----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ The Fabulous Adventures of Astera: Writer/Actress for Hire: Audition Mania!

The Fabulous Adventures of Astera: Writer/Actress for Hire

Meet Astera (aka: me), a star in her own mind. Our plucky little heroine has embarked on not one but two difficult, low-paying career paths: writing and acting. Witness the menial jobs! The unreasonable demands! The quirky friends and family! And the glimmer of success just ahead! Through it all, Astera maintains her core beliefs: 1) She is destined to be fabulous 2) Everything is more fun with a cocktail.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Audition Mania!

Last week, I had three auditions...and I think I blew all of them. Fantastic! So my spirits are a bit low, but I had a good scene in acting class last night. Apparently, that is going to have to be my only acting outlet for now. And my father, who is so sensitive and supportive, offered me $1,500 if I would never take another acting class again. Okay, so he was joking. It still wasn't that funny.

The first audition was for a Safeway industrial. I was reading for the part of a disgrutled worker who has a beef with another worker. I got the sides the day before (the part of the script with my lines in it, for those who don't know the lingo), and I worked on them until I thought I had developed the proper righteous outrage. So then I get into the audition, and I'm doing my thing, and everything is going fine until the last big dramatic speech (which is like, four sentences), and I get through the whole thing, and then the casting director says, "Okay, I'd like you to do that last part again, but really take it down and try to play the truth of the scene. I don't think you're trusting yourself." Actually, I was trusting myself, because I played it exactly how I would tell a greivance, but I do have a tendency to be a little over-dramatic. So I did it again, and he said, "Okay, thank you, nice adjustment," and I walked out of there knowing that I sure didn't get that part.

Then on Thursday I had an audition for some promo piece for Diageo Cabernet. I was all excited because it was in San Rafael, so I wouldn't have to drive all the way into the city. Plus, I really like wine, and the job paid $800. But when I had to wait an hour and a half to be called in, despite having a specific appointment time, my excitement had waned considerably. So finally, I get in there and start doing my thing, and I can tell that it's been a long day for the casting people and they're just not that into it anymore. But still, I'm going to give it my best shot. But I get two lines in, and they stop me and say, "Yeah, you know, you're doing it really like a spokesperson would, and we just want you to pretend like you're on a picnic with your girlfriends and you're just giving them some casual information about wine."

Okay, I'm pretty sure that if I picked up my wineglass, turned to my friends, and said, "For the past century and a half, no grape has captured California sunshine and wine lovers' attention like Cabernet Sauvignon. The noblest grape of Bordeaux, it provides the background and complexity for some of the finest wines from Bordeaux's Medoc region, like Chateau Margeaux," they would burst out laughing and think that I was some pretentious twit. But you've got to give the clients what they want, so I tried it again. And again, I walked out of there knowing that I didn't book that role, either.

Finally, on Friday, it was back into the city for a contact lens solution industrial. It was an AFTRA job, though, and I'm non-union, so I would have to be Taft-Hartleyed in to do the job, which requires some extra paperwork and is kind of a pain in the neck for the producers, as I understand it. I think it would be easier for them to go with someone who was already AFTRA, so that could have been a strike against me right off the bat, but they asked to see me.

Anyway, I wear contacts, so I figured I could be convincing. I went in with another actress and first I was the calm, cool, collected one, and she was the spaz who couldn't get her contact in. We did it twice that way and then we switched roles. When it was my turn to be the spaz the second time around, the casting guy said, "Okay, so do it like you were out late with your boyfriend last night, and you were drinking, and now you're hungover and you're late for class. Also, she's your roommate, and you're really difficult to live with." So I was all rushed and harried and kept knocking over the bottle of solution, and I was squinting and made like I couldn't get my contact in at all, and then I started bumping into my roommate and sort of nudging her out of the way of the mirror. And then after awhile, he said, "Cut!" and he looks at me and goes, "You're awful!" Now, I really, really hope he was referring to the difficult-to-live-with character that I was trying to create, but I am not so sure. Maybe I really am awful! That seems like a mean and unneccesary thing for the casting person to say, though. Regardless, I probably won't get that part either.

But then last night, I went to acting class, and I did a really fun little commercial with a scene partner, and everybody laughed, and then I felt a little better. I guess you have to take your validation where you can find it.


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