Tag Archives: audition

Feet Fit For Radio.

29 Feb

I don’t like to check my email right when I wake up, so I usually just check my email right when I wake up.

I found a message calling me in for a commercial audition! Yay! “MUST HAVE NICE FEET / NO FOOT MODELS / WEAR SOMETHING THAT SHOWS ARMS AND LEGS / BAREFOOT IN AUDITION”.

*#$%&*#$(%^@#&$@#*!!!!!!!!!

I blinked my eyes to confirm — ugh, fuck. FEET.

Clammy with a fresh terror sweat, I clocked my Sasquatch snaggle toes.

pyzbkzjncczgw Continue reading

My Baby Is A Pillow.

22 Apr

pillow“You’re sitting in a wheelchair, looking at your premature baby in an incubator, and you’ve just gotten out of surgery, having almost died. Aaaaaand…action.”

I fixed my eyes on what I decided was the “incubator”. A burgundy throw pillow, on the opposite side of the room.

“Take your time with this… I’m going to improv with you between your lines.” The casting director fired up the camera.

Oh no. Ok. Well, here goes.

Me: “Doctor, I —“

“YES, how can I help.”

Oh. This is like, a lot of improv. Between all the words.

“Doctor, I—“

“Mm-hmm.”

“…I am wondering if my baby will be—“

“Yes.”

“—be… OK. If she will be ok…”

My eyes were welling up. I held on tightly to my wheelchair, which was a plastic office chair with normal legs. I tried to seem “Tired. Recently surgeried.” Continue reading

Crybaby.

7 Mar

bey-cryI went to a callback yesterday for a job that I’m definitely booking because if there’s one thing I know about this town, it’s that forcing your hair into beachy waves and whitening your teeth with a homemade peroxide solution equals a successful career!

I arrived at this callback in the same clothes I wore for the first audition, two days before. I felt like a homeless person who has a crumpled business suit tucked away for special occasions.

In the casting office lobby, I found a bunch of “Moms” like me but more symmetrical, child actors with their real Moms and nannies, and some nerdy looking “Dads”. All the kids were glued to iPhones and iPads. A slurry of psychotic sounding music was softly annoying everyone.

The casting director announced the next grouping of Dad, Mom and kid. “OK! Next up, is…. Tiffany, Mark, and Slayden-Jet-Applesauce.” The kids had the cool names. Continue reading

Marco, (Red) Polo.

15 Jun

red-poloAVERAGE. PRETTY BUT NOT TOO PRETTY. NOT RAIL THIN. BRUNETTE (NO BLONDES!). WARDROBE: RED POLO, KHAKIS, COMFORTABLE SHOES.

When I read that, I think of a pretty brown haired princess with pleated khakis jammed up her lady bits and an ill-fitting cotton shirt, sweat-stained Keds and unfortunate, mousy hair tied back in a greasy ponytail, her stubby hand on her chunky, average hip.

Average. Everyday. ME.

This was for an audition I had this week, for a linens company. I got the audition call from my agent:

Me: “Hel—-“

Agent: “—YES. Audition tomorrow. Can I confirm you?”

Me: “OK, I haven’t seen anything about it in my email…”

Agent: “Well, here it is. You’re at 11:55am in Santa Monica…….ah, Kari Peyton Casting. That’s all I know.”

Me: (Why, it must be a VOLUNTEER job! Is there a rate, maybe?!! A role?? Also, I would have to find someone to cover me for my lunch shift. A pain in the ass, but – worth it, possibly.) “—– Sure. Thank you!”

Click.

I found the email and read the thing about the red polo. That is for sure one kind of shirt that I don’t own.

I drove to Ross near my apartment. I hate buying things for auditions, but I know how unimaginative clients can be, in entertainment. If they say “red polo”, and you don’t wear one, your new superpowers will be “INVISIBILITY!” and “NOT BOOKING!”

I found a discount orange polo, a hot pink polo, a baby-boy-sized red polo, and a red v-neck. I decided the least offensive (and flattering) option, was the hot pink polo. Red-ish. And appropriately square.

