The gig? A 30 second MTV promo spot, filmed as if 12-13 people are interviewed in the street, rambling on about random topics. Thatâ€™s about as much as I got.
I entered the Masonic Temple at noon and was herded into the main stairwell with 20-30 other people. Including myself, there were about 2 other people over 35. Everyone else was young or made up young, fresh from an emergency â€œGOD I NEED THIS FOR MY AUDITION!â€? shopping trip to H&M.
Did I feel old?
Thing is, I had nothing to lose. I already had a job. This is a hobby.
As I waited, hungry actors mouthed the words from the sheet the AD handed out. Random lines like â€œYeah. Fucking awesome! Bob Dylan was the best!â€? or â€œI just signed a contract!â€? or â€œThis country is run like a Canadian Movie of the Week! Go read the news!â€? (my personal fave, more later). Even though the AD said â€œjust be yourselfâ€? (confirmed by people offering hints as they left the audition room), the hardcore actors still practiced their lines.
There was one guy dressed in a light blue dress shirt that was beyond form fitting, his buttons were straining to stay in place like a fat drag queen who found the last small D&G frock at discount prices at Winners. When this guy got up for his digital head shot, his back revealed that someone must have pinned that shirt right down the yolk in the back to make it LOOK that way. For whatever reason, I donâ€™t know. I wonder if he felt like a dolt when the AD said that the audition had nothing to do with how you lookedâ€¦
There was the nervous girl so freaked out that she thought she might have hypothermia just from walking from the subway a block away. Her leg was bouncing a mile a minute. She punctuated everything with a â€œReally? Hahahah!â€?
There was the calm guy, reading a mythology book. Cool as a cucumber.
There was the over-confident guy who revealed all to us what the director wanted when he came out. Then again, I thought, he might be doing that to throw us off the audition!
Then there was me. All smiles and goofy eyes.
The audition room held three people sitting around a big board room table. I stood at one end and delivered the 12 lines. Normally, I thought. I think I channeled my brother at one point by putting my hand to my neck. I remember him doing that move during one of his plays. I know I tanked a couple. How do you deliver â€œVanilla ice cream IS the best! Everyone in the world knows it!â€? with the words â€œPunk eating out of a canâ€? in parentheses after that. Was that stage direction?
They asked me to reread the lines I liked. I did.
They asked me to reread the same lines but ad lib if I wanted. Thatâ€™s when I spewed that aforementioned line like this in my best frantic guy way:
â€œThis fucking country is run like a bad Canadian tax write off movie of the week. What is this?! Stargate SG-1!? Go read a fucking paper!â€?
Yeah I chewed scenery.
Did I get it? I donâ€™t know. I was in there longer than some, shorter than others. Who can say? I did wonder as I left the room about my brother and how he dealt with this kind of uncertainty. Did he ever turn to the director and plead for a second chance? Did he leave angry? At himself?
Iâ€™ll keep you posted if any news comes to me.