Archive for June, 2010

Help! I’m Stuck In An Audition And I Can’t Get Out!

So after missing an audition I decide to turn over a new leaf. I will go to everything. I will not be judgmental.  I will have a good attitude. Well, that was my first mistake.

So when I get a call to go to an audition my attitude is so “good” I ignore all the usual warning signs. I am so into “getting out there” that I let it go that the audition is in an apartment building. Never a good sign. If they can’t fork over fifteen bucks an hours for a studio, fuck them. And when I ask, I am told, “Oh there are no sides. We are going to improvise.” Hmmmm. Again questionable.

But the new positive Cranky is looking on the bright side and ignores all this. The new positive Cranky is giving everybody the benefit of a doubt. The new positive Cranky says; “Sure!”   And I head uptown to 15 Central Park West for the audition.

Probably the fancy address helped to quell my fears. The presence of that many doormen somehow makes the possibility that I am going to see a psycho killer at home highly unlikely.

When I get there I CANNOT believe the lobby. It has a pre-war feeling and pre-war dimensions, and yet it is new. I ask the doorman about it and he tells me the building cost one billion dollars to build. “They used the same stone that was used to build the Empire State Building. They wanted a building that would fit in with the rest of Central Park West. Not like that ugly glass building next store that Trump built.” Its true this building is elegant. The Trump one next door doesn’t cut it. But if you‘ve ever watched “The Apprentice” and seen the inside of Donald Trump’s apartment, this is understandable. He has terrible taste the poor thing. I think his home décor style is called “Early Hotel Lobby.”

So I enjoy the walk through the lobby. I pass through the corridor that goes through the walled formal gardens. I go up on a spotless elevator. What the hell kind of independent filmmaker lives here? I wonder. What kind? The rich kid who lives with their parents kind.

I find this out when I enter the room.  It is a conference room that is available to tenants. I have to ask who lives here. “Oh, me and my parents,” answers the director.

So she explains the film to me. In it a woman gets followed home by some guy who then pushes her in the door and shoots her. I now realize I never got a script BECAUSE THERE IS NONE. She’s gonna improvise the entire film. I am not hot on that. You can usually tell by the quality of the dialogue when it is all improvised. And as a writer I always think things would be better if somebody wrote something.

So there is no script. The director then says we are going to improvise. She wants me to walk around the room like someone is following me.  Huh?  Walk around the room?  At this point I’m sure she must realize what I am thinking because I am absolutely sure I have a self-diagnosed condition called FACIAL EXPRESSION TURRETS. I can’t help myself really. Every emotion just passes over my face without me having a say in it. It is great for acting, but sucky in life.

This is when I need a strategy to get myself out of the room. A sure fire way to get out of there. But I AM STUCK IN THE AUDITION AND I CAN’T GET OUT. I may need a “Lifeline” device to hang around my neck with a button I can press to summon help.

She wants me to walk around the room? Which basically means circling the fucking conference table whilst looking over my shoulder. I mean you expect this kind of retarded shit at a commercial audition, but at one for a film?  No.

But I can’t get out of the room, so I do it. I avoid making any expression at all. I am not gonna do the Laura Dern in ”Jurassic Park” look. I feel like an idiot. I am circling a table. At one point I stop as if I am at a traffic light. My method training is surfacing willy-nilly. When I finish she says, “Oh, we didn’t want you to stop. WOULD YOU MIND DOING IT AGAIN?” Please Dear God Please God get me out of here. So again I am circling circling.

The feast de resistance comes when she tells me to now make believe that I open the door, some guy pushes me in, and then he shoots me. The only thing is, THERE IS NO GUY. Do I look like frigging Marcel Marceau? Can I push myself through a doorway? Can I shoot myself?

That’s it. So I look at the assistant director and ask if he can be the guy who pushes me in the door and shoots me. He looks real embarrassed. He’s embarrassed? I just circled a conference table for ten minutes!

They look at me like I’ve got some balls. When in reality, if I had balls I would have left fifteen minutes ago.

He blushes through the whole thing, which makes me superbly happy.

When I leave, I sit in the beautiful garden with the fountain that so looks like the afterlife. It is quiet there. Not an idiot in sight. I regain my composure. I decide to walk across Central Park even though there is a light drizzle. Again, I am alone. With the trees. With the plants. It is very quiet. I feel all right. I know Cranky will live to act another day.

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A Cranky Confession

Cranky hasn’t written in AGES. AGES AGES. First, there was absolutely nothing going on in Cranky’s life. No auditions. No nothing. Then I got busy and had no time. Well maybe there was time. Maybe if I could stop watching “Real Housewives” (WATCH THEM FIGHT! WATCH THEM SHOP!) there might have been time.

So I will pick up life after the great hard drive crash of 2010. A little story that is so embarrassing I told my friend that I was too embarrassed to blog about it. “But your blog is anonymous!” she said. “I know,” I answered, “and I’m still too embarrassed to write about it.”

It all started when I got my computer back up and running and received three thousand emails at once. I did my best to weed through all the Smart Bargains and horoscope messages and find anything I needed to know.

I came across one with the subject: Audition. “Audition! I thought, “Audition? When? Thursday. Thursday? TODAY is Thursday!” I gulped my tea down and ran to get dressed. I stared into my closet in a daze trying to figure out what to wear. I came up with a salmon colored cardigan over a white shirt and a pair of jeans and beige flats. I felt smart. I felt springy. I ran to the subway with a smart spring in my step. The F train takes forever. All the trains are going in the other direction. COME ON! COME ON! I decide that if I am late I will not apologize for being late because it only calls attention to the fact that you are late. Finally a train comes and I jump on the last car, which I know will let me off by the First Avenue staircase.

At the station I bound up the staircase and run down the street. I find the address. There are three doors into the theater building. I try the first one-it is locked. The second – the same. The third – ah also locked. Huh? I go back and try the first. The second. The third. “How late am I?” I think. So I look at the printed email. Oh yes I am late. A WEEK LATE. The audition was LAST THURSDAY. The smart the spring? They’re all gone. I imagine someone from the theater seeing me and thinking that I am a mental case.

I need a cappuccino ASAP. I find a nice place that allows dogs, (only in the East Village) and I pet every dog that walks in for therapy.   It’s the best place to people watch. I realize the East Village is one of the only places in the world with octogenarian hipsters. My favorite of the day is the man with the grey ponytail who walks in with a cane covered in a mosaic of little mirrors.

The benches in front of the café are lined with people looking like a row of pigeons catching the sun.

Another octogenarian hipster comes in. He has the de rigueur grey ponytail. He is wearing faded overalls and a knit cap. He has an athletic physique. His body has an alertness, a quickness. I picture him standing and working on big canvasses. He does not go to the counter. He goes straight to a table and whips out a thermos of coffee and a book. A THERMOS. He’s not buying nothing. And because this is the East Village and he probably goes there every day, nobody says nothing. It’s so nice to be off the capitalist grid for a moment. I feel better now. At the rate I am going it’s nice to know there is a possibility of being an interesting octogenarian. Going to auditions a week late is not going to make any big success out of me any time soon. I should start collecting the requisite turquoise jewelry now.