You know when you are looking for something and suddenly you see it everywhere? I saw random people walking on Sunset Blvd in RED POLOS AND KHAKI PANTS. Entire schoolyards of children in RED POLOS AND KHAKI PANTS. Ryan Gosling in a RED POLO AND – I’m kidding. He would never let that happen to him.

The morning of the audition, there was a shooting in Santa Monica where three people were taken to the hospital. This followed a tragic shooting the previous Friday, where a young gunman took his own life and the lives of four other people, also in Santa Monica.

Nice, pretty Santa Monica. Devastating. The story was still unfolding.

I could vividly picture myself, shot in the arm (straight through the sleeve of my polo shirt), lying face-down on the ground, my headshots splayed across the sidewalk and pleasantly smiling toward the sky, my khaki pants stained from having pissed myself, and my sensible shoes nowhere to be found.

Headline: “[SANTA MONICA] TARGET EMPLOYEE SHOT IN ARM. FASHION POLICE ON THE SCENE. AVERAGE VICTIM IN STABLE, SELF-CONSCIOUS CONDITION.”

I drove into Santa Monica, to the casting office. My eyes quickly followed the trail of red polo shirts into the lobby.

I signed in and took a seat. There we all were! A bunch of average joe brunettes, with our red polos tucked in to our khakis! There’s always the rogue in the bunch. The odd model who walks in with adorable khaki cropped cargos and a sexy red tank. And heels. HEY! YOU! THEY SAID “AVERAGE”, OK? THIS IS OUR CHANCE – SCRAM! (And then we resume our dinner like a bunch of hobbits.)

We made friendly chit-chat. One girl referred to us as a bunch of “Joey’s sister’s” (Joey from Friends… we were all in that broad ethnic bracket, looks-wise.)

“So, OBVIOUSLY I am not wearing the red polo…” This girl in a black tank top piped up. She was also in jeans. “I just didn’t get this notice until it was too late to do anything about the wardrobe…Shit…”

We all smiled at her and futzed with our awful shirts.

She approached the casting director. “I didn’t mean to be rude and not pay attention to the wardrobe, I just didn’t have time. Do you think it’s ok?”

The casting director said, “If it were up to me, I wouldn’t worry about it. If they can’t imagine you in a red polo, then do you wanna work with them?” She didn’t say the obvious, which is, “They will pass over you when they’re reviewing the tape. So, if you’re cool with that, no worries!”.

Having no emotional attachment to my shirt, I made a declaration. “I’ll switch shirts with you, if you want.”

“OMG thanks!”

We switched shirts for her audition. She was up first. We found a cool, modern conference room with a big sliding wood door that revealed a giant glass panel to the lobby, when we closed it. It was purely for sound, I guess. No matter, it was like my days back in the theatre. Just GET THE CLOTHES ON THE PERSON.

She went in, did her audition, and I waited in the lobby, in the black tank she had on earlier.

If we all looked the same, how come we didn’t act the same? Why was I the only one offering my shirt, while everyone else checked their email?

I gotta say, it’s easy to throw people under the bus in these situations. Just assuring that girl in a sweet and friendly voice that she didn’t need to change, would have done it. Boom. She’s out. One less for me to compete against and I seemed like I cared, while I did it.

But that doesn’t help MY chances. At all. And it makes me feel like shit for the rest of the morning. I feel like we need to support each other. I’m not giving her my own ideas for her audition, but I’m putting us on level playing ground.

HOT PINK POLO PLAYING GROUND! YEAH!

She returned, and we switched back to our old selves. She thanked me profusely and said she would totally pay it forward.

“Please don’t make anyone else wear a polo. They are horrible.” I squirmed in my shirt that must have first been designed, using an orangutan as a dress form.

“Seriously. You went above and beyond the call of duty.”

“Well, we actresses don’t really have that much duty to do, so…”

“Thank you.”

“Of course! Also, you owe me 10% if you book this thing.” We laughed. I always feel like it’s meant to be or it isn’t, and you just move on to the next thing, either way.

