Archive for the 'film' Category

Last Day of the Webisodes

Cranky had her last day of shooting the webisodes last week. I can’t believe we made it though all eight episodes. Amazing. Everyday there were grumbles among the crew about leaving. The sound guy said he couldn’t make the last day. Early on, one of the producers kept telling the crew to stick it out. Then she decided to actually show up on set and work with the production. She lasted two days, then she split.

Then the last day was pushed up by five days. Nothing was ready. There was stuff to be built. Wardrobe to pull. I got an email from the wardrobe person that used the word HAVOC. I had been scheduled to work that day and since money trumps webisodes, I had to go to work. So the whole day had to be shifted for a later call time – 5pm. Oh oh. We know what that means, an all-nighter. Cranky becomes non compos mentis after 1am. That’s it. I’m done. I’m either laughing or sleeping. Speaking of sleeping, one day on the set I was doing a scene that takes place in a spa bed. And Cranky actually fell asleep between takes. I swear. I woke up to hear the word “ACTION!” It was very surreal. And Cranky remembered her lines! Another webisode miracle.

So I show up on set and set pieces are in the process of being built on the sidewalk. The makeup and hair people have total pusses on. When my hair is being done it is completely fried by the hair lady who keeps it in the curling iron like FOREVER. But the puss makes Cranky afraid to say anything. Curl, fry, smoke, curl, fry, smoke, curl, fry, smoke, over and over to my poor hair. Which means I will have to get an extra, unscheduled haircut to undo the damage.

We have about three days worth of work to do in one day, or night I should say. But it is webisode world, and the producer got the space for free, and this is the day we got it, so it is do or die. The space is a regular sound stage and we needed a place to shoot scenes that take place on the set of a soap opera. Cranky is playing a soap star. They actually made a mock magazine cover with my face on it. I know it’s stupid, but it is still on my coffee table. Like maybe it is true and not just a prop.

All my first scenes of the day take place in a hospital bed. Hospitals are big on soap operas where there is always a crisis or a shooting. Or a coma. One of the crew lends me his Soduku book so I have something to do for the hours in the hospital bed. Of course, as an actress, I hate the fact that I have practically no makeup on because I am in a hospital. I was in a hospital once. I put on makeup EVERDAY. And earrings. And a velvet robe. I told them that, but they said that it was not normal. Really? Cranky is not normal? So I got no makeup.

Then around 1am it was time to get ready for the wedding scene. Cranky is the fucking bride. I kid you not. I am sure that by this hour Cranky looks like Miss Havisham in a white veil. And both dress choices are strapless and I have to figure out a way to keep my breasts from getting out of control and spilling out everywhere. And Cranky has always said no one over forty should wear a strapless dress. And here I am being FILMED in one. But the wardrobe person tells me we are lucky to have ANYTHING. FOR NO MONEY.
So in the words of Tim Gunn I have to make it work. I keep trying to get the veil to cover my armpits. At this point a Burka/veil would be much appreciated.

I go downstairs to the room that they have been furiously decorating for the wedding scene. There are like forty extras in the scene. The first time we run the scene I am walked down the aisle by a man and all the extras stand. And I can’t believe this faux wedding brings tears to Cranky’s eyes. Seriously, how lame. Cranky is crying at her own fake soap opera wedding. Because Cranky never had a wedding and right now Cranky thinks her husband hates her. So I am thinking, “Don’t cry. Don’t cry. You stupid idiot! Don’t Cry!” I try thinking about the latest episode of “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” It takes three takes to stop the tears from happening on the walk down the aisle.

Then I realize that I know the story line, and that my fellow actors the forty extras DON’T. So they don’t know that when I do the soap opera scenes I am doing kind of over the top bad acting. Oh no!! So between Takes I am on the stage by the priest and I stop everything. I say; “EXCUSE ME! I HAVE TO MAKE AN ANNOUNCEMENT! I AM NOT A BAD ACTRESS. I JUST PLAY ONE ON TV.”

