Archive for the 'auditions' Category

The Stupidest Casting Email Ever

Got an email the other day that was pretty out there.

Here it is:
“Hello Thank you for the prompt response, all information is currently being processed.”

Hello? You have only said a few words and I already hate you. “My information is being processed?” Why do you sound like the auto-response I get from JCrew when I place an order? More familiar with online shopping than with casting perhaps?

“The last few successful applicants will be responded to in the next couple of days, with an invite to the auditions.”

Ok, now it sounds like some sweepstakes or something. “The last few successful applicants?” All this needs is a “SO ACT NOW” at the end of it. So very Publisher’s Clearing House.

“If you would like to contact me personally, or maybe have a discussion about anything regarding the film, auditions etc, I am always about on Ind-E-Focus.”

Ah, no, I really DON’T want to contact you personally. Why would I want to contact you PERSONALLY? I know NOTHING about this film. What project are you talking about? Does it have a name?

“As I mentioned in my original casting call, I am using Ind-E-Focus to keep an online account of all cast and crew applicants, it is a lot easier for me to keep all of your details here and respond to you instantly.”

Ah, easy for you. What about me? IS IT EASY FOR ME? And what is so instant about it? I think email is pretty instant. And whatever you “mentioned” I don’t remember. I don’t remember reading anybody’s casting call. No one does. We hit “reply” and send our info into cyberspace and forget about it. If we did remember all of them we would have to be rainman like. And why would I be interested in how you are keeping track of all the “applicants”?

“I will look out for you on Ind-E-Focus, any doubts of my whereabouts, check my profile page under my username: LaylaQ”

No, I have no doubts about your WHEREABOUTS, only your IQ LaylaQ. Am I am sitting around wondering where Layla is? Is she at the supermarket? Is she online shopping at JCrew? I wonder where she is?

“There you may personal message me and send across your details. I have created a post in the message boards titled System Defect, but it has now been locked, however, so keep checking this post.”

Great idea. I have nothing else to do. I will definitely keep checking it until it is unlocked. Right. No problem. I am already loving how “instant” this all is. Great idea sending everyone to a message board that is locked. That is so original. I’m sure your project is going to be SUPER ORGANIZED when in production.

“I will be informing everyone when the audition process is finalized and the applicants have all been chosen.
Best of Luck

Best of Luck? No, no, best of luck to you in producing a film.

And really, luck? What is this the lottery? Are all our names on little balls and are they are spinning in some cage somewhere and the winners are gonna pop out or something?

Once again, actors want to be contacted with an audition time and place. The end. Whatever happens in between is your business.

I Can Write, But I Can’t Write A Cover Letter

For some reason I have always reacted badly to requests for a cover letter when submitting my headshot/resume for a project. “Write a cover letter stating why you would like to work on this project and tell us something about yourself.” I would always stare and stare at this request and mentally freeze up. Then I would try to think of what I would HONESTLY say. Um ah, um ah,,.. How about:

Dear Filmmaker:
I would like this role because I really wanna role. You have a role. I need a role. Sounds like we are perfect for each other.

No, no, no… How about:

Dear Filmmaker:
It is three o’clock in the afternoon and I haven’t left my house yet. The only thing I accomplished today is I trimmed my dog’s toe hairs. Oh, oh, and I got food delivered. It would be so nice to have something to do. Like your film for instance.
Waiting to hear from you,


No, I don’t think so. What can I say?

Dear Filmmaker:
The three-word description of the plot of your film gave me chills. I was so inspired. Let’s put this inspiration on film.

With enthusiasm,

That sucked. Um ah, or:

Dear Filmmaker:
I’m a really good actress. I am also a good person. And my friends think I am funny. My husband also used to think I was funny. It took him seventeen years to get bored and I’m sure we will finish this film quicker than that.

Laughing out loud,

I never could get myself to send a cover letter. And now that I have seen cover letters that other actors wrote I know why. Here are some examples:

#1 – This one is really priceless. I’m pretty funny. But, I could never, never, never make this up:

Dear Filmmaker:
I believe I could show the tenderness and eroticism of the passion of the relationship as well as the fierceness of the violence of the character. During my many classes the subject of the duality of man was always a factor. People generally try to hide their feelings out of fear of rejection, and inside us all we have the animalistic forces of nature that we must battle to keep hidden – when we lose control all that we have bottled up will explode, the heat of the passion of the moment is careless to the regrets such actions will create. Through my Meiser training I have learnt to affect my co-star through a variety of emotions. Unfortunately, I haven’t been lucky enough to be in any plays or films. Now that I am one of the many unemployed I have all the time in the world to dedicate myself to this craft I love so much.

