Thursday, July 23, 2009

Big weekend

Just got the call (well, E-mail) for a second callback for Sunday night, on top of the one I have on Saturday.

These are two great roles. I am, without a doubt, excited. Difficult, and, no doubt, will be hard to win. However, they're top notch challenges. The only correlation I can think of for myself would be playing McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest in '07. It's that kind of iconic, "oh my God, I always wanted to take a shot at that" stuff.

I always assume I'm NOT going to get cast. I've been doing this long enough to understand that's the way to avoid a lot of heartbreak. I always get this split personality in my head. I'm excited, I want to tell people, but then I think I sound like I'm bragging, or I'm jinxing myself.

The audition process, can be so cruel. You go in, throw yourself out on the stage, and then go home. If you get it, you hear. If you don't...most of the time...nothing. No feedback, at all. I have friends that are driven nuts by this. Who want some sort of response, for good or ill.

The truth is, 90% of the time, it's nothing you did, or didn't do. It's all in the eyes of the director. If you get called back, I feel, you're, essentially, being told you could play this role. Good for you. That's a win. Your skill and talent is validated.

After that, it's all about any number of variables. Height, weight, age, hair color? How all of those things fit with the rest of the's all in the eyes of the director. It's a gut instinct, something that most directors probably can't even put into words. Something you give off, a confidence, a way you smiled, the way you took the stage, whatever, resonated with them. It sparked and they wanted you for that role.

I would confidently wager that, for most directors out there, it's not an intellectual process. Oh, yeah, thought goes into it, putting the callback groups together and such, but that moment when the light turns on, when the choice seems so simple, it's right from the gut. At least it always is with me, when I'm on the other side of that table.

The generals weed out the people who either didn't prepare, are absolutely wrong for the role, or just don't have any skill. The callbacks put everyone in front of you, so you can watch, and wait for the spark. I never call back anyone who I don't think can do the role.

(I also don't call back any more than 3 people for any role. I mean, seriously, looking at 10 people for every role is silly. It's wasting people's time.)

What it all comes down to is this....You can't predict anything about any audition or callback. You just can't, there are too many variables and personal gut instincts involved. You're doing nothing but wasting energy worrying. The best thing to do, which will also allow you to let the best of yourself come through, is to relax and have fun with it. Stop trying to figure out what they want to see, and be yourself. Show 'em how you would play this role, that's what they want to see, and that's what will get you the part.

...If they see it the same way.

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