Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Blue Skype Thinking

I’ve noticed recently that there has been a real increase in the amount of auditions that are being conducted via Skype. At first I saw a couple and my reaction was that casting directors are getting lazy and student film makers couldn’t be bothered to organise auditions. But the more I’ve seen, the more I’ve realised that this kind of thing is going to be the norm. Now I’m still a Skype audition virgin but I know my time will soon be up. It’s only a matter of time before the encircling pack of webcam-equipped wolves pounce upon me and I find myself performing a script to my laptop. 

In theory, the online audition sounds perfect. I don’t have to think about what time I’m going to leave the flat so that I can make sure I arrive in time. I don’t have to worry about the rain/wind/a wily eagle that will ruin my freshly styled hair. I don’t have to spend money on getting to an audition that I probably won't even get. Instead of losing hours out of my day, I can get myself ready, sit in front of the computer, do the audition and then get on with my day straightaway. Unless they want me in full length then I can potentially audition in my slippers which would probably be the highlight of my career.

But here’s the thing. The main problem is what if these auditions become more regular than the ones where you schlep into Soho which, although annoying, at least they get you out of the house. However, there are far more important factors such as the fact that I may be able to get away with my usual indoor footwear (giant frog slippers if you must know) but other than that, I’d still have to get myself ready as I would for any audition. I’d be the living embodiment of ‘all dressed up with nowhere to go.’ It’s the depressing moment when you’ve got yourself ready for a night out and just as you put your coat on to leave, your friend calls and cancels. I don’t want to get my hair ready, do my make-up and put on my bestest clothes just to sit staring at my laptop.

And then there’s the worry about what your surroundings look like. Our flat is so damp that our dehumidifier is collecting enough water to keep drought away from London for the next 10 years so most walls have an interesting pattern of mould on them. Although it might help make a director feel sorry for me, I’m fairly sure it’ll be very difficult to concentrate on my performance when they’re busy following the mould travelling across the wall behind me. We also have a neighbour who likes to shout profanities at the top of his voice. Surely his exclamations will be rather off-putting while I’m trying to desperately trying to read through a scene. Add to this the fact that people seem to specifically stop outside our flat to cough loudly/argue/hack their guts up/sell crisps at the top of their voice (really happened) and you’re suddenly plunged into the most unauditionable space outside Basra. 

And finally there’s our shoddy internet. Our internet likes to cut out constantly. Unless you’re sat on top of the router, it will crash the second you try to do something. Our internet is so unreliable that I once used up nearly a whole month’s data allowance on my phone after I was forced to download a film via 3G so that I was ready to do a voiceover the next day. So you can guarantee that as soon as I’m just getting into a scene, just ready to say the killer line, the internet will die and I’ll suddenly be faced with a blank screen and the realisation that I’m acting to my very old, crisp crumb filled laptop. Oh, and let’s add in the fact that I’ve got the attention span of a flea who is being forced to watch the whole Lord of the Rings trilogy so if I get an email or I suddenly get an urge to check Twitter, my audition attention is over. It’s hard to look interested in someone talking to you about their upcoming project while you’re busy vetting photos on Facebook. 

So here’s to hoping that I manage to keep those online auditions away for now. Or at least until me, my flat and my router learn a bit of netiquette…

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