Thursday, October 12, 2006

another day, another (commercial) callback

i had a 1pm appointment at HOUSE for the ocean spray commercial callback. they wanted me to do lines and they were prepared to put me on camera, upload my takes online and have a decision for me before the end of the day. i went in with the usual joie de vivre: crazy mad starving (i hadn't eaten all day) with no make-up on and, like always, i gave the assistants at the front desk my usual hello as i breezed past them to prep for my close-up. i've been in and out of there so much for auditions/callbacks in the past 2 years, they actually know me. one of them, rebecca, knows me no matter what my hair is doing. needless to say, she's my favorite.

i like to put my make-up on when i get there because their floor-to-ceiling windows means strong daylight even on a cloudy day, so i can't overapply it. i usually don't have much time to hang around so i'm also quick about it. and my eyebrows are always finished, which helps tremendously. the result is a natural, well-rested look. i know it sounds like no big deal but it took me forever to figure out how to put make-up on for the camera, to get this result. it was a constant learning process: what make-up to use, how to angle my face, how to relax the muscles in my face and smile slightly, so i didn't look deranged or constipated. i ended up experimenting by using my digital camera to make readjustments. i would put on make-up and take pictures of myself in natural light until i looked unmade-up. sounds oxymoronic, i know -- but that's the effect i knew i had to have. too much make-up can make you look a lot older than you really are on camera. it also looks amateurish -- a major no-no.

and you don't want to get into clothes and how you have to dress to pull all this off. you don't even want to know.

it took long enough to learn how to do the make-up/preparation/clothes right for stage but the camera is a strange animal. i had to learn how to audition well, how to prepare for it, all of it. is there a class for that? i seriously doubt it. if there were, i'd still have to go through the process of doing it, and that has its own learning curve. i couldn't have afforded to take them. i simply didn't have the money for those things. all i had was my creativity and my determination and my nerve. i was never afraid of showing up and doing a bad audition or looking stupid. i was afraid of missing an opportunity, even if i didn't get the gig, because i knew that the chance to be in front of that camera was school, and i had to take advantage of that.

so by the time i walked into that callback, i had it all down to a science. as i casually applied make-up and readjusted my look, i chatted with miryam, a blactress that was there for a k-mart commercial. she was on her way out the door, so she was readjusting in the other direction. somewhere in there, they brought out a massively huge platter of sandwiches for the staff. i involuntarily winced as i watched everyone dive in, thought about taking one, changed my mind and went to the front desk to sign in.

as it turns out, i was the only person there to read for the role.

as divine providence would have it, my favorite assistant rebecca was the one to put me on camera. this was important because i like her and she likes me, so i instantly feel comfortable in her presence and all of this translates to what i do on camera. the lines were quirky and fun. i actually enjoyed myself. like always, i was in and out -- and on the way out, rebecca let me have her sandwich because she was wheat-gluten intolerant. is she cool or what?

i find out either way later on this afternoon. in the immortal words of tom petty, the waiting is the hardest part.

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