Way to go Henry. You haven’t been lucky enough to BE in any films. Nice. Sell yourself by telling them you’ve done zip so far and are a member of the mass unemployed. And misspell the name of your method – Meisner, my dear, MEISNER.

#2 – This is new. Very new. A genius name-dropping technique:

Dear Filmmaker:
I studied drama at Kenyon College. Kenyon College alums include Paul Newman, Allison Janney, Josh Radner and Jay Cocks.

#3-Must be a friend of Henry’s:

Dear Filmmaker:

I am interested in this film and would love to be a part of it. I don’t have a lot of experience, but I hope to change that.

#4-Proofreading really does help in life:

Dear Filmmaker:
Would love to audition for a role in Rain Puddle. I long to do a Horror or Horror/Fantasy film. Have been a major fan since I was a (really) young.

A really young what? Puppy?

#5-So interested he says it twice, well three times:

Dear Filmmaker:
think your film sounds very interesting.
I am very interested in this feature, sounds very exciting and challenging. I would love to be a part of it.
I would love to be part of this film, it sounds really cool!

#6-Another marketing revolution:

Dear Filmmaker:

I know how to act in front of the camera both on HD and also on 16mm real film, so I have had the experience of both takes.

I didn’t know there are special acting techniques for HD vs. film. And a “take” is the filming of a scene.

#7-Once again proofreading is important:

Dear Filmmaker:
I’m an Actor as well as a Singer/Songwriter so maybe a Director out there may want a Song wrote for their Film or someone to Sing in their Film and if so you can contact me here in personal message…

Not sure if this is who they would hire if they wanted a song wrote. If you read the above in a Southern/Appalachian accent it sounds better, hope he is a Country/Western singer.

#8-Unintentional potty humor:

Dear Filmmaker:
I will bring that darkness in emotion, the transition between innocent love and raw desire. That’s what I have to offer.

Everything that comes out of me is real. If you think this is something you want, let me know.

#9-Needs to go to

Dear Filmmaker:

A little about myself – I’m an actor and classically trained singer (though have fun with all genres of music!) currently based in London. I speak French and Spanish, have an EU passport, and love to travel. I have recently been getting into more film work, though theatre will always be exciting and invigorating to me. Aside from acting/singing, I love reading books, drinking coffee, people watching, and having a good night out dancing.
I look forward to meeting you soon!

Forget about and acting job. Someone should snap this guy up and marry him.

#10-I’m at a loss for words:

Dear Filmmaker:
im not sure what i need to put here
the only acting experience i have is drama throughout high school
and the plays i cowrote in yr 11 and 12
but i hope im still given achance even with my lack of experience


#11-Also new. Auditions as credits:

Dear Filmmaker:

I am just starting to look for work as an actress as I’ve not long left college so have a lot of experience, though not professional at the moment. I do have a couple of auditions lined up though.


#12-Also a creative approach: astrology as a selling point:

Dear Filmmaker:
I take myself and what I bring to a production quite seriously. Anything less makes the production less, and we cannot have that! As for what I can bring to this character, the only truly accurate way is to sum up my personality via my sign, the scorpio: determined, forceful, emotional, intuitive, passionate, magnetic, compulsive, obsessive, secretive.


All of the above proves that there is NOTHING logical or sensible to say in a cover letter about an acting job. It may seem like I am making fun of the people who wrote these letters, but really I sympathize with them. And admire them for trying, because whenever a cover letter was required, Cranky couldn’t do it. Knew she couldn’t do it and never even tried.
We need a movement to stamp out the cover letter. Asking actors to do this is considered cruel.
Watch my reel, read my resume, look at my picture. The end. If you wanna see if I can act, ask me to read. Do not ask me to tell you why you should hire me.

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.

How Long Is This Audition?

Got another classic email invitation for an audition yesterday
He wrote:

Hi there,
Here are the details for your audition from 3.30-5pm tomorrow. Please excuse the round robin.
I’ve mentioned that I want people to prepare a short [around a minute] ideally comic piece, I don’t mind what it is – but is should be a piece you enjoy doing! And not too long!
If you could also bring a copy of your headshot and resume that would be great [and a yoga mat if you have one to hand, the floor is stone so we may use them to save our knees].
I am so excited by the quality of the submissions and the sessions should be really fun, banish any nervousness and just come play!
Any questions please shoot me an email otherwise I’ll see you tomorrow.

