Saturday, June 30, 2007


Improv auditions have you do improv, usually in the style of the show that you are auditioning for. A while ago I was in an audish for a short form theater, so we played lots of games. In general it is a good idea to keep it clean in an improv audish. For many reasons: you want the auditor to see your character, emotion, great object work, and that you can think of things besides shocking language.

In this particular audish, there was a guy who I will refer to as Dirty Boy. Dirty Boy dropped the f-bomb in every scene in his audish and steamrolled a scene into skeeze teritory. Other than that, overall everyone did great work and there were some really funny scenes.

But the funniest thing in the entire audish was a question from this gal during the question and answer sesh, right after Dirty Boy had a yelling f-bomb scene:
Sassy Girl: Are these going to be family friendly shows?
Auditor Involuntarily Glancing At Dirty Boy: Yea..... yes, they are.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Wardrobe!?...seriously, somebody get me a wardrobe trailer!

About once a year, Second City has an audish for their touring company. We all get a little worked up about it and everybody freaks for a few days.

One year, I had just bought a cute top that I really wanted to wear to my TourCo Audish. I decided this the night before, but I had just worn the same top to work that day. So what is a sassy lady with a wardrobe vision to do? I wore my cute top to my audish in the morning and planned to change at SC before I went to work.

I got to my audish and saw several familiar faces. This is a great thing for an improv audish where the ideal of make your partners look good can be tossed aside by the combination of nervousness, a desire to be funny and strange surroundings. We had a great time in the audish and I walked out of the building with several people talking about it and their current projects.

I got about halfway to the bus stop for the 151 to work and realized I had forgotten to change out of the top I had worn the day before.

I was too far to go back to SC, so I kept walking to the bus. When I got there there was no bus in sight and not much traffic. I thought about a quick change and had gotten my shirt out of my bag when I saw there was a service van with a driver parked about 10 feet away. So I waited. Still no bus. I didn't think anyone at work would really notice, but wanted to change. Still no bus. I looked as far down the road as I could see, saw no bus, and decided to go for the change right there.

I was using the shirt #2 over shirt #1, wiggle out the arms method and had made it past one arm when.... yes, the bus I needed appeared. I had waited a while for this bus and it was not rush hour so I had to take it. I tried to smooth shirt #2 over shirt #1 as I stood up and got on the bus. And, of course, this bus was very full. And I had to sit next to an old man. With my bag on my lap and 1 1/2 shirts on, I had a vrry important decision to make: either finish it now or later when I got off the bus on Michigan Ave.

So while staring straight ahead, I wiggled my arms back up my sleeves, got rid of shirt #1, folded it, put it in my bag and got off the bus 15 minutes later making no eye contact with my fellow passengers.

I didn't get a callback, but I did half-flash a busload of people.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

"my favorite print audition" -> first guest blog!

Every year or two I decide to take the summer off from having a terrible day-job and once again commit myself to the unknown and unsure lifestyle of acting and auditioning. The last time I committed myself to such a lifestyle was two years ago after living over two years as a receptionist for a video game company. That day job itself was probably one of the most enjoyable 'muggle-jobs' I've had in my career, but it didn't pay much and had no benefits, so off I went head first back into the struggle.

This particular audition was for a print ad for some certain cellular phone company. I took a train to the west loop (which made me 15minutes late for the scheduled audition time) but I finally tracked down the tiny studio.

I walked in to a tiny square room with a desk in the back corner and a large conference table set up in the front area. "Nancy" the one and only person in this room told me she was the artistic director for the shoot and asked me for my info. She led me to the conference table and showed me the picture mock up for the ad which I was auditioning for. The mock up picture was of a conference style table (much like the one I was sitting at). The camera was looking down the table from the head of the table point of view. Pretend you're the president of a company and you're sitting at the head of a large conference table. Now scoot your chair back so you can see the edge of the table in front of you. Now put the camera on the table right there at the edge and take a picture. What would you see? The length and width of a conference table with the inside half of 3 or 4 people sitting at the table looking toward the camera, Yes. However, in this picture one person is sitting on the table facing the opposite way, so it's 3 half faces and one ass on the table.

"Nancy" comes over to me and says, "You'll be auditioning for THAT part" and points to the ass at the table. I get up, sit on the table and she takes a picture. Apparently my ass wasn't good enough because I didn't book the job. I guess there's always next time.


Friday, June 22, 2007

Woman #3

Sometimes you spend $13 on cabs to make it to & fro your agent within your lunch hour to read for the part of Woman #3. Out of a full page of copy, woman 3 has one line, so this is what happens:
"The bottle's green?"
"The bottle's green?"
"Thuu bottle's green?"

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

vo on the fly

Monday I had an audish for a car radio spot that was super fun- and yet another illustration of how one can apply improv to everything. The roles were salesman, man, woman so I was reading with 2 other people. (Actually one of them was the guy who taught my VO class! You start to see the same people if you go to enough audishes). The couple is asking the salesman if he has a car like one they have just see in the movie "The Transformers." Right when we got into the booth they had us mark up some changes on the copy. They added a few interjections and line changes, we read through once and then read to record for the audition. We slated in the same order each time: "name-salesman" "name-man" "me-woman." The first round comment I got was "that was great, just do something different this round so we have a different take." This is a common request during auditions and having a background in improv makes it easier to go with the flow and pull out something new each time. We read the spot again, and then the producer changed the casting and had the man and salesman switch parts just to see what it sounded like. It did sound better that way, the new 'salesman' had a more announcer type voice and the new 'man' had more of a character voice. We did it once more with the new parts, everyone in the booth was happy and that was it. My big line: "Oh, and great gas mileage!"

Saturday, June 16, 2007

First Audition

My very first audish was of course in high school for the school play....not sure what play. I remember feeling okay about it and being excited to see the cast list posted. I thought I might be on it, even though I was a freshman. When they posted the list my name was not on it, and at the time I felt embarrassed and never auditioned for another play in all four years of high school. I did wheedle my way onto our auditorium's stage by entering the talent show my junior and senior year. My next audish would be 4 years later for the improv team at my college.

At the time, I had not yet learned the big sassy secret to audishing: have fun & then forget it. Read or talk to anyone about casting and you'll soon find out that there are so many things that go into choosing the right people that all you can do is have fun and try your best. Don't get discouraged and sit out for four years or even four days. I feel lucky and proud of my-teen-self that I still got it together and got to perform though colorguard, cheerleading, and convincing my friends to be in the talent show with me. Eventually all that other stuff got me back in audish mode and I ended up here in Chicago.