Friday, 15 April 2011

Total Recall

So I got a recall! (See previous entry for the full story.) A RECALL! In the acting world, getting a recall (or call back) is exciting: it's concrete feedback that you did something right at the first audition and that the casting director/advertising agency/client liked you. It's a marvellous feeling. Even better than getting pencilled (which for those of you who've just joined or those who simply weren't paying attention.... you at the back... is a term that means you're on standby for the job but with no guarantees that you'll actually get it.)

But the excitement is short lived. Soon you have to face up to reality: a recall means a second audition, for the same part, but this time against some tougher competition (because all those other people who are being recalled are 'good' and were 'liked'.) Then there's the thought that you're one step closer to getting the gig which generates a fair bit of 'oh please don't let me mess this one up' nervous tension. When I get nervous, I go into preparation overdrive.

So I made sure to eat sensibly the night before. (Pasta and other carb heavy dinners give me a moon face the next morning which is not a good look on camera.) I made sure to get a good night sleep (by wearing a heavy duty industrial noise cancelling headset), and set the alarm so that I'd have plenty of time to get ready without having to rush. I also laid out the same outfit I'd worn at the first audition because why mess with the juju?

I have a tendency to exist in a parallel Universe which answers to an entirely different set of laws (which he refers to as 'bug logic' the origins of which I will explain some other time). For example, in my universe, a recall always takes place at the same location as the original audition, whereas in the real world, it doesn't. But I had the presence of mind to check before leaving the house and thus avoided a crisis. See, preparation is the mother of all success. The casting studio (for the regulars among you) was the one where I had my fit of pique with the red marker over the misspelling of my name the other week. It was uncharacteristically empty but I knew I was in the right place: I recognised the nice fellow and one of the two attractive but uptight brunettes from the first audition. The nice fellow was called in first which was a shame because he'd been regaling me with some more hilarious accounts of his long suffering agent. Also it left me alone with her.

Even though I didn't like her (What can I say? She irked me.) I thought I should make conversation to keep things chilled. Big mistake.

Me to the brunette: "I see you've got your lucky shoes on again." I'd commented on her rather nice beige suede open toe high heel sandals at our first meeting. 

Brunette: "Yes..."

And then she did something that really put me off, she repeated the exact same thing she'd said to me about those shoes the day before yesterday.  How could she not remember telling me this? I remembered her and her stupid conversation, and her silly shoes that she was "still breaking in"... so how about some reciprocity you selfish cow? (I know that I have a keen - some would say OTT - sense of observation and a prodigious memory for all things trivial but that is no excuse.) But wait, it gets better. Next,  I asked her a question and she didn't register it. She just carried on talking. Make of it what you will (I did) but it was just me and her in this big room and no one else, and she just kept going with her monologue. She was obviously on a one ticket round the world self-absorption trip with no room for anyone else's baggage.

It only made me more determined to get the commercial, if nothing else so that she wouldn't.
Then it was her turn to go in. Then she came out and it was my turn. She wished me "good luck" and I did the same, even though neither one of us meant it.

So how did it go? Honestly, I couldn't tell you. A bit like the first time: it went OK. Not brilliant, not crap. Hey, whatever it was got me to the recall. Fingers crossed it works its magic again...


DeeLynn said...

Ah, Isabelle..the sweet feeling of anticipation. I will keep my fingers crossed for you as well, hoping your next blog will be all about your excitement after getting the part!

Deborah Lawrenson said...

GO Isabelle!
Really enjoying these posts. I think I may have wanted to be an actress in another life - one in which I was confident, attractive and talented, of course...

Claire Vorster said...

Think if you see her again, take a copy of Vogue, so you can be absorbed and unavailable for her monologue.

Hope you get it!


Elizabeth Young said...

Oh Isabelle, you are just too funny! You articulate so well what other people THINK. Incidentally, I hate it when I ask a question and someone ignores me like I never asked, or conversely if I am speaking and the other person jumps into my sentence and cuts me off mid sentence to talk about something completely different. Some people don't seem to realise this is bad manners.

Anonymous said...

Isabelle, You must have very high self esteem, for I couldn't take what you're going through with the auditions, the wait and see, but especially the rejections. If it were me, I'd have to selected for every part that I audition for or I'd simply cave.

So I'm wishing you the very best, can't wait to hear what happens next! :)

Em-Musing said...

Funny post. I SO get what you're talking about. In another life I did on-camera, now just voiceovers. The call-backs were tough, but I never socialized with other talent. I kept my mojo to keep me focused, and two...I was hoping it would make me look more confident. Probably though, I looked like a stuck up snob. Good luck!

MuMuGB said...

Good luck Isabelle. I just can't believe what you are going through...When I was at university (classes prepa in France), a total recall was something different: it meant that you were the feisty, rebellious one...Maybe that's what you are!!!

Anonymous said...

It's been so fun following your progress...I can't wait to find out what happens!!!

isabelle gregson said...

Thank you all for your kind words of support. Let's see what happens!
@deborah: acting is about finding the freedom to perform that one usually only obtains whilst singing in the bath with the shampoo bottle as a microphone
@Claire: good thought although I fear I might be tempted to use the latest copy of Vogue as a weapon.
@Elizabeth: have you thought about writing a book on British Etiquette - I think it could be great fun!
@monica: I think it's sheer pigheadedness that keeps me going!!
@MuMuGB: class prepa is hardcore. Chapeau to you!