I have no idea what he means by “round robin”. The only “round robin” I know about is the one on Tuesday nights at my gym when I go to play squash with a bunch of other people and we switch around. Round Robin? And my appointment is from 3:30pm UNTIL 5pm? Huh? And I am expected to spend an hour and a half at an initial audition? Wrong. At union calls, if you are kept over a certain amount of time they have to PAY YOU. He refers to a piece I enjoy doing? Oh, oh, oh, OK. Great idea. Oh wow. I was gonna do one that I HATE. This will really be something different. Thanks for that brilliant idea. But even if I am “enjoying” it, he makes sure its NOT TOO LONG, saving himself from the extra 60 seconds of boredom in case it totally sucks. Also, he too many exclamation points always seem like the product of a warped mind to me. I find them scary.
Bring a yoga mat for our knees? To save us from the stone floor? What are we going to be doing? Begging for the role? And I love that this bomb is in parentheses. You’ll be kneeling on the floor- but don’t think about that! What is he talking about? Don’t you think a little explanation is in order? What if I went wearing the plaid straight skirt that I have to hold my breath in and we’re expected to jump around or something? Or sit down? “Banish any nervousness?” I wasn’t nervous until I read this email.

Once again this proves the fact that any idiot can “put on a show.” And the sucky reality that people think actors will do anything for a chance at a role. Believe me, I know working is important. But I also think it’s important to have LIMITS. If I went I would not be happy with myself. I would feel like a moron. And I don’t think I would click artistically with this type of person. You know, a stupid one.

The email showed the names of all the actors he was inviting to this round robin of on your knees on the stone floor waste half a day audition. So I hit reply all and sent the below email to him and all the actors on the list:

Hi Chad,
Thanks for inviting me and all.
Sorry to say I won’t be there.
The Midtown Festival is great. I had a play in it ,and it was all very well run.
I’m not morally comfortable with asking actors to invest an hour and a half for an initial audition. So even though it sounds like an awesome project – I must do what I think is right.

Once again, I feel like the Norma Rae of the acting world. I can just see the rally – CRANKY ACTRESSES UNITE –everyone in their high-heel boots and tons of Mac mascara and everything.

Cranky Actress Hates This Week

I think maybe this week there is someone with a doll that looks like me and they are sticking pins in it or something. Really, I’m not emotionally equipped for life sometimes.

It started with an audition yesterday where the director and the casting director stood me up. I got dressed, put make-up on, got on the subway and went to the appointed time and place and nothing, nobody. WTF? The room was empty with chairs piled against the wall. I waited 20 minutes and got back on the train and went home. Sent a what’s up email and got the following response the next day:

I’m terribly sorry. There was a missunderstanding with the times and place. We were indeed holding auditions at that time but in a different building.
It was our fault and I apologize.

Ah, yea – misunderstanding was MISSpelt And, ah, your misunderstanding with “the times” – would that be the newspaper? Stu goes to one of the most expensive, most prestigious film school’s in the U.S.
The bad thing about these people is that I have to deal with them. The good thing is, they make me feel like a fucking genius.

Then, we’re trying to get everything together for taxes and my marriage becomes a game of: WHOSE FAULT IS IT? There is nothing like going back over all the stupid things you spent money on the past year to make you totally depressed. I have to go into the computer and assign categories to everything. It’s making me feel guilty. My emotional state is making me make mistakes. A few times when I’m supposed to write in dining I actually wrote SIN. I’m not kidding. I wrote SIN as a category. Which was exactly how I felt.

Then the kitchen sink water started backing up into the bathtub and my husband didn’t like taking a shower amongst the floating lettuce.

I wanted to avoid dealing with the sink. I mean, you gotta understand. I call our apartment building “1800’s House.” We have about the same amenities here as they had in 1800. The decor of the lobby in our building can only be described as “Early Mental Hospital.” And we have the obligatory Yugoslavian super who sleeps late and doesn’t want to be bothered. I’ve been thinking of writing a book about him. I’m gonna call it: “The Super Wore Sandals.”
Anyone shuffling around in sandals with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth is not up for any heavy labor.

So due to my husband’s complaining about the lettuce in the shower situation, I got brave and talked to Mr. Sandals about it. I asked him if he had one of those snake things and I make a twirling gesture to be sure I’m being understood. He says, “NO, NO. I BE BRING CHEMICAL.”

