Monday, June 1, 2009

My Post-Apocalyptic Audition

Look at the photo above. It's a still frame of a video shot of me yesterday, as I was auditioning for an independent feature film.

Now, by looking at my face, does it look like I am

A. Falling asleep.
B. Receiving fellatio.
C. Getting stoned.
D. Dying a painful, hideous death in a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles where everything I ingest causes horrific infections: food, water, air, etc.

If I were not the person who had actually auditioned, among the multiple choice answers, I would choose B.

Yesterday, I was told that the character I was auditioning for, was literally minutes from death, a grueling, torturous death, his body plagued by all sorts of insidious infections. He is lying on the floor, begging his brother to take him to a hospital (but there ARE no hospitals, because they are in a post-apocalyptic L.A.)

I was told to lie on the floor, use my messenger bag as a pillow, and say to my invisible brother, "Hey, I need a hospital. Why aren't you taking me to a hospital? It hurts so bad, why aren't you taking me? No. I'm not gonna die. You can't let me die..."

I was told to portray a dread and fear and fragility and pain that shows how close I am to death.

Oh boy. This one's gonna be tough, I thought.

I have had some tough auditions in the past. I have auditioned for plays written by Shakespeare, Brecht, Strindberg, Moliere... I have auditioned in Milan Italy, doing a monologue from Chekhov's The Seagull, in ITALIAN (molto difficile)... I have even auditioned for Miss Saigon on Broadway, despite the fact that I am a mediocre singer at best.

But this audition yesterday took the cake.

A DEATH SCENE, on the floor, in a Hollywood casting studio, with a video camera pointed at my face. One minute I was trying to find parking, the next I was on the floor, dying.

I realized yesterday how hard it is to authentically act like I'm dying. I trembled, I winced, I closed my eyes and withstood the relentless pain...I thought I pulled it off rather well, given the circumstances (having to die on-cue, with no real knowledge of who the character is).

Well, maybe I didn't do it rather well after all...

The casting office sent me an e-mail with a link to my audition, in which I could watch the video. I didn't watch it, because I would have had to pay an annual membership of $59.99, and I don't know if in the next year, I'll be auditioning there enough to merit paying 60 bucks to watch my audition videos. I certainly didn't think it was worth 60 bucks just to watch one, 5-minute audition, so I had to settle for just seeing a still frame of me in the audition video, in which, to my chagrin, I did not look like I was about to die, but rather, I looked like I was

A. Falling asleep.
B. Receiving fellatio.
C. Getting stoned.

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