Archive for October, 2009

The Absolutely Dreadful Audition

Got the below email from a fledgling director:

“From: Adam Drysin
Subject: Penny Dreadful Audition
Date: Oct 16, 2009, at 7:35 PM EDT

Hi everyone, thank you all so much for your enthusiastic response! Due to the sheer volume of actors interested (over 150 of you have already confirmed), I’ll have to send out a mass email.”

Dopey dopier dopiest – like I care how many people responded? Is there a difference between a laconic response and an enthusiastic one? Can you feel a vibe when you look at a submission-“Hmmmm this feels enthusiastic!”  Seriously?  If you asked any of the sheer volume of actors if they were enthusiastic about your project the most common answer would probably be; “Ah I dunno.  The guy sounds kind of lamo but I’m not doing anything else,  so what the hell.”

“Unfortunately, if you are unable to make it between 2 and 6 on this upcoming WEDS 10/21 I am currently unable to accommodate you. However, I will be looking to schedule a make up date in the coming weeks.”

Huh? So you WILL be able to accommodate me?

“If you have responded that you would like to come on Wednesday at a specific time, be assured that I have made a note of it and you will be seen before you have to leave.”

But not when you ARRIVE at your chosen time?

“Your presence is not unappreciated and everyone who comes to audition will be seen. I only ask that you be patient, since I am pretty much putting this whole thing together by myself.”

And I should care why? Thanks for warning me that you’re unprofessional and have no friends.

“Attached you’ll find a side to prepare- it’s a scene from David Mamet’s play Boston Marriage. I find I have the best results with casting calls when actors reading material I haven’t written.”


“Looking forward to meeting you all, don’t hesitate to call or email me with any questions.

Adam Drysin

P.S. ALSO, please watch this video, it will give you a good sense of I do auditions…

(just kidding, but you should all watch it anyway because it’s great)”

Appropriate for facebook but for a casting email? Not so much.

OK, so after reading this email Cranky should have known better. Cranky should have skipped it. I shoulda stayed home. But no, Cranky went anyway. This is when I could use the actor HOTLINE.  I needed someone to tell me; “JUST SAY NO!”  But I went.   And of course it was a big mess. A green room full of actors where no one left. The NO EXIT of audition rooms.

So Cranky and another actress took matters into their own hands – we had a minor rebellion. We were free. For all I know those actors are still in there. Waiting waiting.

The story of what we found is in the email below that I wrote to Mr. Drysin the moment I got home.

“From: crankyactress
Date: October 21, 2009 5:40:19 PM EDT

Dear Adam –

I unfortunately attended the ABSOLUTELY DREADFUL PENNY DREADFUL AUDITION and waited and waited. I had to listen to two actresses talking to each other across the room about how they flushed their cell phone down the toilet and why they only did one year of the two-year conservatory program they were in. One of the stories involving bronchitis and mononucleosis and how she was told not to attend school with bronchitis but if she didn’t attend she would fail. Why why why do boring loud people always talk to each other ACROSS the room? So thanks for that Adam. I have a million things to do but I traveled to the village to sit in a plastic chair and listen to drivel.

There were ten actors waiting to be seen for your project. When another actress and I realized that the monitor had not called any one in for over fifteen minutes we decided we needed to figure out WHAT THE HELL WAS GOING ON. So we left the green room and searched the halls until we found the audition room. There was music coming from inside. We were not auditioning for a musical. We knocked on the door. There you and the monitor were. Listening to music. Having snacks.

You’ve gotta be fucking kidding me.

When we asked, you said, “Ah, um, ah we were changing the tape.” In a video camera. Which takes all of two minutes. There is a myth that actors are stupid. You obviously believe this MYTH. So by then, with ten actors there and each audition taking approximately five minutes each, I would have had to wait about an hour. Nice.

You said you had a “big turnout”. The amount of actors who responded is of no concern to me. If you choose to audition 150 actors for a short film I suggest you figure out an organized way to do it or maybe narrow it down by half. Asking 150 actors to come between 2 and 6 is preposterous.

So bye bye Adam. We left.

If you can’t organize an audition what is your film set gonna be like? Time management is a huge part of being a good director. I know because I’ve worked with a lot of them. A lot of talented EXPERIENCED people who would never THINK of treating other people this way. I’ve heard NYU costs like 40,000 bucks a year. I suggest you take this money and open a small business and get someone organized to run it. You obviously have no respect for actors. And good actors are gonna walk away.

I have been in the First Run Festival. I’ve been in films that have been in festivals all over the world. I do my work. I prepare. I’m on time. I fix my fucking hair and put on makeup. I take my work seriously. I am continually working on my craft.

Do I wanna work with a JOKER? The answer would be no.



He Married An Actress

Cranky is going away today. Cranky doesn’t like traveling. Cranky likes to stay home. Except for work. Because work means making money and making money trumps everything. But traveling for fun? It’s not fun. I’m going because my husband has to go and I am keeping him company.

When he first asked me I said I didn’t wanna go. Then he convinced me that it would be nice for him, so I said I would go. Then the date got closer and I realized I would actually have to get on a plane and stay in a hotel and leave my home. So I told my husband I didn’t want to go. I started running around the house petting the walls to express how I felt. “I LOVE HOME. HOME GOOD. HOME NICE. STAY HOME. CRANKY LOVE HOME!” All this while petting the walls of our apartment and hugging the doorjamb to the kitchen. “But you said you would go and I bought you a ticket!” he said. “Oh” I said. So I once again agreed to go. Then a few days later I was tense and whiny on the phone about everything I had to do before we go and my husband said, “You still want to go don’t you?” “I already said I would go. I’m going,” I said. Then I hung up the phone and thought, “Wait a minute. That sounded suspicious. Is he trying to make me stay home? Does he want to go alone? Does he want to get away from me? Is he trying to make me say I won’t go?” So I called him up and asked him why he didn’t want me to go. “I do, I do, I want you to go,” he said. “I thought you didn’t want me to go. Why did you ask me if I still wanted to go when I already said I would go?” I said.   And on and on…

These are the times I feel a little sorry for my husband that he married an actress. I think the definition of the above interchange is called histrionics or herstrionics as the case may be. But I feel sorry for him only rarely. Because being a homebody/home lover also means I cook and decorate. Any magazine wants to stop by and take a picture of my apartment I’m ready anytime. We have summer curtains, winter curtains, summer throw pillows, winter throw pillows and a summer slipcover for the couch. I just switched everything. How could I leave now? And even though I perform I am actually an introvert who likes to stick close to home.

My husband found this French movie, “I Married An Actress”. He got this funny look on his face when he told me about it. Like he’s discovered some support group he’d been searching for all his life. Like he wasn’t the only one. Like Ah-Hah See!! Actress/wives are a handful. We watched it and all her crying in the rain and running out of the house seemed pretty normal to me, and oddly enough her husband was a cerebral type just like mine. The type that needs herstrionics to keep him in touch with his emotional side. To make sure he remembers there is an emotional side to life. Which is what good art theater can do I think and maybe a good actress/wife.

Recently my husband got mad at me. I was being crazy hyper about getting somewhere on time. I was like pushing him down the street. (He has only one speed. Snail.) And he got mad at me. So I apologized. “I’m sorry”, I said. “Do you forgive me?”   “Not yet”, he said. “Well, when are you going to forgive me?” I said. He answered, “I’ll forgive you after I’ve seen a pattern of normalcy.” Good luck with that.