I auditioned like a boss – literally, it was just a few seconds of a facial expression (I don’t know how they choose who they want from that, but….) – and walked back out into the world, with renewed spirit somehow.

I wasn’t even worried about being shot.

It was a good day.

XX,

L

*I tried to take the most beautiful picture you’ve ever seen of someone in a polo shirt with a window A/C unit. (I think this is it!)

I’m Lauren – I’ll Be Here All Week.

4 Apr

mattresses-and-sandra-bullock“I literally haven’t had an audition in a month,” I texted my friend Adrienne. She gets it, but some people assume that when you’re in LA, you audition all the time and you get famous, like, faster than Superman ever did anything ever.

And if you don’t, something must be wrong with you. (What? Nothing’s wrong! My agent simply asked me how my pregnancy was going. And when I corrected her, she said “Oops, well you’re getting married, aren’t you?” She so totally knows me!)

Then out of the blue, an audition notice. Not for a major feature film or even a one-liner on a TV show we all pretend we watch. No.

It was for a mattress commercial.

Immediately, I imagined myself breezing around a fluorescent-lit, Memory Foam paradise, daintily brushing my manhands over one cotton cover after another. I never thought I could sleep this great in all my life! – I say, to the Unicorn tucked in next to me, for a sleepover.

“COOL, ATTRACTIVE, RALPH LAUREN STYLE, ASPIRATIONAL, CLASSIC” read the casting notice. “SEE ATTACHED SIDES.”

What — There are lines! And my name is Lauren! A sign!

I downloaded the sides and read a bunch of testimonial style information about mattresses. I thought of all the dead skin, sweat and dust mites, currently living in my mattress. I wondered if I could squeeze out another 8 good years if I flipped it over. And drowned it in Febreeze.

I prepared my audition (memorized the little script, did my hair conventionally pretty, made a weak attempt at covering my moles that just resulted in blotchy tannish splotches.) I was ready.

I walked into the casting office and saw one other actress. “Wow! This place is usually packed! This is so relaxing!” She smiled, and not with her eyes.

I signed in, and noticed the script changed completely and became two versions. A few other actors strolled in.

“Are we all reading the same thing?” I asked the other actress as I sat down.

“Yeah.” She said.

I looked at one of the scripts and these were the lines: “Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow.”

“Well, I think I got this one down…” I joked aloud and laughed a little.

Actor dude: “Well, they’ll be wanting you to do different emphasis and meanings for all the “wows”, and multiple options for them to work with…”

I stared at him, hoping I didn’t really look that stupid. He shook my hand with his, which felt more like an effervescent dead fish, than a hand. “I’m Steve.”

“Lauren.”

I sat down next to another actor and skimmed the other script. It was a scene with a couple, testifying about how they got scammed into buying a crappy mattress and then had to live with their horrible mistake for 8 years. YOU CAN IMAGINE THE TORTURE.

I joked to the actor guy next to me, “Doesn’t it totally sound like the 8 year mistake they’re talking about, is really their marriage?” Hahahaha…. (Here’s where you join in, guy…)

Actor guy: “….Um. They’re actually talking about the mattress.”

SERIOUSLY?

Me: “Well, yeah. Yes. They are…” Pause. I wasn’t giving up. “But wouldn’t it be funny if it were their relationship that was the – the, um, thing?”

Him: “(OH RIGHT. HE DIDN’T SAY ANYTHING. HE JUST LOOKED AWAY AND THEN STARTED MOUTHING THE WORDS TO THE ONE LINE HE HAD TO MEMORIZE).”

I looked around and realized that everyone who had arrived, was mouthing “I went to a department store and made an 8 year mistake” over and over.

I re-read my script, wondering if I had missed someth—- ok, nope. It was just that line.

I thought about practicing my “WOW! … Wow?? … Wow. … WEEEE-OOOOOOW” ‘s out loud for everyone, but I got called in to the casting room.

The casting director asked for our names – except for mine. He goes: “Wait — Blair.”