I couldn’t help myself-or my ego couldn’t help itself.

So the working on the webisodes is over now. And it was a big pain in the ass. And like every actress I am so sad that it is over and I miss it like crazy.

Not Another Student Film!

Cranky is doing her eight hundredth graduate school film this weekend. I figured graduate school – its gotta be good. They use Bob Giraldi’s DP and sound guy. I got the lead part. Sounds OK. Right?


“Oh yes. We have a producer and a wardrobe person and hair and makeup,” the director said. Love that. Love when they are taking care of the actors. I had great expectations.

Until the wardrobe person actually called. Four days before the shoot. Completely unintelligible.

The phone rings.

“Ah, hello. Is this Cwankery?” says the voice on the phone.

“Um, this is CRANKY,” I say.

“Oh, yes Cwankery this is Naohagalaga. You playing housekeeper. I need to get uniform,” she says.

“I’m not playing the housekeeper”, I say.

“No director say you need a uniform,” she says, “Housekeeper?”

“But I’m not playing the housekeeper”, I say.

“Do you know who is playing the lead?” she says.

“That would be me,” I answer.

“I need to get you uniform?” she says.

“But I’m not playing the housekeeper,” I say.

“Oh. Do you know who’s playing the housekeeper?” she asks.

“No,” I say, “Why don’t you ask the director.”

“Do you have the director’s phone number?” she asks.

This is a first. The wardrobe lady is asking me for the director’s phone number. Seriously.

Then I get a call from the director. I had agreed to go and have a few pictures taken with the guy playing my husband and the guy playing my son for photos around the house so he is calling to schedule that. It was fine with me until he wants me to go an hour into New Jersey by train to take the pictures. “Why can’t we do them in the city?” I ask. “Because the guy playing your husband can’t leave Jersey,” he says. “Why? I answer, “is he under house arrest? Does he have an ankle bracelet?”

Of course not. He doesn’t WANT to leave New Jersey. He is a friend of the director’s parents who has agreed to play my DEAD husband who has no lines in the film so of course he has more power than I do because who the hell can you get to play the dead husband with no lines and one flashback scene?

Then I get the shooting schedule from the previously unheard from producer. All the scenes are marked by scene numbers. But there are no scene numbers in the script, only page numbers. I can’t tell which scene is which and I am in every fucking one of them. I have a million different outfits to figure out and all Naohagalaga can do is buy a uniform. I email the producer to please send me a script using page numbers as there are no scene numbers on the script and she writes me back that she can’t change the script.


For this I am losing quality time with my dog?

Wish me luck.

PS – Of course after all this it came out fab. It is now one of my fav roles.

My Dog Meets A Rock Star

Cranky has decided to try to get some background work.   Have to think of someway to make some dough after parting ways with Oscar the crazy boss. I was having nightmares that included close-ups of seeing his fungus fingernail pointing at the computer screen and him saying: “How about that one?” about some beautiful young woman on

I haven’t done any background in years because I felt it simulated the experience of being a homeless person because you end up being on the street for like twelve hours. It’s hard to have studied Stanislavsky and then get paid to basically be a piece of furniture that moves itself.  But tough times require that you suck it up.

So this is how my dog met a rock star. They needed a black terrier type dog. So I sent Lu’s portrait. I got a call saying to stay by my phone because the rock star had to approve the dog. The next day I was told to report to the Upper East Side where the rock star is directing a film.

When I got there they told me there was another dog in the running and there would be FINAL approval for one dog. So now it is a dog eat dog situation. Hate that, but since I am SAG will get paid if I work or don’t work, so WHATEVER.

Little Lu and I are brought to the lobby of a building on Park Avenue. The rock star is seated in the lobby. Starbucks in hand. I figure she is like Rachel Zoë and Anna Wintour who are never seen to consume ANYTHING except the non-fat latte. Although someone told me they once saw Rachel Zoë eat a piece of GUM. I digress.

