Thursday, 9 February 2012

Whinges and Wines

Advert castings. That joyous time where you get two seconds to portray every emotion under the sun to show just how enthusiastic you can be about someone else's brand. You get shoved in front of the camera and you only just get chance to utter your name and agent and show off your profile before you're being asked to be cheekily upset about how wonderously happy you are at being outrageously shy at an imaginary person offering you soup in a stick. First attempts usually fail miserably while your brain desperately tries to make your face portray every human emotion possible in one gurning move. The casting director will then wince a bit, you'll feel like the worst actor in the world and then spend an agonising four more takes pulling every muscle in your face trying too look like you have a clue what they want you to do. They'll then smile pitifully and kick you back out on to the streets of Soho where you belong.

Thankfully the casting I went to this week wasn't quite so bad but it certainly had its moments. The part I was up for was described as a 'wine woman.' Now, these are two words I know well. This is the part I've been subconciously preparing for for a good chunk of my life. So I arrived at the casting feeling pretty darn confident and naively convinced that I'd get to drink at least one bottle of wine in my attempt to get the part right. I was given a short script to look over and was told I'd be going in with two other actresses so once they had arrived, we could get together and rehearse before going in. It was a three line script so rehearsing beforehand seemed a tad unnecessary but the waiting room was cluttered with other groups doing the same so I felt I ought to join in. The rest of my team arrived and once we'd all filled out our ridiculously long forms detailing everything from what we ate for breakfast last Wednesday to our thoughts on the current economic state of Azerbaijan, I presumed we'd run through the lines at least once. They'd also asked that we get to know each other a little bit as they wanted us to appear as friends. While every other group in the room was yakking away and howling with laughter, I was desperately trying to make conversation with one actress who was glued to her phone and another who was lustily whispering the script to herself. After a couple of futile attempts to make sure we were at least on smiling terms before we entered the casting room, I gave up and sought solace on Twitter.

We were finally called in and while the group before us left all busy arranging when they were going to meet up for drinks, we still didn't even know each others names. We went through the scene a few times with Mobile Lover constantly getting her lines wrong and Lusty Whisperer overpronouncing her lines and constantly being told to stop taking it all quite so seriously. I, on the other hand, was struggling with the glorious direction of being 'cheekily sincere' and I was also told to keep a straight face and laugh at the same time. Sadly I think we came across less like a group of friends and more like a self-help group of alcoholics. The advert may have been for shockingly cheap wine but I'm sure even this particular cheap brand has standards that we came nowhere near to reaching.

Oh, and I didn't get to drink any wine. Stupid job.

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