May 4, 2006

Audition, Ad Infinitum


I don't know if I'm still an actress. My theatrical agent told me he'd submitted me for a Molly Shannon movie months ago, but the casting people never responded. Maybe I'll have to take it into my own hands. I know Molly, she's seen my shows. She's a really cool person. I have friends who know her really well. I hesitate calling my friends and seeing if they can contact Molly for me -- I don't want to be one of those blood sucking friends. However, I DO want to work.

I had a few commercial auditions today, though. My first "On-Camera" auditions in WEEKS. Pine Sol and AT&T Yellow Pages. Products that will change your life! Well, they'd change MY life if I book one, the ad runs a while. It could mean the difference between health insurance and the Venice health clinic.

As for my auditions, I was brilliant. And a lot of good it'll do. What a crap shoot. The first audition runner said, Let's tape the rehearsal because you're always good.

A guy I knew from the The Groundlings, a comedy superstar and a guy who worked all the time, came over and said hello.
I asked him how it was going?
Hanging on by a thread, he said.
Even for comic superstars.

The audition office has dozens of auditions going every day. They must have been casting a beer commercial, because there was a parade of gorgeous, leggy, titty babes in various levels of undress, going in and out of the Ladies Room, which I was sitting across from. Two other 40-ish "at home casual" actors were on the bench with me. We watched silently as the cheesecake chicks giggled in and out, checking their pasties or thongs. Finally one Chick with a loosely-laced boustier giggled in to check her placement. I looked at my fellow 40ish actors and said, I think I should audition for that spot.

I went into my second audition. A suburban couple, "casual at home" dress, are camped out on their front porch waiting to catch the Yellow Pages being delivered. The actor paired up with me didn't really look like my "husband." He had snow white hair, looked about 60, and was dressed like he worked for Morgan Stanely (he probably walked out of a Morgan Stanely audition).

The time was coming when we'd slate: smile and give our name to the camera. Do I comment on the disparity between him and me? I know what I'd say, but would it insult the man? The words were on my tongue, the thought in my head. Do I say it? How many shots to you have to distinguish yourself?
I thought of my friend Catheryn, who usually goes for it.

So the slate came.
Me: Hi, I'm Susan Isaacs.
Morgan Stanley Man: Hi, I'm Cooper Harriman.
Me again: I'm his trophy wife.

It worked. I was brilliant. The rest of the audition went fine. But who knows if they'll even see it? Maybe they'll fast forward and never see my brilliant quip, because they'll only see Morgan Stanley and Mismatched Woman.

When we finished, the young guy running the audition said, I see you in a lot of things, you work a lot don't you? Which has its own kind of desperate hope in it.

I had a few Voice Over auditions at my agent's office the other day. There was an actor in the waiting area. I recognized him from somewhere. He played a doctor in one of the DVD’s I’d just watched. "Shop Girl" or "Broken Flowers."

He chatted me up. He went into the booth ahead of me.
When he came back out, I almost asked: Did you play a doctor in "Shop Girl?" But I chickened out. Instead, I got into the booth and said something to the engineer.

I saw him in a DVD this weekend!
Good Night and Good Luck? the engineer asked. He was brilliant in that!

Then I realized, the actor also had that meaty role in GN&GL of the Newscaster who committed suicide. I'm glad I didn't gush over his two-line bit part as a doctor in Shop Girl.

Even after GN&GL you gotta get back on the horse and audition.
Again. Again. Again.
No matter how brilliant you are.

3 comments:

Zen Wizard said...

Good luck, however it turns out

sparkylulu said...

Did you mean Ray Wise? He has been recurring on 24 all season and was brilliant in GN&GL.

You should check out my friend's blog, slateyourname.

Madley said...

Love the trophy wife comment! :)

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