It seems I left a rather important audition cycle off the blog, so I thought I'd get to it!
Yes, I have recently auditioned for, gotten called back for, booked, and filmed my very first commercial. Everybody say "goddamn!" I have no idea why I said that... I think for some reason I was thinking of Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction saying "I said goddamn." and it sounded really cool, in my head... but anyway...
So, two Tuesdays ago I had an audition. National commercial, good pay, and an interesting audition note: they wanted us to come prepared to tell a story from our youth (first kiss, getting in trouble, that sorta thing). So off I went, chauffered by my hubby, to give it a go. The casting call mentioned that we should look like we were attending a casual family party and that we could be a little "hip." Armed with that info, I donned jeans-tucked-into-boots (that should really be a single item of clothing, shouldn't it?) and a cute tunic-like top and left the colored hair strip hang out (I usually hide it).
The audition was fun. We were gathered into faux family units and sent in in groups of 5 or 6 people. We stood in a line and smiled for the camera, then each got a turn telling our story. And that was that. The only real difference from the previous auditions was that when I walked out and got into the car I said to hubby, "I want to get a callback for this one, dammit!" I don't know, I just felt like after a few auditions, I was over my "new girl/I'm just in it for the learning/it's all experience/blah blah blah" status and I suddenly felt ambitious.
By the time Thursday rolled around, I figured callbacks must have already been announced, and I was okay with that. But lo and behold, at 5pm I got a call - they needed me the following morning. Woo hoo!
Once again, put on the "hip" outfit and hitched a ride on the Thunes bus (that sounds dirty) to SF. This time they asked us to bring pictures of ourselves from high school or college and be prepared to tell another story. Again, we were grouped into "families," and again we went in and stood in a line and took turns telling our tales. When my turn came, I was more nervous than I expected -- my voice sounded rather breathless and strangled (at least to me), but I thought I pulled through and at least the people behind the monitor were smiling at me, which was promising.
This time, we also did a kind of mock dinner table conversation where we took turns rotating our circle of people so that we'd each get time on camera while we just chatted with one another. It was clear to me, from early on, that this was less about our "performance" and more about how well we listened to the other people, reacted, and showed that we cared, and I tried to make sure I delivered in this regard. This time, when I got into the car I said, "hubby, I really want to get this one!"
So, long story short: around 6pm that evening I got an email that simply stated: "Congratulations, you booked the job." This was an extremely gratifying moment alright. Just a little over 2 months with my agent, in which time I only had 2 print go-sees and 2 commercial auditions, and on the third audition I booked the frickin' job!!! I am hereby officially patting myself on the back and celebrating this small success (may it be a harbinger of greater things to come).
In hindsight, it's interesting to note a couple of things:
1. This time I felt like I was more me when I went in there. I wore Georgia clothes; I let the dyed hair show... I mean, I realize there will be times when when wearing khakis and pinning back the hair will be the right thing, but in this instance, I felt like it served me well to fly my own freak flag. (Admittedly, my freak flag is very small and not all that freaky.)
2. This was the first time I excitedly told other people about the audition and openly expressed my desire to get the job, regardless of the fact that this could entail public, as well as private, disappointment. I guess I could glean that there is something to be said for positive mental energy and declaring one's intentions, but I also don't want to suggest that this will get me cast every time. :)
Regardless of the hows or whys, this was the all-important first time -- the time that proved that it was possible. Of course, I also think I sound like a gambler who hit one jackpot and now needs to keep going back, and yeah: that's a pretty close analogy to trying to get acting work... so be it.
Tune in next time to hear how the shoot went... for now it's off to eat more French food!