So I casually sit down opposite her and when she is not looking I must analyze her outfit. Blue training trousers with the white stripe down the side – the one thousand dollar version that Jay Z might wear. A lovely Argyle sweater- triple knit cashmere. White sneakers that are vented on the side also very expensive looking somehow. And giant Poindexter glasses to fit the intellectual endeavor of directing a movie and look SERIOUS. The master of reinvention has combined hip-hop, rock and roll and egghead into one outfit. Impressive.

The woman sitting next to her gives me and my dog a disdainful look and says with her best bitch face; “That’s a toy?” Cranky just shrugs her shoulders and doesn’t answer which is the best way to deal with such people.

The other dog comes in and it is GREY.

We are asked to go stand in the vestibule. The rock star comes over and asks my dog’s name. I tell her. She says; “What?” Which is understandable considering what multiple rock concerts will do to your eardrums. I repeat. Then she says; “So, whose dog is better behaved?” How do I know? The grey dog could be fucking Cujo for all I know. Are we supposed to compete with each other in espousing our dog’s etiquette skills? Cranky hates stupid questions. So Cranky squinted her eyes and sarcastically said; “My dog’s an angel.” Why can’t Cranky keep her mouth shut? Please tell me? So of course the rock star turns her back to me and says; “We’re using Dixie.” Dixie. The grey dog. Dixie, who I think they put black hair dye on to avoid using Cranky’s angel dog. Maybe if that other woman hadn’t given my dog a dirty look. Cranky loves her dog like in a crazy way.

As I am going to sign out the AD tells me to hang out for later street scenes. So I go to crafty and have a lovely made to order cheese and spinach omelet. And they have a JUICER so I have some fresh juice so I am now totally impressed with this operation.

And I am taught by the best how to navigate background work.

By hour five when my feet start hurting from my sandal heels a lovely actress looks at me and says; “Honey always bring thongs. Put them in a little bag and keep them with you.” By hour nine I am standing barefoot on the pavement. I am hoping I am not getting hookworm or some awful thing.

At dinner the lovely actress whips out a three-foot high stack of Tupper ware containers and fills them with the leftover food. “They’re just going to throw it away.” In five minutes they are filled, stacked, and securely tied in a plastic bag and sitting on the table. I love actors. Actors have been recession ready for years.

After dinner I am given a lesson on how to evacuate your bowels when getting up at five a.m. for an early call. “First you have to eat dinner at four thirty in the afternoon the day before. Not a morsel after that. Maybe some coffee. Senecot before bed. Then get up early and do some yoga and have a black coffee. It will clear you out. No way I can go on set. I cannot go in some Porta Potty. I cannot go in a public bathroom. I can have sex with other people but I CANNOT crap with other people.”

And I am taught that as background it doesn’t matter if you are used or not used. “Honey, some days you are box office poison. Some days they never use you. And then other days you are seated right next to the star because the color of your shirt looks good next to theirs. That’s what this boils down to. The color of your shirt.” Actors. Love them.

I am there for twelve hours. The other actors show me how to fill out my form. They explain overtime, penalties, etc. I get a voucher. I am getting prop dog pay, wardrobe change pay, night pay, time and half for two hours and double time for one hour and I DID NOT have to look at one fungus fingernail.

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.

The Weekend Audition Has Got to Go!

Today was not the best day I’ve ever had. I had to go to an audition. On a Saturday. I resent the weekend audition. I do. I know I am supposed to be dedicated and willing to do anything for an acting job blah blah blah but the weekend audition still burns me up.

So, I had planned out my day the day before. I figured I had just enough time to take my weekly African Dance class with the live drummer– which is one of my favorite things in the world. I was raving about it to a musician friend of mine recently who responded with; “Oh really? What region of Africa?” To which I responded; “The Alvin Ailey region I think.”

But I digress. So I had it all planned out.

