The other day I had a commercial audition. It came a bit out of the blue. I had just reconnected with a local agent a few days before, and we chatted on the phone catching up. She’s a funny and very sweet woman who knows all the ins and outs of local commercial/film/industrial biz. As it were. Locally the “biz” here has dried up to a small pittance of what it used to be. I learned that I’ve moved into a different age bracket (I had no choice here, it happens naturally) and there are significantly fewer of “me” than there were a while back.
I haven’t been doing camera auditions for a while, so I felt a bit off my game. They’ve always been much more intimidating to me than a theatre audition for some reason —probably because I feel more in control when I’m on stage than when in front of a camera. Like the camera’s doing the work, not me. And in some ways that’s true. Plus I know it picks up the tiny things about nerves and thoughts and tensions so much more easily than a person sitting 20 feet away in the house. I can’t hide my nerves from a camera. I can’t hide my thoughts.
So I was a little anxious walking in to the casting office. The lobby was full of people, both adults and kids, and there was hardly a place to even sit. But then a great thing happened. The guy behind the desk remembered me the moment I walked in, and started telling me how he keeps seeing my face on this local theatre website. And then the assistant turns around from the copy machine when she heard the first guy saying who had just walked in the door, and she’s someone I’ve known for a long time, and she starts telling me (and the room) how she was just talking about me with so and so and blah blah blah….Suddenly my anxiety is gone. I’m having fun.
I was introduced to my new “family” and we were soon escorted in to the audition studio. The director is someone I’ve auditioned for many times in the past. She did a sort of double take, being surprised to see me, and said “Where the heck have you been?”
A few minutes of taped audition time later, all calm, comfortable and still energetic and interesting, and it was over. I think it went well.
Whether or not I’m right for it…who can say? I’m not too concerned. But I left feeling energized and elated. Walking in the door and being greeted that way was a huge relief.
And the fun capper:
Leaving the building, walking into the sunny downtown afternoon, I crossed paths with the actress who had just played my wife for two minutes. She stops me and asks, “What was that we just auditioned for?!” Turns out she looked at her calendar after the audition and realized she was supposed to have been there the next day, and now she didn’t know what to do.
I found this hilarious, but tried not to let on. I suggested she call her agent.
Boy. And here I thought I was off my game?