after waiting and waiting and waiting, all of a sudden everything shoots into overdrive: she abrubtly calls in the three of us and we sit at the end of a table as she very quickly explains the scenario in this pleasant, breezy, non-stop way: we are in a conference room and we are reacting to things that someone is doing. no dialogue. just reactions. she said to look at the mic above the camera and ignore the gigantic placard and all the writing on it. she is smiling at us. we actors smile at each other and her in acknowledgement. there are generic officey props on the table. "we" are a woman, a man (both of whom are young and foreign -- or at least have elaborate foreign names and slight accents) and me. the woman sat between the man and myself. we were told to dress "office casual," whatever that means. (khaki?)
"acting is reacting," i heard myself think. let the games begin.
after we slate, she starts talking us through what's supposed to be happening in the room that we're reacting to, but the guy misunderstands and starts doing what she says. ("okay, and he's drinking a pot of hot coffee." beat. "no, you're not drinking it. you're watching him drink it.") the woman starts reacting to what he's doing while i'm still reacting to what's being said. this flusters both of them and although they try to recover, i'm still steady on it, reacting. it was over in a snap but it took an eternity to get out of that room.
as we stood at the elevator, the woman turned to the man and said -- in this accent even i couldn't place -- "well, obviously she's explained that scenario so many times, she felt that she didn't have to be clear with us." and the guy lets out this long exasperated, yeah. they were trying to distance themselves from it and blame her. but i was thinking, you all weren't listening. and when they play the tape back, they'll see that because the camera won't lie. if anything, the two of them will make me look good, because i actually was. not that i'll get it because a strong audition doesn't mean that you'll get the job, by any far stretch of the imagination. but hey -- at least i did what i was told.
well. every one of these commercial auditions is a lesson learned, if you're willing to absorb it. i need all the lessons i can get because i'm still a fish out of water with this film/tv/commercial process. it's too bad that i had to learn how to audition for on-camera work by doing it because i didn't have the money for classes. i used to feel bad about that but to tell you the truth, it's actually kind of cool, to walk into a casting office and have everyone say hello.