Well, I had my first audition the other day. I didn’t get the part, but it was a good learning experience. It was to play a hitman in a small independent film. I think it’s time I do a bit more research on auditioning – starting with this.
It was a paid part (providing they get funding), but I really just wanted it because it’s the type of role I’m going for and I could use the video to start an acting reel.
I set the appointment a few days prior, with the casting person. I drove across town and showed up at the Starbucks we were meeting, about a half hour early (I like to scope out new locations – old habit). I walked through and saw her interviewing someone at one of the tables. I grabbed a drink from the counter and walked next door to grab something to eat.
I walked back to Starbucks about 8 minutes prior to our meeting time but saw that they were walking out to their car. I sat down at the table they were previously at and waited for a while but they never returned. About 20 minutes after we were to meet, I texted them and asked if we were still meeting today. They apologized and said they’d be there in 5-10 minutes.
About 10 minutes later, they showed up. I handed them my resume (which doesn’t have much on it but it at least has my photo and is something they could write notes on). The table where we sat was one of those tiny square ones that barely fit two people. They apologized again and handed me the script. They pulled out a small video camera (something like this) and we began immediately.
I’m sure there are much more intimidating auditions out there but sitting in the middle of a crowded Starbucks with a camera literally a foot from your face whilst doing a cold read was a tad awkward. I didn’t know exactly where I was supposed to look considering they were looking through the camera lens the whole time so looking at my reading partner meant looking directly at the camera. We took three takes. I definitely wasn’t happy with my performance.
I did have one thing going for me – the part called for someone with fighting experience to come up with and perform a fight scene with the main character, and I do know how to fight. Unfortunately, the combination of me having no acting history and most likely how I did during the cold read, resulted in an email a week later stating that they’d found someone for the part who had more acting experience so they couldn’t use me for this film.
So what did I learn?
First, I shouldn’t have assumed the person casting still had me on her schedule for the day. I should have at least texted her to verify the morning of the audition, especially considering it was an hour from my house. Also, I should have somehow let her know that I was there once she stopped filming the other potential actor. It was my plan to do so but I shouldn’t have left the coffee shop until I did that.
Second, I should have been prepared to do an interview with someone reading and videoing simultaneously. Most of the parts I’ll be auditioning for at first will be small productions so I can’t expect things will go like people describe when going for Hollywood films.
Third, I definitely need more practice and learning about how to do cold reads.
So what’s next?
Other than trying out for small parts here in town (which are rare in the summer), I’m looking at these books:
I’m also considering setting up one of my rooms as a photo studio and writing/recording a couple of monologues so I can at least have something to show on a video reel. Not sure about that yet.
So, I don’t have any parts yet but I just started this path. It should be a pretty interesting adventure!