But, when I woke up this morning the alarm clock said 7:45 – plenty of time to walk the dog, have a cup of tea, some raisin toast and a sit down to polish up the monologue they sent me, and go to class and make the audition. However upon entering the kitchen I learned it was actually 10:00 am and the battery on my alarm clock had died. NOOOOOO.

So no time for anything. Must walk dog. Must feed dog. Trying to get ready with a dog clamped on to my left foot. No time to discipline dog. My husband says this is why he is Alpha dog and I am not. I try throwing a toy in between putting on eyeliner. I try to throw it far enough to finish one eye. She’s back. Throw it again. She’s back. Again, back, again, back, again, back. I am sure as shit this dog is a terrier. I never wanted a terrier. But I love her now so it is too late. I get up to go to the closet and she latches on to my foot again so I have to drag her into the living room to get the silver coasters off the cocktail table. The silver coasters are the only thing that will stop her when she is in clamping mode. I have to clang them together. Repeatedly. My husband thinks I am a moron because being Alpha dog he only has to look at her.

After coaster alert I forgot exactly where I was headed in the first place.

I finally get out the door and when I am two blocks away I realize I forgot to put the monologue I was going to brush up in my purse. Too late to go back. Run down the stairs to the A train. NO A OR C TRAINS RUNNING AT THIS STATION says the magic marker sign. Fucking weekends fucking track work. So I run to the 2,3 three blocks away. Asking myself seriously if this is worth it. When I get there there are 10 people staring at an elevator with open doors that isn’t moving. Finally the other elevator comes.

I get on the train and I swear I am seated across from an actress preparing a monologue. I’m not kidding. She knows hers by heart. She obviously doesn’t have a terrier puppy. It starts annoying me. I want to close my eyes and meditate for a minute but I can’t look away. She is mouthing the words complete with much eyebrow raising and crazy intense looks and jutting of the lower teeth out of her mouth. And darting looks back and forth. I swear. The head- back and forth and back and forth. And now a crazy look. And now a pumping of the eyebrows. I look at a folder she is carrying and read the word “Shakespeare” upside down. Ah hah! She is doing bombastic Shakespeare on the 2 train. It is so fucking annoying to me that I can’t stop looking. And why is no one else noticing I wonder? Until a Hispanic guy with headphones gets on the train and sits down next to her. He notices the bizarre behavior. So he looks her up and down very carefully to figure out if she is a crazy homeless. When he decides she isn’t he sits back and returns to Ipod world. Fine. Fine. Leave Cranky alone in her annoyance. It’s so great to be annoyed with some one else. It’s one of those days. Everything is annoying me. When a man hits me with his Toy Are Us bag and an entire third grade class on a field trip gets on the car, I am so sorry I didn’t stay home.

I make it to the audition with ten minutes to spare. When I go in I ask if they have a copy of the monologue and they say, “No but someone left one by accident on the chair.” I realize yes I should have stayed home. And after I do the monologue and they hand me sides and ask me to read a scene I’ve never seen before with no preparation I am mentally kicking myself for skipping brunch with my husband and friends. And to rub it in, they have an actress there who has a part in the film read with me and she sits in a chair on my upstage left side, so I have a choice of relating to her and having the back of my head to the camera or having my face to the camera and looking like I don’t know how to act. But does it really matter anymore?

When I go to take the same train back there are no trains running at that station so I have to walk eight blocks weaving my way through slow walking lumbering tourists who are walking four across on the sidewalk. Times Square on a Saturday – thanks again screwy filmmaker.  The city needs to implement my idea of tourist walking lanes on the sidewalk. When I finally get to the platform the doors of the car close in my face.

But I’m home now. I’m on the couch. The doggie is on the back of the couch looking out the window her arm resting in what I call “Statesman Pose”. All is quiet and contentment now.

She does seem like terrier but I’m also sure she has a lot of poodle. Every dog now is crossed with a poodle. There are Cockapoos, Jackadoodles, Dachapoos, Labradoodles. Someday the poodles will take over the world. People will start having their offspring crossed with them. “What are you having? A boy or a girl?” we will ask. Oh, I’m having a Boydoodle. They are completely hypoallergenic and smarter than the average boy.”