I sprung to life. “BAIR! Yes! Lauren.” Um, this might seem like peanuts, but for a casting director to know my name in this giant town full of thousands of actresses, is truly a lil milestone. Blair, Bair, Blore — I’m counting it.

Dead Fish Hand chimed in: “MY last name is B-A-R-E”.

Casting Director: “Any relation?” as a joke.

Dead Fish Hand: “Hahahahaha not that I —“

Me: “NO!!!!!! (pause)… Uh, no….not that I know of…” Don’t ruin this for me, Fish!

I did my line, I did my “Wow’s” three different ways, I covered my neck moles with my hair.

A success.

I thanked Casting Director Rob, who remembered me, and walked out of the office, with the church giggles.

I’ve never been around people so serious about mattresses, in all my life. It’s a MATTRESS AUDITION.

I immediately left a ridiculous account of this whole thing on my sister’s voicemail.

WOW. Wow. (wow.)

XX,

L

Mattresses and Sandra B

Audition: Absolutely Beautiful.

12 Dec

tobias-funke-auditionThe phrase “MUST BE ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL” in the casting call, threw me off. Great. It’s gonna be me and a bunch of models. My favorite pick-me-up is hanging out with drop dead gorgeous women who don’t get my sense of humor.

It was a national audition for a flower company, for V-Day 2013. I put on my make-up, while thinking “..be absolutely beautiful…”, and then clumsily applied eyeshadow like an earth-toned clown.

There was no script, so I figured I had the “acting” part in the bag. What do beautiful-looking people even have to do, on a normal day? Nothing! Just flit around and soak up the flattery like an airy spongecake.

I arrived at the casting office, happily surprised to find more of a mishmash of people’s interpretations of “beautiful”. One woman wore an off-the-shoulder top (– a risky choice. You never want casting to think you’re a ho. But it was red. Valentines-y.) Another girl wore leggings. Hmm. And another woman, who was clearly 60s+ in the face, wore a long, scraggly dark haired wig to appear to be in the vicinity of my age bracket. “It puts the lotion on its skin…” But mostly, everyone was doing “LA Beautiful”:

Skinny.

I signed in and went for a chair, as a tall, beach-y blonde stepped in front of me. “–Sorry” she said. Like she has never been sorry for anything in her life, ever. I sat down somewhere else.

A woman with a blouse so low her bra was hanging out, left the casting room. Following her, the assistant came out to tell us “We’re just waiting for the director to come back, so… ” 30 minutes went by, as the waiting room became lousy with models. Everyone was running out to plug meters, frantically checking clocks, rescheduling things. Finally, Bra Lady came back. Ah! She’s the casting director. She mumbled something about just having picked up her kid.

— While we all sat there, waiting for her, like diva prisoners.

Then, Bra’z chatted up an actress she knew who just arrived. They hugged and gabbed in low mumbles, as the rest of us checked our phones. Tic-toc.

I had to get to my job by 5:15.

Another casting director poked her head into the casting room and chatted up the assistant. “Hiiiii! I know you’re backed up, but blah blah blah ber blah blah hahahaha blah blah. M’kay.” She sneezed in the room, then left. Yum.

Finally, they took us all into the room for a group explanation of what we would be doing in the audition. We put on our best “I love whatever you say, Bra’z!” faces. She told us we would be walking into the scene, discovering a flower bouquet, reading the card that comes with it, then sellin’ our reaction to the camera. “For GODSAKES, don’t look at ME. Look at the camera!” she gently demanded.

There were 3 cards we would be opening. Which were pieces of paper that Bra’z had scribbled on. One card was supposed to be from a new boyfriend. One was from a high school sweetheart. One was from a hot and heavy lover. “It should be EASY to pick out which one you’re reading! I mean… (she reads the first one to herself) —yeah! (She silently reads the second) YES, yes, yes… (third). Yes, they’re so – it’s so clear.”

