Actors Get In Line

I woke up on Thursday morning to find this email in my inbox. It was sent at midnight on Wednesday:

“Hi Cranky,
I’m an undergraduate student shooting a short for my Columbia filmclass with Julie Wolfer. She recommended you to me personally. My project is about a reclusive former film star and her relationship with her guilt-ridden son. I’d love for you to be in it. Would you be interested and available this Friday? It’s such late notice but if so, I’d be happy to send you the script right away.
Thanks for considering this on short notice. Hope to be in touch soon.

It is Thursday morning at nine am when I am reading this. My first instinct is to say no. I mean I am Cranky, and it is nine am.

I’m wondering why anyone would wait this late to cast something they are shooting TOMORROW. Maybe the actress dropped out? That happens. So I decide to be a good egg and all and answer immediately:
At 9:00 am on Thursday morning I write:

Hi Michelle,
Do you mean tomorrow? How long is the script?
I think I can do it. Send me the script, OK?

So I wait for a reply. Nothing at 10. Nothing at 11. Nothing at 12. Nothing at 1.
I kinda need to know what I am doing tomorrow. And the window of opportunity for actually studying the script is closing, as I will be busy from three o’clock on today. So now I start obsessing about something I didn’t want to do in the first place.
I go to the computer at 1:45pm and write:

Hi Again,
Could you call me when you get this so I know if we are on for tomorrow?
Thanks so much,

At 2pm I get a called from a wimpy girl saying, “Ah um, oh hi, ah, actually I found someone. But now I need to find a guy to play the son. So I might not be able to film tomorrow. If I don’t find someone to play the son today to shoot tomorrow are you available the day after tomorrow if I have to do that?”

There are so many todays and tomorrows I am thoroughly confused.

She emailed me at midnight saying how she would LOVE for me to do it. I answered her at 9am. So what does this mean? Are there actresses poised at their computers between midnight and 9am ready to reply to casting inquiries? The answer would be YES. How many actresses got the “I’d LOVE for you to be in it” email? Why would you love us? Because we are breathing?
The “role goes to the fastest” situations are too weird. The worst example of this was when I went to an EPA for a theater out in the Hamptons. The bus from the train station was full of actors going to the same place. When we disembarked from the bus, everyone realized that we were all going to sign in and audition in that order. So they started to run. It was an ACTOR STAMPEDE down the main street of Sag Harbor. I’m not kidding. What did that look like to the residents of the town? People dressed up in city clothes, guys in jackets and women in heels and character shoes full out stampeding down Main Street. It was sooooo embarrassing. My friend and I refused to run. She has since dropped out of acting. We had to wait like two and a half hours to go in because we didn’t join in the panic jog.

Actors feel like they are always waiting on lines and sometimes get so used to being ill treated that if you like offer them a glass of water and a place to sit at an audition it is very appreciated.

I used to get my headshots done at a place on 14th Street, which has since gone out of business. It was uncomfortable and not nice. And there was always a huge line that was right there as soon as you got off the elevator.
The guy who worked the counter had a drinking problem and somehow kept his job. Maybe they figured he was good enough to wait on actors. I don’t know. Anyway, he was an evil drunken southern queen.

One day I am waiting on a line to pick up headshots and the evil queen sees me. He yells out the most offensive thing he could possibly say to me and laughs. I just turned on my heels and left. I was done. He came out from behind the counter and chased me into the hallway and said, “Oh, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry! Come back. I didn’t mean that.”

So I went back in with him. I did need to pickup the headshots. What else was I gonna do? I turned to him and said, “LOOK, I GET MY BALLS BUSTED ALL OVER TOWN. I DON’T WANT MY BALLS BUSTED WHEN I’M PAYING FOR PICTURES!”

Another actor on line immediately turned to me and said, “Wow! You actually have any balls left?”

2 Responses to “Actors Get In Line”

  1. 1 TheManInTheYellowHat May 29, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    I hope this student film thing didn’t go anywhere. Sounds like a mess. I mean, really…”I found someone.”? What did she do – put out 10 offers, just to be sure and get a yes?

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