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A Tale of Three Castings

What a week and a half!

I had three (kind of bizarre) auditions, rehearsals, a performance, two urgent clinic visits, and still managed to fit in my usual hours pushing paper at the office. But I think the best thing about this past week was finding myself in random and odd situations with new people. This is what I have missed the most over the last few years of sitting at the same desk with the same people day after day. That feeling that something interesting could happen at any moment that might change your life forever or send you down an exciting and fruitful path… or at least give you a new experience.

The Skype Audition

So Friday before last, I had my first Skype audition. It’s… apparently a thing these days. The convenience of not having to travel somewhere or miss work was nice, but I can’t say that I looooooooved the experience. Firstly, I feel I come across a lot better in person. Secondly, there’s no distance between you and the director. Like, when you look up from the side you’re reading… there’s his face, inches in front of you, staring at you and judging you. Thirdly, I had to lock Jane and Edward out of my studio setup, which naturally ended in them trying to break down the door like a gang of velociraptors during the audition. But all things considered, I felt I did an okay job reading for Dorothy Burlingham, American heiress and partner to Anna Freud!

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Backlit Skype Set-up

The Commercial Audition

My second audition this week came as quite a surprise. I ended up being called in for a commercial casting–something I didn’t think I’d have to deal for awhile yet. I attended quite a few commercial castings back in New York, and I was pretty systematically… not great… in all of the auditions. It’s just so different from being on stage! I find it almost impossible not to move my body or project my voice or express things with my face–ya know, also known as acting!

I received the script for this casting during my other performance on Wednesday night, so I spent Thursday morning before the audition frantically trying to memorise some nonsensical lines about a gaming console (whatever that is).

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(Photo cred NY Times)

The studio was sooooo London and sooooo different from New York. Although near the hustle and bustle of Oxford Circus, the office was located down this old twisty and turn-y unlikely alley. The receptionist took some pictures of my face, and I sat down on a plush couch to wait with my fellow victims. The atmosphere/dynamic felt much more positive than it had in New York. I remember NYC as a sea of scowling faces nervously waiting in brightly lit hallways of hell and doom with really mean receptionists and casting directors snapping instructions and making vulnerable actors feel idiotic. But here, the other actors tentatively smiled at me and the casting director was super kind and gentle.

I still sucked.

The Garden Audition

Finally, I auditioned for an all-female production of Othello on Saturday morning. This audition took place in garden at the back of haunted Victorian mansion. For whatever reason.

As I was being led back to the garden/possibly to the scene of my murder, I made a really good first impression by blurting out, ‘HI KITTEN!!!!’ to a black cat asleep on the back porch. The back porch that, besides the catto, was filled with a wide array of curiosities including several mannequins and a giant stuffed pigeon head.

Once in the (massive) garden, I was instructedΒ  to wait for my turn. So, naturally, I sat down at a table with a random dude apparently unaffiliated with any of the theatrical proceedings. He was busy rolling a joint and waiting for the girl (a resident of the haunted mansion, I presume) he’d slept with the night before to wake up. We got to talking about life, as you do, and I suddenly felt an awful lot like I was in some sort of Don Draper scenario.

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When it came time to do my thing, I regret to say that I wasn’t at peak performance around the ashes of a dormant bonfire with bugs landing on my face and found art objects bearing down on me like an army of distractions.

It was a brilliant opportunity to do Edmund’s ‘bastards’ speech from King Lear, and I feel like I blew it a bit. So, I shall endeavour to redeem myself (in my own eyes) slightly by taping a better version of the performance for you in the near future!

Anyway, it was all a great start to getting back in saddle. I expect to hit a lull next week, but it will be a nice break to just manage my usual schedule and let some antibiotics work their magic. As for the near NEAR future, I am sooooo looking forward to putting my feet up for a well-earned Poldark viewing this evening.

I’ll be back soon with a Romeo-recap and perhaps some Edmund! In the meantime, best of luck to you all in the week ahead.

xWeekes

22 thoughts on “A Tale of Three Castings Leave a comment

  1. Aaaah, Mad Men! Providing quality images for every blogging occasion! But that’s missing the point – congrats on your flurry of auditions! And I’m sure you’re just being modest about how they went… Although it sounds like they were even worth it just for the experience. You couldn’t make up that garden audition story πŸ˜‚ Hope this week is a little less frantic, and that those antibiotics are working their magic!

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    • Ahhh good ol’ Mad Men! I initially wanted to use a picture from the ‘twins casting’ hallway, but alas my Googling skills weren’t good enough to find me what I wanted! And thank you! Blugh, not so modest – I can usually sense right away if I’ve gotten something. Ah well, now to play the waiting game while continuing to submit. I hope your week is off to a chill but productive start!

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      • Well I did waste a whole heap of morning creating an ideal headphone shape, only to find on closer inspection that the ones I was copying were not only totally different, but simpler. Does that count? πŸ˜† Still, it was nice to be working away with the window open and the smell of sweet pea flowers wafting in… Maybe I’m finally getting used to this “summer” malarkey. Have a great week, Weekes! I hope you win that waiting game! πŸ˜€

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      • Not a waste! You’re just ambitious! It was a warm-up act! Haha sounds like a lovely morning though. I can’t say that the scents wafting into the bus windows this morning were quite as pleasing as sweet pea…. I’m nearly ready for some Christmas cheer over here!

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  2. Hopefully one or more of these auditions will pan out. Good luck! BTW: Although it might have been a distraction for you, the image of your kitties ripping at the door like a rabble of ‘raptors during your Skype audition made me chuckle.:)

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  3. The introvert in me is shuddering in a corner thinking about all those auditions. But seriously, I don’t think I could handle a Skype audition. I mean if I’m going to make a fool out of myself, I want to damn well do it in front of the people who are gong to ridicule me. And, um, that whole waiting for the garden audition thing…I think that WAS the audition (hidden cameras). Either that or your recent illnesses have done something to affect your perception of reality because, really that whole setup sounds like a very very creepy dream.

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    • I mean, the Skype situation was truly awkward – especially as I was supposed to be acting against a character reading lines on the video… I just like couldn’t really wrap my head around it haha! And perhaps I did make the garden up. Like, who was that strange old man who came out on the porch in his wife-beater at one point and watered the plants? Not real probably.

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      • I’m betting there’s going to be a new Netflix series coming out soon…Scenes from a Creepy Garden. You were probably part of the pilot episode and we’ll learn sometime in season 2 that the plant watering man is really some covert agent undermining everything, and that cat you said Hi to…..the agent for good and you totally blew his cover. And really, I can’t even hold a conversation on Skype, an audition that way is just cruel.

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      • It’s all part of the plot! You think you’ve been rejected but really you’re the new agent for good (having blown the cat’s cover, since that’s how secret agents get their jobs, right?). Man, I’m really looking forward to this show now πŸ˜„πŸ˜†πŸ˜„

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  4. What an adventure, Weekes! I had no idea that auditions could differ so much. I can see how a Skype audition would be weird and face-y, and I would be a little curious about the found art objects garden scenario, too. I would totally be distracted/fascinated by all that stuff (was the pigeon a prop?). I’m so glad to read that the auditions brought a sense of newness and possibility (yay!). It sounds like you’re creating lots of positive momentum and I wish you lots more!!

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    • No two seem to be the same! I guess the giant pigeon head was a prop? For a really really terrifying production!! Thanks for reading, Shirley … I do feel there is some positive momentum in the right direction, fingers crossed! πŸ™‚

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