So he goes to the basement and comes back with this scary looking bottle of brown stuff. I think the label said PIPE BOMB and it had a lot of Xs and poison warnings on it. He puts PIPE BOMB down the drain. Two minutes later my doorbell rings. The marginally catatonic guy who lives downstairs strolls right into my apartment when I open the door and mumbles with his head hanging down, “I guess you know about the leak downstairs.” “WHAT! WHAT LEAK? LEAK?” I say.

“Ah, there’s water pouring out through my light fixture in the bathroom,” he mumbles. “OH MY GOD!! OH MY GOD!” I run screaming into the bathroom to tell the super.

Skip to the end, I spent the day with a jackhammer tearing up my bathroom floor. THIS IS WHY I WANTED TO AVOID THE REPAIR. In 1800’s House every repair leads to new damage.

When the floor has been completely dug up I see the pipes. They are definitely from another century. There was more gunk inside than there was pipe. The drain pipe had a million little holes along the bottom where PIPE BOMB had done its job. It looked like an archeological excavation. Then the dust started spreading. And spreading.

Since Cranky likes to stay home as much as possible, Cranky takes great care of the house. Seriously. Anybody from “Elle Décor” wants to drop by and take some pictures, my apartment is camera ready.

So I started whining to Mr. Sandals and he looks at me and says, “NO, NO. CRANKY YOU BE GET NEW FLOOR!” This is true. I have wanted a new bathroom floor for like 10 years. But in 1800’s House you don’t get any extras. Mr. Sandals so understands me. He knew exactly how to cheer me up, and make me see the bright side of the massive hole in my bathroom floor. So I forgive him for be bringing chemical.

My Acting Career Has Hit a New Low

Got a really choice email yesterday. Things better pick up soon. That’s all I can say. Thus is the sad state of affairs in my acting work. This is a new low, even for Cranky.

Dear Cranky:
My name is Gino Insultinga, and I am the writer/director of the project “Stewey Stoney.”

The reason I’m e-mailing is because I’m following up on your request to audition for the role of “Honey.” I wasn’t sure you were exactly right for the role of Honey, However, I thought you had a great look and were right for another character.
It is a picture that essentially drives the main character’s story forward.

I would love for you to consider coming in to a photo-shoot, and posing for a photograph for our film. The main character is being played by the actor Tom McManus, who has appeared recently opposite Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

Also he would be featured in the photograph with you.

Our director of photography who will be shooting the picture is named Bobby Burra. Please feel free to view his reel at: ________________
Thank you ,

So I am playing, no HANGING, opposite an actor who recently played opposite someone famous. How does this help me? Can I put “played a picture hanging in a room with an actor who once played opposite Philip Seymour Hoffman” on my resume? Is this the first step on the staircase to fame? It seems a bit more than six degrees of separation. What is the degree of separation between living people and inanimate objects on the success scale? Isi is possible that when people see the film, they are all gonna say, “Wow, that was a great film. But the actress who played the picture, SHE WAS REALLY GREAT!” Is there a chance I will get discovered playing an inanimate object?

And telling me about the DP? Why would I care? He is the director of MOVING PHOTOGRAPHY. And not only would I not be SPEAKING in the film, I ah, won’t be MOVING either. This is beyond the old axiom that there are no small roles, only small actors. That is something some director made up to get an actor to accept some demoralizing one liner. Or a role as a photograph.

John-Paul Dunderhead is at it Again.

Ah, John-Paul is at it again. Just got 4 emails. All I needed to know was the time, the place, and attach the script thank you.

But no, John-Paul gave me so much more. His trip to California. His inability to convert a document. His family problems.
Here is the trail of communication:

Dear Cranky,
Thank you for you interest in auditioning for the role of BRIAN’S MOTHER. I have scheduled you for the 4:00 pm time slot this Friday. The auditions will be held in NYC and will last fifteen minutes. I will be sending your character’s portion of the script tomorrow. I am sorry for the delay, but I have to convert the script’s format into a readable doc file. Feel free to read from the scene of your choice.
If there are any problems with the time I have selected, please notify me immediately so changes can be made. It will be difficult to change the schedule, but I will try to work it out.
Larry Schmoe, the project’s producer, will be sending you further information, such as, the address of the location where auditions will be held.
We look forward to meeting you Friday.
John-Paul Dunderhead

Very personal, as I can see the 14 OTHER PEOPLE he sent it to. Still hasn’t learned how to do the BCC? And when I get the script, it is one page, one scene. Scene of my choice?
What kind of person takes 24 hours to convert a document into a different format?