I hoped Bra’z was an amazing writer, because being not-the-person-who-wrote-the-letters, it’s impossible to know what levels of amore we were working with. You couldn’t know for sure which was which, until you had read them all. We would be auditioning, while silently reading one card at a time.

They were running 1 ½ hours behind.

Bra’z friend, who got there later than everyone else in my view, got to go in ahead of all of us. Love iiit! Then it was 3 more girls, then me.

I was so ready! I had my best flower-sniffin face on. I walked in and Bra’z was typing on her laptop. Clickityclickityclickityclickity. The assistant took my picture, I said my name for the camera, and ACTION! Bra’z was still typing.

I walked into the scene, and did this without speaking: My goodness! Look at these gorgeous flowers! For me?? Who could have—? I smelled the bunch of plastic gladiolas as if they were sent from Heaven above. Oh! A card….! I read it. It said “Hey Baby, Let’s let this Valentine’s be our best. XO.” I assumed it was the sexiest reaction. So I gave it to the camera. Oh yeah? You wanna put these plastic flowers all over me, Baby? Yeah? You like that? Ooooh yeah.

Bra’z: “Cut. OK, which card was that.”

Me: “Sexy lover.”

Bra’z: “Yeah, I could tell…!”

I’m so good at acting! We rolled again, with the next card. It said “Baby, It was always gonna be me and you. XO”. High school sweetheart. I toned it down Oh, hey, Buddy! I had no idea you felt — Flowers? You silly boy. Let’s get Starbucks sometime.

Bra’z: “Cut. Who was that.”

Me: “High school sweetheart.”

Bra’z: “Yep! Let’s roll the next one.”

Awesome! I smelled the flowers a third time, and picked up the third card. It read “Heyyyy hot stuff! How about you and me make this the most romantic night of our lives”. SHIT. IT’S SEXY LOVER! SHIT. I already blew my sexy wad. So, in order to make this one look MORE sexy than the other one, I took it over the top. Take me now you half man, half goat! Ride me into the WILD! Let’s sprinkle these flowers over our own graves because we killed ourselves like Romeo and Juliet—

Bra’z: “Cut—“

Me: I wanted first crack at defending myself. “OK, THIS one is Sexy Lover.”

Bra’z: “[GIANT SIGH]… oh my God…! [FACE IN HANDS, RUBBING EYES UNDER GLASSES]…”

Me: I wasn’t going down without a fight. “Haha…well, it’s a little tough to know which one’s which, until—“

Bra’z: “[EXTREMELY LOUD SIGH, THROWS ARMS IN AIR. This has probably happened with everyone so far]… Fine. You did… fine. Thanks.”

Thanks means get out. Now. Her face was back in her hands as I made my exit.

Me: “(Pretending to be totally cool with everything, grab my bag, make a little profesh eye contact and get out fast) Great! Thanks you guys!”

The end.

Technically, it’s not my fault, how it went down. I did what I could. And technically, Bra’z should have posted “Absolutely beautiful, great actress, MUST BE MIND READER” in the casting notice.

I hopped in my car, letting my absolute beauty float away into the sunset, and drove over the hill to my delivery job.

So, now I just wait by the phone for a callback, of course!

(…)

It should be any moment, so…

(…)

XX,

L

Image: Tobias Funke from “Arrested Development” at an audition on the show.

Audition: Wife Of Cheating Husband.

16 Oct

I was super excited about this audition because it was for the role of “Wife who’s husband cheated on her” and not “Mom”, which I’ve been getting all the time (but which I love being paid to play!).

I wore exactly what they called for — “Brunette” (Check), “Hair pulled back, maybe she’s in a business suit, just getting off of work” (Well, my hair was brown and I pulled it back).

The audition location was 7700 Sunset Blvd. “Is that the place with all the models walking in and out?” Ervin agreed. I had only seen this – multiple times, because there’s a Chipotle across the street where I have been known to stuff my face with cheap burritos, while observing “Wow, she’sh SHOOOO shhkinny…. (gulp). I should have gotten cheese on this.”

