wasn't good because i had a callback for a regional christmas musical in delaware called winter wonderettes at 1pm. (cute, right?) it wouldn't be good to show up late for that because i was supposed to dance first and if i missed any of the choreography breakdown, i would be completely derailed. i was excited about law and order, in spite of the fact that i'd auditioned for it about a jillion times and i've never been picked to be on the show. i've come awfully close, though. but when is that ever good enough?

the part was a junkie mom -- 32 years old with a 16 year old daughter, and the daughter has got a kid already. in the scene, the cops confront me at my front door and then we're off to the races. piece of cake. i show up with no make-up on, in a plain dress. i know my lines cold. i've met/lived next door to/befriended that mother many, many times. i know what i'm doing.

law and order
is such a franchise. there's got to be at least three different ones, aside from the original. it's really cool that it's based in new york city because it gives theater actors and the like a chance to get in front of the camera without having to go to el lay and stand in line with everyone else. it's funny. everytime i watch any of them, i see someone else i know. so when i get called in to be seen for a part, i'm thinking, wow -- maybe i'll finally bust my law and order cherry. don't get me wrong. i'm not desperate. if it doesn't happen, that's fine. but if it did, it would be nice.

i finally ended up in the casting agent's office, in a narrow area walled in by videotapes and filled with chairs clustered together. there was only a nondescript looking white guy in a button-down shirt sitting there, running lines. the middle aged asian man came in from the hallway, muttering his lines to himself. he stopped long enough to smile at me. a black woman came in, wearing sweats. no make-up. stringy looking dirty blonde extentions. slim and young-looking, but bad skin. (why does anyone have bad skin in this day and age? it's called proactiv, for cryin' out loud. go get some.) she ignored me, of course. once she settled in, she started to run her lines by mouthing the words and making these facial expressions, like she was in the scene. but how did she know what her face was doing. shouldn't she be looking in a mirror to check? according to everything that i was taught about the craft of acting, this was the epitome of what not to do. and the nondescript white guy across from her was pretty much doing the same thing. everything starts internally for me. i've learned how to readjust externally but that's not my focus. after awhile, i couldn' t look at them anymore. when i tell people that i'm an actor, that's what they think i do. (yeesh.)

you know what those two actors really reminded me of? daffy duck, wearing bugs bunny's shakespearean outfit, oversized plumed hat and all, pacing back and forth nervously with a leading man's swagger nonetheless, saying "to be or not to be" in every concievable way that he can think of, until the german director yells, "brrrring in the double!" good ol' daffy strolls in, all comfy because he's selected the just-right version of "to be or not to be" to say on camera -- and has it on repeat in his head until it comes out of his mouth.

no wonder movie actors suck when they do theater.

right about then, three or four really good-looking asian men walked in, all of them casually dressed. there were plenty of chairs but they were so clumped together that we were running out of room. and i was running out of time. i went to the monitor, she got me bumped up and when the door opened, i was summoned.

she moved fast. first, a digital photo of me, a headshot check and then i read for her -- no cameras, nothing. when i was done, she said that i did a really good job and asked me how tall i was. and the next thing i know, i'm on the crosstown bus.

i don't even want to tell you about the callback: how i botched the dance section, in spite of my best efforts; how me singing my brains out didn't help at all because they cut me early and didn't hear me read; how sweet the other girls were and how great everyone looked. oh, well. whatever God wants me to have is what i'll get, no matter what anyone says or thinks.

i ended the night with a wonderful showcase for the songwriter's hall of fame -- it was the 55th new writer's showcase, to be exact. afterwards, ralph and i went to barrio chino and i had that fantastic sopa de pollo with a nice tall deliciously spicy glass of mexican hot chocolate. this is my favorite little spot right now -- the food is so good, it's wacky. and you can trust me on this one. i lived in austin texas for years and i used to work in a fairly popular tex-mex restaurant on 6th street, so i'm extremely picky about mexican cuisine.

okay. so now i'm thinking i should run in the park while it's early and cool, detangle and condition my hair, practice the piano and clean house. that's my big plan for today...

yesterday's movie: get carter. tonight's movie: comedian.

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