Dear Cranky,
Here is the Mother’s scene. It is in a PDF file format because I was unable to convert it into a Word Document. . You are welcome to give a brief monologue of your own.
Larry Schmoe (producer) will be contacting you today with the address of the location where the audition will be held in NYC.
Sorry for the late reply. I had to go to California for a couple days for a family thing and just got back last night. I am creating the auditions schedule today and will send it out tonight along with the script. I have taken all desired scheduling times into consideration and will get back to you shortly. Thank you for your patients.
John-Paul Dunderhead

“PATIENTS?” “PATIENTS?” What? Huh? All the actors in hospital gowns I’ve been sending you? “Thank you for your patients?” Is English this guys first language? I know I seem harsh, but this is someone in a MASTERS program.
I am tempted to go in and do the courtroom monologue from “Nell”. The Jodie Foster movie. For those of you who missed it, “Nell” is unable to speak properly. She makes incomprehensible noises and gestures a lot. Should I do it?
I will scream, “NOOOAH CRYAAAAH FUUUU NEEELLL! NOOOO CRYAAAH FOOAH NEEEEEL! while gesticulating wildly and acting spastic. What if I went on for like 10 minutes and was completely unintelligible? Would they keep a straight face? I’m sure they will have “patients” with me.

Here is some dialogue from the scene John-Paul sent me: “Brian had a ruff day yesterday. He was turned down from another job.” Was he BARKING all day? How do you get turned down “FROM” a job? Maybe the building expels you?
Should I go tomorrow? Depends on whether I am having a ruff day.

Keep Your Gizzard Neck, Thank You

Just got a really great email asking me to audition for a project. This is not a joke. I swear. This is real. Verbatim.
Get a load of this:

Dear Cranky:
My name is John-Paul Dunderhead. I am the director of the untitled television comedy pilot that is being produced through Fire on the Roof Productions My producer and I recently reviewed your submission for the role of Bubba’s Mother and would like to have you audition, if you are still interested. We are holding auditions in NYC on Friday, March 13th, from noon until 5 p.m.
Also, I am requesting that actors auditioning for the role of the mother give the role of the Boo’s Grandmother consideration. I believe that the character of the Grandmother to be more interesting and will fun to play. Also, the Grandmother has many more reoccurring scenes in other episodes we are writing. Because of the age gap between Boo’s Grandmother and Bubba’s Mother, I have found a talented make-up artist who will be willing to make the transformation. I am aware that you did not ask for this role, but please give it consideration and let me know whether or not you are interested.
Thank you for your consideration and we hope to hear from you soon.

This is wrong on so many levels. Who the hell are Bubba and Boo and how are they related to each other?
Thinking it’s a good idea to have an actress play someone born an eon before them, is ridiculous. Kate Winslet can pull it off for FIVE MINUTES at the end of a movie. A big Hollywood movie, with like ten-hour makeup sessions. But if she had to play the old lady in the movie from beginning to end, we’d want to shoot ourselves, and her. The whole time the audience would be totally distracted. They’d be asking themselves; “Why didn’t they get an old lady actress to play an old lady?”
John sounds like he belongs in the era of Mickey Rooney playing a Japanese man in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” by having funny teeth and squinting his eyes. Or else John has done too many high school plays where high school seniors spray white in their hair and put on “Our Town.”

No John. What actress who has just started playing boring Mom’s wants to jump into playing the next generation? I’m sure you could find actresses between the ages of 100 and 110 willing to START transitioning into grandma roles.
And trying to convince us by telling us we will get more screen time wearing a chicken-like gizzard neck is not gonna help. Oh, NO THANK YOU.

Callback Spooks Me Out

Had a callback today. It was for a voice over.

For the audition all I had to do was read sides into the computer. I have no idea how this works or anything. But who cares? I got to audition in my purple velour lounge outfit. In bed. Cranky likes that. Pretty much audition heaven. No people, no waiting, no traveling, no outfit, no makeup. If I could have been watching reality TV at the same time it would have been perfect.

So the mysterious recording on the internets got me a callback. It was at a postproduction house in Soho. Full of trendoids wearing funky glasses and talking about yoga class.

When I arrived there was a sign in sheet and a sign that said, “Please take a seat and wait.”

