|View single post by in media res|
|Posted: Fri Sep 8th, 2017 08:27 am||
in media res
Great Book for actors. As there is an unwritten rule that all Auditon Pieces must be from PUBLISHED or PRODUCED plays.
As a young actor in NYC, I always researched and hunted and scrounged for VERY RARE Published Audition pieces from Plays that would draw the Auditioners INTO the piece I would be doing. It was a lot of reading. I never tried to IMPRESS Auditioners with bombast, as I heard sooooo many actors do! It was agony listening to them, as I awaited. (My beginning years was Loudness and Bravado from the men. Pleading and Tears from the women.) Thankfully, all that has changed!
I always tried to DRAW IN Auditioners. Seduce them. BUT, I ALWAYS BROKE THE FOURTH WALL BETWEEN THE ACTOR/AUDIENCE.
I knew only One friend when I went to NYC. I had not a BFA/MFA. I had a degree in History from a small college from the Midwest. But I loved Theatre.
My selected monologues and Partnered Scene Pieces through hours and hours and hours of research, worked so well...whether individually or with a scene partner...that the auditioners were so seductively drawn so much into the pieces they were almost FORCED to hire me...and/or my buddy if we did a scene. Even though I or we suckered 'em. IN fact that was the whole point : SuCKER THEM! (Monologue or Solo Scene.)
Never forget "cunning" when you are an artist! You don't have to PLEASE them. You DO have to CON them!!!
Deflect them. Sucker Them. Like a pick-pocket....or a sleazy Investment Counsellor. If you are SEEKING APPROVAL...YOU ARE SCREWED.Having auditioned actors as well, I saw soooooo many of them trying to PLEASE, rather than to make us BELIEVE! If you are needy, you are SCREWED. When AUDITIONERS realize YOU are holding their brain in your hand...and that they have been HAD...they wake up! And hire you!
I had read somewhere "Artists need Talent, Determination and...Cunning."
Too often artists only think they need Talent. HA!
One time, a buddy of mine and I were auditioning at CBS TV in NYC. We had a brilliant duo piece where we got into such an argument...as the characters IN THE SCENE... that one of us ACTUALLY LEFT THE AUDITON ROOM!!!!!! YEP...LEFT THE ROOM!!!
The two Casting Agents were totally flummoxed. There was tension in the room. They did not know what to do. A spat between two actors??!!!!
As the written character, I tried to apologize for my partner...with the playwrights words. The auditioners were quite nervous...tense. They did not know what to do.
THEN...the OTHER actor came back into the room - as the character - and also apologized...with the playwright's words...to me and to them. And the scene continued on as if nothing ever happened!!!!
By the end of the piece...after they found they had been "hoaxed", the Major casting agent was sooooo angry he started to yell at us!!!!!
I stood up to the jerk. I said, "Hey, you believed it, Right? Isn't that the point." However, his female casting partner really liked the piece. She was smiling. Kind of enjoyed that she had been "had!" (ISN'T THAT THE POINT?) It was his Male testosterone/control freak that got him mad. He felt he had lost control BECAUSE HE ACTUALLY BELIEVED WHAT WAS GOING ON! We suckered him!!!! Which is EXACtTY WHAT THEATRE IS ALL ABOUT. "The willing suspension of Disbelief!!!"
Anyway, my buddy and I left. We did both get called in for some work, by the way.
JUMP CUT: Couple of years later - after I was working like crazy in NYC - I ran into the same Casting guy at an audition. He had lost his job at CBS! I went up and mildly jibed him for having been such a jerk. He didn't give me any flack back, because he had lost his job...and he knew I was working all the time! Kind of a case of "The Actor's Revenge." I loved it!!!!
LESSON: NEVER LET ANYONE DEMEAN YOU!!!
Anyway, congrats on the book. Hope actors take the advice and use them collectively or singularly...while TARGETING their auditions with PARTICULAR pieces that work well FOR THEM...especially having so many to use for any PARTICULAR audtion. What a gift for actors!!! I thank you.
This is what they often don't teach you in schools. I learned "on the yob" as a Midwestern actor dropped into the Streets of Survival of NYC.
Worked out just fine!!!!
My biggest joy I ever received in my life is when I was walking down Santa Monica Blvd. in Los Angeles after coming out of a small theatre after seeing a Late Night show on their Theatre Row.
This young guy came running up to me hollering my name. I barely remembered him until he said, "I was your driver after a shoot in New Jersey! Remember we got stuck in Traffic at the Holland Tunnel after a shoot?" Then I remembered! We reintroduced ourselves. It was great to see him. He said,
"I am an actor now. I am making my living as a full-time actor...because of you! You told me, 'If you really want it...go for it. Let no-one get in your way. Give it five years. If nothing happens...you may have to re-think. But give it five years." Then he again said, "I am an actor because of you! I have been making my living as an actor!!!" We laughed and chatted for about 10 more minutes.
I hope he still is making his living as an actor, and he is still talking about me!
And that he passes the advice on.