Rescue Dog To The Rescue

I actually got a call from The Onion News Network again. Which is mind boggling after my last encounter there. The “Ah, that was OK, but could you possibly say some of the dialogue from the script?” moment I had with them. (See post August 19, 2009.)

So, good to know. The Onion News Network will give you another chance even if you are apparently totally retarded. So even though I was totally mortified and all it was no biggy in their minds. Which is probably the case in 99% of all life experiences for an actor. You could die and other people are like’ “Huh?”

This coincided with my husband and I fostering a dog. A pretty neurotic dog. Especially at first, and they called me on day three of dog fostering. All I could think about was whether or not the dog had gone poopy yet. Really nothing else mattered. Leave it to Cranky to get an anal retentive dog. “Please poop. Please poop. Please poop.” Was all I kept thinking as we walked around the neighborhood. If she finally pooped, I was gonna have a party. A party with a cake. A log roll cake with candles.

So I was obsessed with rescue dog and her pooping problems and everything else dimmed by comparison. So I never did get around to looking at the script. I never got around to washing my hair.

The morning of the audition I took foster dog to the vet across the street. She gave the dog a suppository. “I hope you have time to walk her around. You don’t want an explosion in the house,” the vet said.

I was supposed to be getting ready for the audition, but instead was circling endlessly around the neighborhood with little Miss Anal Retentive waiting for the poopy explosion. The poopy explosion that never happened. It was time to get dressed. No poopy. It was time to leave. No poopy. The audition is in ten minutes. No poopy.

I finally gave up and ran upstairs and threw clothes on and ran to the train. Thinking I could at least study the script on the train. Which I could have done really. If I had remembered the script. Oh well.

So I get there. And the elevator is broken. I have to walk up ten floors of stairs in sling back heels. I tell myself, “Just imagine it is two five floor walk-ups.” I once actually lived in a seven-floor walk-up. But that is another story. I still have nightmares about that apartment.

I finally reach floor ten. I am sweating. I am panting. I am late. I don’t know a word of the sides. And really, I am totally unconcerned. I am thinking, “You all think this is important? Rescue dog needs to poop. I just want to get this over with and go home and check on the poopy situation.”

So I grab a script. I learn the script. I give a great audition.

It was a case of Rescue Dog to the rescue.

I get a callback. I screwed up every way you can screw up an audition and I get a callback. Why? Because I DIDN’T FEEL BAD ABOUT IT. No self-sabotage was happening. I was not freaked out about being late/sweaty/unprepared.

Thank you rescue dog. Thank you for the Zen life lesson. And thank you for finally pooping.

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.



Casting Director on Twitter – A No No

Cranky read with outraged horror about a casting director who was Twittering nasty comments during an audition. She was making her personal casting dos and don’ts list while watching performers open their hearts to her. She was thinking about her following more that the people in the room. The people who spent hours learning something to show her. The people that got dressed up to meet her. The people who traveled on the Africa hot subway in the New York summer. One of her Tweets was; “Multitasking. Auditioning #50 of the day and sending out an e-mail blast!” Nice. So glad they have half your attention. Then there was the tweet about how listening to the singing made her feel like her “ears were bleeding.” Girlfriend, you don’t belong in the biz. You gotta have heart.

We don’t tweet about THEM. Because them might give us our next job. Even though a lot of them are weirdos with major personality defects, which are aggravated by the power over people they feel, often leading to advanced megalomania. You know who I’m talking about. The ones who act like mean bulldogs just because they can. The ones who hate you if you look a little too happy when you walk into the room.

Like the other day when I had a callback for The Onion News Network. I love the Onion. I was excited to be a part of it because it is sooooo funny. I had the funnest audition. The casting director was a doll. The woman running the camera was a cutie. They were laughing while I did the sides. I got clear direction. I felt good.

