From the time I somehow managed to lock myself in the casting room bathroom for over an hour and had to completely dismantle the lock with a nail file, emerging a sweaty panicked mess who then had to return the restroom key to the casting assistant, to the time I had to teach an 80 year old woman what twerking was (ME+TWERK=FAIL) and everything in between, it’s been a pretty epic 7 years of auditioning in LA.
I’ve changed clothes in so many Starbucks bathrooms that I remember the different codes for the doors depending on which one I’m in, and I don’t want to know how many drivers have seen me trying to simultaneously change clothes, stuff a sandwich down my throat and recite lines while driving. Ah the glamorous life of an actor.
I’ve also lost count of the number of times I’ve headed into an audition, lines learned, ready to go – and then they ask me to dance….why you ask? I HAVE NO EFFING CLUE. Apparently it’s to loosen you up pre-audition or something. At first I thought my friends were just calling ahead to make this happen, given my extreme lack of rhythm. I’m still half-expecting to see a montage of those tapes on You’ve Been Framed (is that show still on??) or sent to me via mail with a blackmail note. Spoiler – I would pay.
So then there’s the dreaded ‘self-tape’. Where you are asked to set up a wobbly video camera or laptop camera by yourself at home and film your audition then edit it and send it in. Of course most people get someone to help them do this, but being my polite British self I won’t ask for help and often end up recording the other persons lines to play back and play off of, which is an absolute NIGHTMARE since I end up cutting myself off and flipping out, knocking over said wobbly camera and sulking for the rest of the day.
Now, if you’ve ever tried to record an audition at home, whether voice-over or on camera, you can relate to my next statement. EVERYTHING MAKES NOISE!! I have so many outtakes of my dogs barking, sniffing the microphone, grumpusing (my corgi grumpus ALWAYS has to have the last word) scratching, throwing toys in my face and just generally being arseholes, not to mention the air-con coming on and off and the cast of Furious 7 who seem to appear outside my window every time I record, primed and ready to race. Add to this the inevitable string of expletives from my now frustrated and flustered self and you have a day of utter hell just to record a two minute audition. Hooray for self-taping.
Auditioning is fun but you have to have thick skin. When you think about it, as an actor you spend the majority of your life being rejected or criticized, often for things completely out of your control. Even when you book a job, there’s always a chance that (usually right AFTER you tell everyone) you’ll get cut, the shoot will get canceled or the company you just shot an amazing commercial for will literally self-implode in the most spectacular way (I’m not bitter Phones4U…honest). So it’s best to just keep your head down, keep working hard and forget about the 99% rejection factor.