I sit. I wait. I feel like I’m waiting for an eternity. What makes it seem like an eternity is that there are two people at desks across from me, and about eleven people walk by, but not one of them will make eye contact with me.

It’s so weird. It’s as if they all had a meeting earlier in the day and decided together, “Look, actors are really needy. If you start in with them who knows what will happen. Let’s make a pact not to make eye contact with them when they come in later. Not even once!” And they don’t.

When another actress comes in and enters the void with me, she instinctively wants to break through it. She gets up and goes to one of the people at the desks and asks a question. Before she is through she gets the hand. “I know nothing about it!” the person says. Proving my theory that they indeed did have that meeting.

When the actress sits back down she starts biting her nails the poor thing.

No wonder actors are paranoid.

Commercial Casting Method For Film Casting?

Had the weirdest day yesterday. Had to go to a freelance gig in the morning and then a film audition in the afternoon. Cranky had to get up at 7am. Cranky is used to sleeping ‘til 8. Oh oh.

Actually left on time. But there was a set back when the line at Starbucks in Penn Station was out the door and into the station. Of course, I stood on it anyway, because even though they serve coffee at the freelance place, Cranky cannot drink just any coffee. What they serve my Italian mother used to call “dishwater.”

So ran down 8th Avenue with a Venti Starbucks that kept splashing out of the lid and kept trying to pass the man in front of me who was walking in a serpentine pattern who had a cigarette hanging out of his mouth, while texting on his phone and walking at the same time. A poster boy for New York City. “Why do I have to share the sidewalk with this guy? Pick a lane Dude.” I thought.

Finally pass him and get there on time. Was delighted when I arrived to receive multiple compliments on my new haircut. Cranky mood improves considerably. This is big for me. You have to understand, that along with the search for happiness, stability, and the meaning of life, the life long quest for the perfect hairdo has been foremost on the life to do list. Something I thought I might never achieve. The curse of having two heads of Irish/Italian hair on one scalp. Way way too much hair that most haridressers are not equipped to deal with. Cranky has been to celebrity hairdressers even. Didn’t help. There have been times when people asked me what I’ve been doing lately and I’ve answered with, “Growing out my last bad haircut.”
When I go to lunch at a Greek diner with a friend and co-worker after freelance workshop, the minute we sit down, a platinum blond lesbian who is on her way out bends over and whispers in my ear in a deep husky voice, “I have to tell you, you’re a very attractive woman.” Then five minutes later, a lone man on his way out passes by our table and says, “ I’ve been staring at you. You have the most amazing eyes.” He is apparently gay also, which gives the compliment even more clout in my book. We are in Chelsea after all. Now I’m thinking of sending my hairdresser a bonus check. When we get the check I stand up and yell in a Brooklyn accent (for effect), “EXCUSE ME! BEFORE I LEAVE DOES ANYBODY ELSE WANNA GIVE ME A COMPLIMENT?” Only kidding. Only kidding. It was a fluke. And the universe sent it before I went to the audition so I wouldn’t like jump in the Hudson when it was over.

I have to walk to the meatpacking district in my high heel boots, which are not cobblestone friendly. I find the place, and it is a super trendy modern frenetic commercial casting house. Three irritated people are manning the front desk. They are throwing actors against a wall and snapping pictures, which are simultaneously spewing out of a printer. Everyone in the Meatpacking District thinks they are better than everyone else in Manhattan.

This place has a totally different vibe from the quiet serious film auditions I usually go to. They have written the sides on a board with magic marker. You have to use those and not hold the script. Huh?

The Polaroids and the board sides are what they do in commercial auditions when you have three idiotic lines.

I go in there, and they have me stand like a mannequin and read with another actress. They want us to cheat out and not face each other. Everything feels wrong wrong wrong. I’m used to a reader, a chair, and a script in my hand. I let it all throw me, and I pretty much suck.

To make matters worse, I have kinda learned the lines, and the actress I’m reading with said she hasn’t even had a chance to read it, so she improvises all over the place and I am trying to follow her and say lines from the script which in retrospect was stupid on my part. It was BAAAAD. But you get these results from a crap set up. It is the standard to audition actors separately with a reader so they are not depending on what the other auditioner is doing or not doing. I could not do my work. I couldn’t wait to get out of there. I hobble out into the cobblestone street and back to subway. When I reach home, I have to lie on the couch and watch “Wife Swap” reruns to recover.

Certainly a come down after the Greek diner, huh?


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March 2023

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