So yesterday was another callback for a movie. I’ll give more details later on it, but I wanted to tell everyone how it went. The movie is based on a true story about a drugged-out biker who turns his life around and becomes a real life action hero. It’s pretty awesome. It’s awesome and it stars someone awesome.
Anyway, I was put on tape about a week and a half/two weeks ago for a small role. They called me back! In fact, they also called back my fellow Fangirl Mary for it (Fangirl Films FTW). Yes. The same role. So we drove together and gleeked out in the car on the way over to the callbacks last week. Sure, this led to joking that if one of us was given a part on the spot we’d shove the other out of the moving car on the expressway, but it was just said in jest. Right? 🙂
So we arrived and waited a short bit and then we were up! First her, then me. I crossed my fingers, toes and everything else while she was in there, sending her all the good vibes I could spare. See, I don’t see it as competition when we’re up for the same role. Technically I suppose we are in competition, but it’s strange how our relationship works. I don’t think I could really be jealous of her if I tried. I might have twinges now and again but honest jealousy is just too harsh an emotion to ever feel toward someone I am that close to. We’re on the same vibe. We know how the other feels before we even say or do anything. So I’m not joking when I say that I really really really wanted her to blow them out of the water, even if it meant I just had to try that much harder!
I went in and did my thang twice, then the director (who directed a James Bond movie mind you!) told them to give me another page for a cold read. Literally cold. Frozen, in fact. I didn’t even have time to scan it before going. In my first read I was standing and they asked me to sit for the second one, so I sat down. The chair creeeeeaaaaked as I sat down and then again as I shifted, prompting some laughter. My first reading was kind of prim and proper, as I didn’t know what to expect. I was sitting with perfect posture, gut sucked in, voice nice and clear and friendly. Then I realized as we went on that the role was actually a bit different. I was asked to read it again. ‘Is she really bored right now?’ I asked, as the character seemed distracted. I was told that yes, she’s very bored. She’s been at this all day every day for a long time and hates her job. I nodded, thought about it for a moment, then slumped down in my seat like a bored office worker and delivered the lines in a much more bored and distracted manner. I read it a total of four or five times and then was all done! I thanked the room collectively and nodded to each with a smile. The director said that it was great meeting me, I replied the same, then left.
Didn’t really expect to hear much. They had a lot of SAG people there already and apparently there were about 234782394872934 people reading for each role. Still! I had a callback in front of a big Hollywood director! And more importantly, I had a chance to (even if it was just for a few minutes) ACT. I love auditions. Sure they can be nerve-wracking but they’re fun. It’s a chance to get little snippets of acting into your day. It’s a few minutes to be this character, try it on for size as much for you as for the people on the other side of the table. It’s FUN.
A few days went by, then over the weekend I checked my email and had an email with an attachment from my agent. I started to expect bad news while I waited for it to open, then realized that an attachment didn’t mean bad news, probably. And it wasn’t bad news at all, it was ANOTHER CALLBACK. This time for a completely different role than the ones I had already read for. This role was for a biker chick.
Now THIS role is a cool one. No written lines, just some ad-libbing to be done. Mostly the scene is focused on the action part. See, the first role I read for, I was in the same room as the star and talking across a bit of a distance to him. The second one, I was across the desk from where he’d be. THIS time? This time I’d be in a bathroom stall with him.
No, it’s not THAT kind of movie! We’d be in the bathroom stall doing drugs. Okay so it’s THAT kind of movie, but not the OTHER THAT kind of movie. 🙂
Anyway, I read the callback info. Same production office as before, so that’s good. And they want me done up as a biker chick, so… I can uhm… I can do that. I’m an actress. I can uh… I can be a badass biker chick. Sure. So I spent a bit of time on Sunday looking for something to wear and some fake tattoos. Found a few things, pulled it together with some of the stuff I already had and on Monday after giving a presentation at work, I was found in the bathroom putting on fake tattoos and too much eye makeup.
I finished getting ready and decided I looked about as biker as I was gonna get and walked out of the bathroom.
Coworkers stared. People in the hall just gaped a little. Friends had OMG expressions. I was feeling a bit stoked after that. Maybe my transformation was good! So I was on a bit of a high note when I left to get to the offices for my callback.
Got there and went inside and stopped short. The room had about fifteen people in it already waiting and every. single. one. was wearing dress clothes. For a moment, I wondered if I read the callback information correctly. Did I get the right sides? It all SEEMED to match up! The email referenced things in the sides. What was going on?!
Turns out everyone was there to read for a different role. Most people were SAG, but a small handful were not. Most people were the only ones there for that particular role. Some had two people, but most just had the one. So what was the deal? Were they doing auditions later on as well for these roles? Did they do some earlier in the day for the same roles? It’s a mystery that may never be solved!
A few of my friends were there, so we talked a bit (in that quiet way you talk when someone is in the next room being taped) and some of us went outside to run lines. I had no lines, as my role was all improv, so I helped a friend run her lines with her. This was her first big audition and she was terribly nervous, even though it was already a callback. Some people are MORE nervous at a callback, though I’m the opposite. I pretty much see it as they already liked me for some reason, so I’ll just bring MORE with me this time. But she got her nerves calmed down and under control and I was very proud of her the last few times we did her lines together. She’s shaping up to be quite an actress!
Then I was on deck so hung out near the door. I heard the guy in front of me doing his lines. I believe it was an (on purpose) over the top preacher type of character. He was in there for at least a good seven minutes. They seemed really engaged, to judge by the sounds of how they were reacting to him. How was I supposed to live up to that when I don’t even have any lines?! Then it was my turn, so I took a deep breath and then sauntered on into the room with my best badass biker chick walk.
“NICE!” the director called out when I walked in. “Good look!” I thanked him and he mentioned that it was a huge transformation. What? Really? He REMEMBERED me from a week before? This guy directed a JAMES BOND MOVIE and he remembered ME? Wow! I laughed a little, still not breaking character overall since I had the stance and timbre of voice down, and mentioned that I spent all morning putting on fake tattoos JUST FOR HIM. He laughed and said he noticed, then we talked about it a little and it was GO TIME.
“We don’t really have any lines written for this role,” the director mentioned, though I already knew that. It was more of an in-the-moment sort of thing, which I totally understood and knew. I was prepared for it! He asked how I am at improv, to which I responded that I’m great at it. (See? I’m not sure I’m great at anything! THIS IS ACTING PEOPLE! I was ACTING like I’m amazing at it by lying through my teeth!) So he gives me a quick down and dirty rundown of the scene in the sides I was sent, and I nodded and listened intently in case I could pick up on anything different in his eyes or anything to give me direction in it.
I ended up starting out standing, then sat down, then proceeded to carry on a one-sided high-on conversation. The kind where the person talking doesn’t really know wtf they’re saying and they don’t even care if the other person is listening or not. It wasn’t much rambling, just a couple of quickie lines, most of the scene was me tugging off a necklace to tie around someone’s arm, cooking stuff up in a spoon by messing with my lighter that I had in my pocket and holding it like I have a spoon (which I did not) and then finally tugging a pen out and taking the cap off with my teeth and acting like I’m loading it full of drugs. I spit the cap out, which seemed to go over well.
Hey, I googled drug use a LOT this past weekend in order to know what the heck I was doing in that scene! My google searches probably raised many red flags somewhere.
So I finished the scene, thanked them for seeing me again, nodded and smiled to each person in the room and the director said that it was great seeing me again, I said it was mutual, wished them all a good day and headed out and headed home where I was less of a badass biker babe and more of a domestic goddess who got to make dinner.
Sometimes, I think my life is kind of cool.
UPDATE: I got the part.