Then came the callback. They had me in so “I could meet the director.” The minute I walked into the room she gave me major bad vibes. I think I looked too relaxed and happy to see the casting director. So Ms. Director was gonna show who was really in charge. She had long thick dark curly hair covering half of her face. Never trust that. And she did not introduce herself. Hate that.

She started talking on and on and on about where my character was and how she was feeling and where she was and Republican this blah blah blah blah blah. It became mesmerizing. Then she says, “So how do you feel about that?”   “Huh?” I think, “Um, ah well it makes sense,” I say, “These are the people who love Ann Coulter.” “NO,” she says, “How do YOU feel about it?” My mind is like, “Wait. What does she mean? Me the person or me the character? Maybe she wants to know how my character feels about it.” So I describe in detail how excited my character is about what is going on. When I finish she looks exasperated and says, “That’s nice but could you use some of the dialogue from the script?”

I am now the retard in the room. The audition had begun unbeknownst by me. She was just blabbering and her last sentence was supposed to be followed by the dialogue from the script. This is a first. It’s usually, “Slate your name. I’ll ask you a question and you reply.” But Ms. Director wants to screw me up and show how smart she is. So I do the dialogue. I have memorized it, but at the end I use the word desiccated instead of the word decomposed, because she has rattled me. And to make it worse I point up that I switched words. I do it again. I use the correct word but can’t even remember what I said. “Did I say desiccated?” I ask. “No” she says. “Thank you,” she says. I get up and leave the room. That was AWFUL. I had to go straight to Sephora across the street and get a new lipstick to cheer myself up.

It’s amazing that someone completely humorless is a director at The Onion. How did that happen? I think she has them snowed into thinking she’s an ARTISTE.

I once went to an audition for a print ad and when I was in the room I assumed they were taking stills, so I moved and freezed, moved and freezed, moved and freezed. They were filming! I was doing a robot fucking dance and they were filming. Oh hell. But later they ended up casting me for an editorial print job. They are two funny guys who are both very Seth Rogen. They walk around the casting office in socks.   I have this terrible feeling they went home that night and smoked joints with their friends and watched the robot lady audition tape and rolled on the floor laughing. But that’s like my job right? To be entertaining. Even if I didn’t mean it.

Summer Is A Bummer

There’s a thing about being an actress that happens a lot. You can’t wait to get a job. And then when you get a job, you can’t wait until it’s over. And then when it’s over you’re afraid you’ll never get another job.

This is my current state of mind. Add the fact that it is the depths of summer and NO ONE is calling me to audition. I have gone from CRANKY ACTRESS to CRAZY ACTRESS.

I almost agreed to go to Philadelphia for an audition for an Indy film. Not just Philadelphia, but some scary place called Jenkintown. So I would be doing approximately 5 hours of round trip of traveling for the CHANCE of a role.

My first tip off was when my husband answered the phone and a guy said, “Ah, um, is this an actor?” It was the director. He didn’t know who he was calling. But I still was gonna go. It was a total desperation move.

And who was I gonna meet when I got there? Freddy with the mask? Is there a crazy man inviting actresses to come and audition in obscure towns in Pennsylvania? Are the actresses never seen again? Does Freddy tell them before he kills them, “Look, you had a chance to use your head. You could have refused to come to Jenkintown. But you came of your own free will. You did. You came. You traveled five hours for an audition. What kind of idiot does that? You are so stupid you deserve to die.”

I didn’t tell anyone because I knew they would tell me I was nuts.   I only told a very close friend. She said, “Ah, Cranky if you need to get out of the house that bad why don’t you go to the beach?”

Doing a play where the script had MAJOR problems is torture. But not doing anything is WORSE TORTURE. So today I donated five pairs of shoes to housing works, rearranged my closet, hand washed all the hand wash, and checked Facebook where people posted videos of funny pets doing funny things and are playing Bejeweled Blitz. And now I’m thinking maybe I SHOULD go to Jenkintown.

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?”