Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Get Your Butt To LA, Part 51: I Take You To Work With Me. Again.

Crazy can be a good thing. I often feel like I’m one lab accident away from becoming a super-villain.

As an actor, I embrace the crazy. On the heels of being put on avail for “The Newsroom” last week, I had an audition for the show “Raising Hope.” A very funny, but very heady audition, which required me to speak in a style not native to my tongue. (Quick side-lesson: I’m being vague about the scene for a reason. Never tweet, blog or post on Facebook the plot of anything you audition for until after it airs, or you’ll be shown the express lane right out of showbiz.)

So I’m standing in the hallway by the audition room, and the setting is frenetic. The show’s producers and director are crammed into a room, trying to cast several roles, each of which have a dozen actors auditioning. I’m in a suit, attempting to focus on my lines and the over-the-top style in which I have to deliver them, and now my turn is next and the adrenaline is pumping. And then Cloris Leachman, star of the show (and 250 other shows and movies), dressed in pajamas (her wardrobe) walked past me, grabbed the scene out of my hand.

“Okay, let’s run it,” she said. And suddenly, I’m running lines with Frau Blücher from Young Frankenstein and Grandma Ida from “Malcolm in the Middle.” My 1990s self almost shit his acid-wash jeans.

We ran it, and then she made me do it again. And again. (She’s a damn cool chick. And a pro – when we took the pic together, I originally stood on the other side of her, but she moved me so her good side could be photographed.) Then I was suddenly called into the audition room.

My body was now two-thirds adrenaline. In the room were about ten people, and I realized the director was Amy Madigan, wife of Ed Harris, star of Field of Dreams.

Okay, let’s recap: complex dialogue, hallway filled with my competition, Cloris Leachman challenging me, and now a room full of producers and Amy Madigan. And then Amy changed one of the lines it had taken me a day to memorize to see if I could handle it.

The job of an actor is to be confident, talented, flexible and a pro. And that’s exactly what I did. I made them laugh. Then Amy stretched me, having me try it a different way. Then she wanted it faster. And even faster than that. And I started to realize they were spending a lot more time with me than the actors who’d auditioned before me. And I walked out of there knowing I gave them what they wanted. I did my job.

But did I book the role? Nope. Now, I don’t want to get into the habit of blogging about jobs I don’t get, but I’m really proud of the work I did in this audition, and that’s all I can do. If they chose someone other than me, it was not for lack of effort.

But then again, what do I know? I’m crazy.


J. Hawn said...

Well said sir! In that moment, it wasnt about the role, and good for you for recognizing that. It was the satisfation of killing it and the confidence boost it gave you! Who knows where it will lead, but you sir, you delivered.

Donald said...

That's one hell of a day!

Matt Shevin said...

Thanks Donald!