Monday, December 8, 2008
Had three commercial auditions last week: toothpaste, soup and a phone company. Today was fast food.
"Before we begin, are you sure you're able to eat a fish sandwich?"
Interesting question, but they have to ask it. This is not the time to outwardly reflect on the last time you bought a fish sandwich (out of desperation, when the restaurant was about to close, after they were all out of chicken). They really want to know if you have any allergies or moral objections.
You might as well say it's okay, because you're not eating fish at the audition. You're eating crackers. Since graduating to a call back happens to a select few, it would make more sense to ask actors if they can eat crackers.
I sat down, slated (that means I said my name into the camera), and then I held the crispy round like it was a sandwich. There is no speaking, so the real skill comes in making facial expressions while a voiceover relays my thoughts to the viewer. With the first bite I was meant to indicate surprise. The second, I show that the sandwich was delicious and the third--my total bliss. After the first bite, the cracker was almost gone.
"This time, do it less...hungry. Don't have so much movement to your body." Movement? I hadn't gone anywhere or let go of my snack. Did I flap my elbows too hard? I remember turning my head a lot, looking at the invisible people who coveted my cracker. "Also, don't be so expressive with your eye brows. Keep the emotion from here (below the eyebrow) to here (below the bottom lip)." I wondered if that included my ears.
There was no water to help digest my snack, but I noticed a waste basket. I imagined the smart people who came before me, quickly ridding themselves of cracker dust with one swift, "Ptoo!". I wished I had only fake nibbled as I swallowed a lump of gluey gluten.
"Are you ready yet? How about now? Okay great."
The second take I was frozen solid. I probably looked like Charlie Chaplin moving my eyes from left to right, up, down and around. On the last bite she reminded me to smile. Was I not smiling? Was I frowning? "Our new fish sandwich is so good you'll want to kill somebody."
I walked out feeling about this audition that I did about the last three: nailed it.
Which one will take? The ten thousandth.
Written by Abbi Crutchfield
Labels: Backstage Pass