Thursday, 14 May 2009

Full frontal or profile?

In case you're wondering what being an actor is about, it's mostly about going to lots of auditions (if you're lucky) and (most of the time) never hearing from them again. No two auditions are the same - ever - even if the same casting director is involved.

Sometimes they make you stand in a leotard (rare - unless you're a dancer).

Sometimes you have to improvise with another actor, or mime complicated scenes with no props or reference points.

And most of the time you have to do this to camera which is very unnatural.

As soon as I'm scheduled for an audition, I always assume that I've got the job. I know, it's weird. So it always comes as a surprise when I don't...The thing is, you only hear back if you do get the job. If you didn't, you're left to figure it out for yourself. I usually accept that I didn't get it when I see the ad on telly or the film being advertised. Then I discover who got the part I'd auditioned for and they usually look COMPLETELY different to me. And the cycle repeats itself.

Which brings me to the rummiest of auditions which I had yesterday. (Sorry, you've caught me in a Jeeves and Wooster moment.)

This was for a VERY BIG telecoms brand.

It was around the corner from where I live but I'd given myself plenty of time to find it (I'm a pro, me! Never be late, always arrive cool and collected and EARLY.)

This was a good thing because I must have stood outside the building for a good 5 minutes trying to find a way into it. (This included rattling locked doors and an aborted call to my agent.) Then I spotted the tiny doorbell.

Went in, was ushered through a large storage space (which 2 people were treating as an office), and down some industrial stairs into another storage space cum photo studio. It was very dimly lit. But there was a well appointed kitchen in a corner.

A young guy professing to know nothing about the project (but who presumably had been sent by the casting company) wrote my name on a piece of paper before handing it to me so I could fill out the form on the back of it. For some unknown reason (unknown to him as well as the rest of the universe) he had used a white board felt pen. It's 24 hours later and I'm still high from the fumes.

Anyway, I filled out the form and then after watching two very mumsy actresses having their pictures taken, it was my turn.

I had to face a light box, pretend I was sitting at a computer whilst the photographer took pictures of me in profile with various facial expressions (it was me making the faces, not him - in case you wondered.)

He took 4 shots. Maybe 5. And then that was it.

I raced back up the stairs, whilst another mumsy actress was ushered in, and then had to be let out because I couldn't figure out the childproof lock on the door.

This time, I really don't think I made the shortlist.

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