Ok, today was “work on my craft day”. I was motivated after a mediocre audition. Ugh. I know I can do better but when you’re encircled by critical eyes, bright light shining on you and the camera is rolling, everything I learned about cold reads went out the window. Out the window. I’m stumbling over the lines, I’m not reacting when the reader is reading his lines. I moved too much, I tried too hard, and kept my eyes down on the page. Why? Cuz I was nervous! As much as I want to be an actress and I strive for it, I still get nervous. I get stage fright. And to think, I thought I was better than these guys. The thing was, I’ve been to this exact audition before, with the same people at the same place for the same role. But the last time, I didn’t audition. I walked out because I knew that they had no idea what they were doing.
I walk in the audition, and basically it’s one big room. A bunch of girls are waiting in these fold out chairs. There’s fruit, snacks, and water bottles spread out on a table. And the people running the show are stalling. No camera is set up, no light is set up, not enough copies of the script are out either. There were about 30 girls auditioning at the same time. There were no time slots but first come first serve. And since it’s all one big room, we get to watch each other’s audition. Ugh. Here’s another thing, I was up for a spunky Asian lesbian girl role. There were three other people in that room up for this role. And the rest, 25 something other white girls up for the white lesbian role. But the guy running the show said that they were going to see the girls for the other role first because there were more of them. Really? Why not see my role first since there are less of us??!! Not only that but it was supposed to start at 1:30pm, but the guy says, “oh we’re giving you girls more time, so we’re going to start at 2:30pm.” really?? So, I come in at 1:30pm and am expected to wait until god knows when for my 5-minute audition?? Really? I left by 1:50pm. NOT WORTH IT. I remember thinking to myself, if they were to do this shit in Los Angeles, they would be eaten alive!
So, I walked out and didn’t think I would hear from them ever again. But I did. A few weeks later, I get another request to audition. But this time they put on the audition note, that each audition were to take 5 minutes and that we were expected to come in for our given time. WOW! They knew they were dumb and improved a full 180. I walked into my audition today and was satisfied with the set up. Yes, it was the same big room, but they had a divider to section off the waiting room and the actual audition room. The camera was on, the lights were set, and it was as professional as I would expect it to be. The only thing that was off was that they didn’t ask me to slate. Instead, they asked me what I liked about the character I was up for. I said I liked how she was spunky and Asian (ugh could I be any more racist?) and that I could relate to her because I’m Asian.
Alright, so it was a humbling experience today because here I was thinking I was better than they were. I’ve been to so many auditions that I knew how to set up one when they didn’t. But when they fixed their error, they leveled the playing field. And then it was my turn to show them what I had. So much pressure! First off, nowhere in the character’s description said that she was Asian. I only assumed because I only saw Asian girls up for the role. Nevertheless, to highlight such a thing totally contradicts what I’ve said and thought about Asian roles in the media (my views on Asian roles will be in the next post). Second, I didn’t know the lines very well and kept reading off the page. When I didn’t read off the script, I was stumbling over the lines. When I was reacting, I reacted too much and went off my mark. Blegh.
With such a bad audition, I came home to record myself auditioning. I recorded myself reading monologues and doing speeches to just see what other people see. It was hard to watch because I’m my biggest critic and I cringe to see my face on the screen. I have fat cheeks. Normally I would immediately delete the videos but I’m keeping them to keep track of my progress. These in a sense are the before shots. I’m going to practice and record myself for each practice so that I can see what I need to work on (such as stillness, enunciation, reaction, cold reads) and to actually see if I improve on them or not. I must and will work on my craft. I have big dreams but it’s nothing without the work ethic. And no more sucky auditions!