Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Bored of Directors

I’ve done some horrible auditions. I’ve been shouted at for doing things wrong and I’ve been told off for not knowing things. I’ve been ignored, I’ve been laughed at and I’ve been made to feel like an idiot. And at their worst, they’ve made me wonder whether I should really be an actor. And today’s audition fell firmly within that last catergory…

Directors, I know most of you are good people. I know you do a damn fine job and are a sheer joy to work with. You respect the people you work with and you actually know what you’re doing. But oh how I wish you’d all been with me today to see just how it shouldn’t be done. I got to the audition venue about 15 minutes early because that’s how I roll. I hold running late akin to drowning puppies so I will always be early for things. I’m usually so early that I have to do a fair few wandered laps around the venue so that I don’t look utterly ridiculous with my insane timekeeping. But 15 minutes early is massively acceptable so I headed straight in. The audition was being held upstairs and I was told to head straight up so, being the law abiding citizen that I am, I did.

At the top of the open stairs was an open door so I tentatively poked my head round where I was greeted with a ‘hello’ that was so shocked, I wondered if I was accidentally wielding a bloody axe. I wasn’t and I stepped into the room as that seemed the polite thing to do. The director glanced at me, sighed, rolled his eyes and grunted a ‘And who are you?’ in my general direction. My reply, which I attempted to accompany with a handshake, was completely ignored and he turned to his producer to ask ‘Do we want to see HER now?’ She made a fuss about having to check half of south London first to make sure that no one else was waiting to be seen. She traipsed off with her A-Z and compass and in hand and I was made to wait in the middle of the room while the panel stared at me, making no attempt to make me feel comfortable. I told them that I was happy to wait until my actual time slot but his only response was a look that is usually reserved for when you tell a panel that your audition piece will be you drinking your own urine while you play the national anthem by tapping a cocktail stick on your toenails. Our intrepid explorer finally returned and she said that they might as well see me now. This was greeted by the director with a slump down at his desk and I was finally invited to sit down.

The second I sat down, I was asked for an in-depth analysis (the type even Freud would’ve called excessive) for a character that has a total of eight lines in a 30 minute film. I gave what I thought was an extremely detailed and well-considered answer and I was actually rather proud of the points I made. But oh no. Mr Director politely nodded until I was done and then went on to tell me that I was completely wrong and then treated me to a lecture to his thoughts on the character. Fine. Have your moment of glory, you jumped-up, unsupportive, horrible piece of directorial trash. 

I was then asked to read a couple of scenes which were both fine. I was reading with the producer who seemed more interested in checking her emails than actually helping me and the director seemed to enjoy giving me the type of direction where you’re asked to be happy, sad, confused, angry, sarcastic, devious, honest and tentatively bold with a single line that contains one word. It’s such a hideous thing to ask of an actor and only results in them line coming out either completely flat or at a pitch you didn’t even realise you were capable of.

By now I was feeling so low about the audition that I was fairly sure things couldn’t get any worse. But of course it could. I finished the final line of the last scene, held the moment for a couple of seconds like all good actors do and then looked over at him to see him actually wince. Directors, if you ever want to make your actor feel like they’ve been wasting their life chasing their dream, try wincing after their performance. You’ll be amazed at just how useless it can make someone feel.
Apparently I’ll be hearing back from them later today on whether I’ve got the part. If I get it then I will eat my hat, shoes, coat and snood because it’ll help detract from the pain of having to work with this director again…

1 comment:

  1. Heavens! Perhaps you should turn this into a sketch/short film...am I allowed to say I kind-of hope you *don't* get the part? It's not that they don't deserve you - sounds like they don't deserve anyone...