SO, of course I was looking forward to being surrounded by exotic beauties, when I’m being called for the role of “Brown Haired Person”. Because brown means ugly, people. There was also something on the callsheet about them wanting my character to physically differ from “the other girl”. Super looking forward to what the other girl looked like.

I arrived at the location, my first time auditioning there, and followed signs through various hallways, around the back, through another entrance, down the river and through the woods. I arrived at a reception desk. The pretty girl behind it said, “Hi!” I said “HI! I’m here to audition for…” and my hand made this weird reach for an invisible pen and sign in sheet. The pretty girl goes “Oh! I think you want the other office.” At that moment, I looked around and realized I was the only white girl, in a sea of gorgeous black models. MODELS, not just extra-pretty girls. Super tall glasses of chocolate milk, versus short, stubby White Cheddar Cheez-It.

“…Ah, no, I believe you’re mistaken, I’m here for the black supermodel audition”. I laughed it off and walked back out and through another maze to find my audition. Thanks, unclear signage. I could have used something more like “You must be this tall to ride” and have a marker at 6 feet.

I arrived at the suite for my audition. I signed in, and looked around. OH! “Other girl” looks like a blonde supermodel. I didn’t see anyone who was called in for my role. Everyone waiting in the lobby, was “other girl” and “cheating husband”.

They threw me right into the room, before I even got a chance to look at the first frame of the storyboard.

A typical “slate” for the camera is: you, standing on a piece of tape on the floor, the casting director pointing the camera at you, and you saying something like “Hi! I’m Lauren Bair” if that’s your name. They do a quick zoom out to make sure you don’t have a peg leg, then it’s on to the audition. THIS TIME, ’tis a dramatic reenactment, after all… they wanted a profile shot with a sloooooooooow head turn toward camera, eyes first.

I could hardly contain myself. It was happening. Mel. O. Dram. A. I LOVE IT! I did my best evil, soap opera side glance and made murder to the camera. One of the “other girls” did a super dramatic, mouth open, squint eyed thing that made me think “She has done this before. In real life.”

The audition consisted of an improv fight with my cheating husband while our young children were asleep. Nailed it. Then a scene in which I’m driving by Tiffany’s and see my cheater Husband and “other girl” walking out, with a new diamond engagement ring (In this scene I sit in my car – which was an office chair – and become crestfallen. “Squeeze out a tear if you want – not necessary.” I tried not to think about the side glances from earlier which were making me laugh.)

Also, talk about serendipity: driving by Tiffany’s at the exact moment your cheating spouse is walking out?? The luck!

The last scene was me, approaching my husband from behind, and oh yeah – WITH A GUN in my hand – and SHOOTING HIM IN THE BACK. Crushed it. The paper gun shuddered in my hands as I slowly brought the pistol down and surveyed my kill.

I was free. At last. No more trying to make my house a home, all alone. No more checking his phone, no more wondering where he is at night. No more lipstick on shirts and perfume that isn’t —-

“What?”

Casting Director: “I said, can you stay for the next group? We’re out of brown haired chicks.”

“Next time, can I shoot the gun like a gangster?” (I hold the gun sideways, looking like I’m auditioning for Weeds.)

“HA. No.”

“K. Cool.”

I walked out, an inch taller (and still a few good feet shorter than the models), feeling like I totally rocked that thing. I didn’t get cast this time, but let’s pretend it was because I’m too similar looking to a blond supermodel. And because maybe I’m a little too gangsta.

In reality, who the F knows. It could be anything. I lost out on an audition once, because of the sound of my voice. Which, as much as you want to think “Whatever! That’s one person’s opinion!” makes you go home and practice sexy-but-more-monster voices in front of the mirror.

At The Coffee Bean, I grabbed a latte and sat down in the seats outside with my laptop. “I hope you’re not gonna shoot me for real.” I looked over and saw the dude who played my cheating husband, and the girl who played the mistress.

“I fake shot you in the ass, so you could possibly survive if you call for help in time… If you can make it to the landline, because I shot your cellphone. And you’re welcome.” Revenge is sweet.

XX,

L

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