Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Other Side of the Table


Published 3/8/2014


Oh that’s right, I do have a blog. I really don’t understand people who blog every day. Either they don’t have jobs or they’re the robots who generate those loathsome, indecipherable captchas. Anywo, I’d like to say that I haven’t been writing as much because I’ve been acting, or taking meetings about other things I’ve written but alas, that is not the case. Work, job/apartment hunting and trying to figure out how much paperwork I need to file for a small business have been taking up all of my time.

So about acting: today I helped a friend judge auditions for his dance company and O.M.G! Being on the other side of the table was a mind blowing experience. Granted, a dance audition and an acting one are two different beasts, but the general concept is the same. I have to say, for the few hours that I held a modicum of power over the careers of other people, I learned a lot. I actually have a little sympathy for casting directors now because WHAT THE EFFING EFF?!! That’s what I wanted to yell at some of the people we saw. Is this what CDs have to put up with every day? No wonder they don’t smile.  I spent most of the day being amazed by the talented dancers and equally flabbergasted by the other “dancers” who just need help with life.

Fellow actors and anyone else who plans to attend an audition of any kind: these are things you should not do. You would think this stuff would be common sense but, umm, nope!

HEADSHOTS:

Guys- why are your hands under you chin? Are you five years old? Are you a cartoon puppy? No? Then cut that shit out! Why are you doing a “character” shot where you’re dressed as a fireman? Is this a selfie? Did you print this on regular paper? Is there something really distracting in the background? Maybe these are good ideas? Wait… nope! They’re not good ideas. Don’t do this stuff please!

LYING ON YOUR RESUME:

Oh did you say you’ve had 12 years of ballet training but you don’t know the difference between a tendu and a degage?  Do you think maybe you can just fake your way through speaking Czech or riding side-saddle? Did you say you could do a front handspring when you really meant one-handed cartwheel? Saying you can do these things might get you in the room but you will only waste everyone’s time, make yourself look really, really dumb and also, piss off the CDs who will expect to see a flame thrower if you said you were in fact a flame thrower. Don’t lie.

BEING A COCKY ASSHOLE:

Don’t do it. Be confident, yes. Be yourself, definitely, but don’t be ridiculous. The overly confident never know the sides, or in this case the steps, and if they do, they are so, so very sloppy. You can’t coast through your “audition life” by freestyling, or improv if you’re an actor. I would suggest having a plan. That plan is being prepared. Know your lines- just a suggestion.

So those are some of the things you shouldn’t do. I have to say that my casting experience was totally worth it for the conspiratorial asides with my fellow CDs, the privilege of seeing a couple awesome male dancers (When men are good at ballet they are GREAT), and the over the top “jazz faces” that a couple of the girls were giving us. If you’ve never seen a jazz face, you’re really missing out.  Anywho, casting is fun ya’ll.

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