The audition went well, the Casting Director spent quite a lot of time on me, which is always a good sign – they kind of hurry you along when you don’t fit the part.
I got there early, and sat with the other actors. We were all dressed up in 60’s gear. The girls looked like Betty Sue, the boys like Rock Hudson. There was lots of psyching out on the couch - talk of Drama Schools, previous work, travel, the fact that there were probably loads of people going for this audition. It was really mean spirited. I should just keep my mouth shut.
We were auditioning in pairs so I found my actress, a cutesy brunette with an amazing smile, and we chatted a bit in that “oh god – we’re going to be doing something ridiculous together in front of a camera in a minute we should really learn each others names” way. When it was our turn we strode confidently into the Audition Room.
The thing about auditioning for film and TV is that screen tests suck. There are never any props so you’re “imagining” everything. The Casting Director is usually more interested in getting you in focus than your “process”. And if it’s got an advert you’ll be pretending to do something dumb. I once had to “catch a rainbow of skittles” at an audition. For like, ten minutes. There’s only so long you can make something like that look fresh. For a Fanta commercial audition in the UK I had to catch a tennis ball in my mouth. Tried that lately? No? Well, take it from me it’s impossible. And I have a really big mouth.
The last advert I actually got (a few years ago now *sniffs*) was for Network Video in Australia (Australian Readers, take note because I’ve never seen it and I would be a laugh if someone had). I played a Greek / Australian mechanic, who was debating with his Carpenter friend whether or not the actor in the film they were discussing was Pacino or Deniro. I was in a pub and I was drinking V.B. which I spilt on myself. I was all greased up. In overalls. And I sounded like whatshisname from Heartbreak High
. Ring any bells, Australia?
So cut back to the audition. To start off we have to be cuddling; in love. Then we had to pretend we were on a tandem bicycle, playing a word association game in French. Then my character (Jean was his name was btw) looks into his basket and notices the delicious product placement. But what is he to do? He has only one chocolate bar. Will he share it with the beautiful girl he was only moments before been fondling? Of course not, it’s a commercial. A branch looms in front of him and he ducks. The girl goes flying and he rides on, eating the chocolate bar happily. Having just re-read that last paragraph, I think there might be some homoerotic undertones to the Ad. Chocolate bar as a phallus? Geez, now I really want to get it.
Afterwards they say thank you very much for coming and you try to psyche out a few of the actors on the couch again by saying that it was a really difficult audition. Then you get to walk home, dressed like Rock Hudson in the scorching New Zealand sun. What a life – the Actor!
Now it’s up to the fates. It was fun. It really was. I’m looking forward to more auditions. If only you could see me now because I’m pretending to catch a rainbow of skittles. No really I am.