Monday, June 4, 2012
Sometimes...they just don't like you...
But I must say that since I have come to have representation and primarily only do audition "appointments" it is rare when the feedback isn't good and I can honestly say that probably 70 to 80% of the time I get a callback and my booking ratio is MUCH higher as well. Why? Because if they are giving me an appointment, they already believe that I am the right type and have the talent (or at least experience) to do the project.
HOWEVER...there are rare occasions now where I go in for an appointment and from the moment I walk in the room, they look at me like I have three heads. It is in those moments, that I breath, do my best work and walk away without giving it a second thought.
Just the other day I had such an experience. I heard the two gentlemen who preceded me, and in all honesty (and i hardly EVER think this at auditions) I thought they were HORRIBLE! Just terrible actors who where shouting lines they did not understand and it was classical text (not Shakespeare but still had a rhyme and cadence) and they just didn't have a clue. This seemed to be confirmed when the casting director came to me with "pre-audition notes" and I was careful to listen and prepare to give him what he asked for.
As he brought me into the room however, it was clear that the producer and director were already disappointed in my look and stature. Then, the casting director looked at me and said. "Oh! I thought your last name was Rivera." "Nope," I said, "it's Riviere!".
I then proceeded to give what I thought was a kick-ass audition. Projecting appropriately as he had asked...making bold and strong choices as if this man knew what he wanted and could have it as he was a king. I used a slight middle-eastern accent as they had said they were looking for middle-eastern for the role (altho clearly they were looking for Hispanics for the role). And finally, I felt my use of the text was really good.
When I finished the director looked at me in disgust and just said, "Thanks for coming in." And the producer looked even more disgusted. The casting director was a bit more pleasant and thanked me for coming in but it was clear they did not want me from the moment I entered the room. More ironic to me was that both gentleman that preceded me were asked to do the piece AGAIN with adjustments and they were no better, if anything in my opinion, they were worse! But because their "type" was closer to what they were looking for, they were willing to give bad acting a closer look over better acting but the wrong type.
And so...it proves so well what I used to tell my students at TISCH, New York University:
"You can only do the best that you can do in that moment in those given circumstances and then LET IT GO! Sometimes they won't like you because of your stature, or your coloring, or your ethnicity. Sometimes you will remind them of an ex lover who they despise and that will be your downfall. Sometimes they will love you but it is already cast 10 times over."
And sometimes, for whatever reasons, they will just look at you like you have three heads and just not get you.
So I left the room thinking, you folks are clueless and if you aren't interested in me, that is your issue - I did the job I wanted to do and I left it all in the room. That is all we can do as artists - the work we want to do and leave it in the room. It's all subjective so some will love it, some will hate it and some will just find it mediocre. We must continue to do it anyway because those who love us, will find us and make it all worth the journey. All worth the "nos" and "nexts"!
I am ready for the next adventure! Because sometimes they just don't like you, but sometimes, they DO like you, they REALLY like you!