Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Cast without auditioning round two

So it happened again - hopefully this time it will pan out. While on lunch today I got a call for a short film about a baby shower that I had submitted for on LA Casting. She wants me with no audition! Woohoo! I have very little information about it. But she wants me!

Last night I had an audition for a different short film, one about the end of the world or something with a very cheesy script that I entertained Xan with on our drive over. When I got into the room, they had me slate (state your name and contact info) and then show my profile from both sides. Then they had the Already Cast Star Who Wasn't A Star come stand next to me so they could see us together, and then face each other and hold hands, to show our chemistry. It was pretty ridiculous. As soon as this guy stood up I new I probably wasn't what they had in mind - I was 2 inches taller and 15 years younger. Oh well.

The best/worst part is that this casting director has a "service" where he sends you a link to your audition video - yeah. I've never seen my audition video before. It was very scary. It's pretty bad, but worse than that is the still that shows up with my name underneath it - it's HEINOUS. A truly unfortunate screen shot. I think I'll try to grab it to illustrate:

Oh God. It worked. I'm sorry! But it does make me laugh. It's. So. Bad. It's a good thing I think I'm a lot more attractive than I apparently am.

Friday, March 21, 2008

This place is a racket, you play or go home

So last night I paid to audit an acting class. I'm not sure of the technical definition of "audit," but I think paying twenty bucks probably goes against it.

We sat in on a masterclass, and we were 2 of 22 auditors, which I did some quick math to determine that they made an easy $440 off of our butts just being in the seats...this town is a racket. Anyway.

The class was good. She seemed to really know what she was talking about and was good at pushing the actors, relentlessly in fact, which I appreciate. It's all scene study, so you work up scenes and then present them for the class. I think I'll start taking there, probably in May, as it's $275 for a month and you have to pay for anything you miss that isn't work related. This town is a racket. have to buy her book. This town....

But. As negative as I am, it does seem like the kind of place I would like to study, and I think her name would be a good one to have on your resume, which you can put on there even before you make it into her masterclass. Because you don't start out there. Oh, no. After the 3 hour class, she "met with us," which consisted of her taking a cursory glance at our resumes and, in my case, and I think probably most others, saying "Introductory level. Monday nights okay?" I expected to be placed at the bottom, but it was still a bit of a blow to feel like my credits weren't even considered. Whatever. Small fish. Big pond. Swimming upstream. But I'll get up there, dammit.

Also, I hate name-dropping. It's so tacky. Xan pointed out that that is how she can sell herself, by listing the people she's worked with, and that perhaps she doesn't do that when there aren't auditors there. Maybe not. But it was pretty funny - she was saying how Eva Mendes only had three or four lines in the movie Training Day, but you remembered her in the movie because of the work they (they being she working with Mendes) did on her scene. I don't remember her from the movie. Xan does, but he pointed out that it was because she was naked.

I feel like a rat. And a guppie.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I rocked it

Last night was the actor showcase for the casting director for Grey's Anatomy, and it was awesome. We rocked. I had a really fun side to read and it went really well. I was a little nervous because he didn't redirect or ask me to try it again, but I think that's alright. There were only a few people he didn't have read it twice. But I felt good about it.

I was pretty impressed with the caliber of the actors, which was a good thing, since we went into it blind and didn't really know what to expect. I still think it's a little shady to pay to read for casting directors, but since that's the only way I can see them right now, I think it's worth my $38. I'm glad I don't regret it.

It's fun to walk out of something knowing you did well. I'm pumped.

Monday, March 17, 2008

And another thing.

I miss the camaraderie of a good play with a tight cast. Nothing compares to the feeling of working hard to accomplish something together, where everyone trusts and relies on each other equally, and you deliver an awesome performance and the audience is noticeably impacted. You enjoy all aspects of the show, from getting ready together beforehand to hanging out backstage to partying afterwards. When the show is over you are sad, and you miss those people that you spent so much time with for a month or two.

I'm starting to realize that until I form or join a theatre company, this may not be my experience in theatre. At least not in Los Angeles. So far I've found that it's flat out hard to find people who care as much about being in a play as going to audition for a carpet-cleaning commercial. It's hard to find people who are willing to make a commitment to be there the night of every performance, even if they have to give up something that was previously scheduled. It's hard to find people who are good actors as well as being able to listen and follow directions without questioning the director.

I am used to smart actors who care about their work and the aspect of being an ensemble. I miss that. There were a few other women in this past show who seemed to be of a similar background. But we were certainly in the minority. And we were the ones who were on time.

Closed my first LA Show

Well, short and sweet. That was that. Diary closed after the four scheduled performances. On balance, it was a good experience - I met some people I liked, broke the casting seal, remembered how much I want to have acting be my job, learned a lot about what it means (and doesn't mean) to be in a play in LA, and enjoyed the rush of performing, as I always do. I'm glad I did it. But I'm ready to move on. To quote President Jeb from the West Wing, "What's next?"

Tonight we are going to read for the casting director of Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, and Friday Night Lights. I'm going to get cast on Grey's Anatomy and Xan is going to get cast on Friday Night Lights. I'm very excited.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Blog about another Blog

So Xan was right. He's been trying to get me to read this for weeks, and I finally did. Thank you.

This guy writes a column about various actor type things - this one is about sticking it out in LA. My favorite part is the guy saying that if you don't live _in_ LA instead of near/around/proximal to it, "you are what we call, 'Thespianclosebut nocigarus.'"

Here is the article: Movin' Out

My show is done after this weekend, and I am currently at a temp job for two weeks that they want me to extend to six weeks. I desperately need the money, but I also want to be able to keep auditioning and not lose my momentum...hard to know what to do. But if I work for six weeks, I would probably be set for another four at least...decisions.

Also, Xan and I are doing a cold reading workshop on Monday in front of the casting director for Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice. We're going to get cast on those shows.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

We're Open!

And it actually went great. We had an abysmal rehearsal on Thursday and then we came early on Friday and fixed things and last night went very smoothly. I remembered the words to "Ne Me Quitte Pas," which I had been trouble three audience members enjoyed it and said it went well. We felt good about it. Some minor kinks to work out, but a very good opening night.

Now that the show is open, I have to make up for the 15 weekdays of not working in order to go to rehearsal, so I'm working for the next 16 days straight...but it's good. I need the money. I'm hoping to use the time to write agent letters and such. Hopefully my temp job will be like the others and not require much of my attention.

I got my headshots printed and I'm really not impressed with the quality of the prints. They are on crappy paper and look like I could have done them on a personal ink-jet printer. I feel like I can't take them back, though, because I saw a proof...Live and learn. I guess this is why the place was cheap. Sometimes you can't go for the cheapest option. Headshots appears to be one of those times.

It feels so good to's been a long time. Especially since I was in something I cared about.