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Directors Who Talk Talk Taaaaaalk Too Much

Had an audition yesterday that took a looooong time. I felt bad because I knew the actress after me had an appointment to make. I was in there over half an hour. Most of the time it was the director talking. I don’t know what he was talking about.

“Well, the script we sent you is not in the actual film we are filming. That script is from the longer full version. We are filming the short six-minute version. But later we will be filming a full version. Maybe you should read a scene that is actually in the film,” he says. “Well then why did you send it to me and why did I memorize it? I THINK. But, “Whatever you want to do,” is what I SAY.

He looks through a pile of sides and finds the one that he wants. I have never seen it before. He slides it across the table and asks me to read it. Out loud. No preparation. No idea what the next line might be about. Like acting is some kind of dog trick. And I’m reading with his assistant who looks like a Sylvia Plath wannabe with major social awkwardness issues who reads so fast I cannot understand, follow or respond to her. With hair hanging in her face to complete the picture. What rock did these people crawl out from under?

And then he talks and talks and talks some more.

I start wondering if he planned the whole switch the script routine to see how actors would respond. If I gave a crap, I would be concerned, because if I can spend a little time with a script I can do something with it. But I act totally affable about the whole thing which shows Cranky really can ACT.

The whole cluelessness of the situation was making Cranky tired and I just wanted to leave now.

The director has this look on his face like, “YES, finally, I am in charge” as he talks and talks and talks.” He is never gonna zip it ever again. His megalomania has been under wraps for a long time and has found an outlet in DIRECTOR. There is no stopping it. He is sucking all the air out of the room. I am not there as actress, but as his audience.

He continues, “How about you read another character?” And proceeds to tell me HER whole life story. Including names, and I kept getting her husband’s name and her son’s name mixed up when he was talking, so the story made no sense. It was something about a little league game and a dinner. It went on and on and on. And once again my acting skills come into play because I am able to look totally interested and engaged and COMPREHENDING the whole time. A little nod of the head here, a little thoughtful look there. Then he hands me the script and this character says TWO WORDS. I am not kidding,TWO WORDS. After the twenty-minute build up with the little league and all.

This is what happens when a director is high on his project. Nice for him, but does not help me. My little actress animal self just wants what’s in the script and how it will affect her. My actress animal does not want to listen to someone who loves to hear himself talk and talk and talk and talk.

Directors who talk too much make my eyes glaze over. I’m an intuitive actor. I need a feeling, not a diatribe. The diatribe kills it. I want to find out what the script does to me and no director can tell me that. They can help you mold and hone what you find hopefully.

The thing when the director wants to sit down and spend days going over the script line by line discussing what each word means is death to me. I have no idea what anything means until I do it, say it, AM it. It also really makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up when another actor starts talking about the meaning/significance of one of MY lines.

But that’s what those sit down with the script and analyze it sessions lead to. People feel they have to say something. Something intelligent sounding. GAG ME GAG ME. I never feel compelled to say anything if a director does this. I once had to do it for two days. I just wanted it to be over, so I figured the less I contributed the sooner it would end.

“It seems like you’re shutting down,” a director said to me during the torture analysis. Shutting down? “No, no I’m trying to wipe everything out of my mind the minute it is said, so it won’t screw up my rehearsal process,” I thought. But I didn’t say that. I smiled and said, “Oh?” like I was surprised and didn’t mean it.

The teacher I love always says, “Find out what happens to you.” Well nothing much is happening if we’re gonna intellectualize the play and every word in it.

Cranky is an intelligent person but not an intellectual actor. Cranky uses animal brain not intelligent brain to act. I can read a script and find the clues. I’m a writer. Good directors can say the exact few words I need to hear and can like make me cry. “Good directors” being the ones who work the way Cranky likes to work, of course.

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3 Responses to “Directors Who Talk Talk Taaaaaalk Too Much”


  1. 1 moira June 5, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    hey cranky, really enjoy your blog
    see you soon.

  2. 2 KMS April 20, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    That was hilarious and absolutely frustrating. Seriously, you need to learn to walk out of auditions like this. Don’t worry, you will absolutely not be doing your career any harm because doofuses like that NEVER get anywhere and besides, no one person can ever make or break you.

  3. 3 Lonni April 15, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    Makes me think of Fosse and “All That Jazz”. I love Fosse, I’ll watch The Cell Block Tango like it’s an anger management cure, but that movie BLEW. It was like Bob said “Forget the plot, OK? I want to talk about ME right now.”


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