I had an audition today. It was for a play that I don’t fully understand, or possibly I just don’t appreciate it. The director had people read scenes instead of doing monologues, which I always appreciate. While monologues have their place in weeding people out, scenes from the play can only benefit the actors—to give them a better sense of the play—and the director who gets the benefit of possibly seeing inspiring work, and killing two birds (actors) with one stone (one 5 minute slot.)
This show includes a few different accents, including Czech—something I haven’t done in the past. I’ve done various British, a few Southern, Irish, Italian, Russian, Greek, NYC and probably some others I’m forgetting. But not Czech, which is somewhere between bad Russian and perfect Greek.
So I studied it. I’ve got a good ear, and think I could handle auditioning with it. It’s a big cast show, with a lot of multiple casting. I went in thinking there are three such positions I would fit. I’m set. Ready to go.
Of course, I end up reading a British character who is not someone I’d even remotely be considered for.
I recently held my own auditions, with readings from the play. Coordinating scene partners can be tough. I know it’s not a perfect system, so I can handle this, and know that what I’m reading this time through doesn’t really mean anything. Having read through it several times with my scene partner (who was pretty good, thankfully!) we’re ready to go and it’s going to be interesting….we walk in the room, and I immediately think “Why am I reading this scene?”
I mean, I know I didn’t pick it—it was picked for me—but I suddenly feel really ridiculous reading this character, someone who’s 15 years or so my senior!
In short, while it’s not the worst audition I’ve done, hours later I feel I blew it. I realize I had been rather self-conscious throughout the scene, I didn’t listen very well, I didn’t focus on my goals.
Auditioning is a mad, ridiculous, system. No where other than the performing arts does someone essentially have to do the job for the boss while in an interview in order to get a job, and all in a subjective arena.
Long story short—I probably won’t get a call back. And I think I’ll understand. Even if I were right, or could be right, for a part in this show in the eyes of the director—that audition didn’t show that.