Saturday, October 31, 2015

Of droughts and flooding rains

Since that last audition I've had another four, including one I had the privilege of paying for.

It's called a self-test and it's for a small role as a board member in an ABC drama starring Guy Pearce. My agent wants it done professionally so I dutifully book myself in for a $60 session to film a three line audition, then it all gets moved forward and it's a mad scramble to find someone else who can do it at short notice. I don my suit and rush from a holiday rehearsal with my students all the way across town to a little joint in Footscray. I've only got $45 cash on me but luckily it doesn't take long so the guy's happy with that. Later, a message from my agent comes up on my phone. 'We got your audition upload and it's terri--' Terrible?! Oh crap. Then I read the whole message. 'it's terrific' Relief. But after all that I don't get the role. I try out for another TVC a week later but the dry spell continues.

Then I have two auditions in one week. First I am invited, via the Starnow casting website, to audition for a rare paid role: a mum in an online video for a retail store in the style of The Office.

So on Tuesday after work I jump in the car and head into Richmond. I have to do a short scene that I've learnt and also improvise some dialogue. It goes down well. In fact the guy is laughing so much the camera--read iPhone-- is shaking. A good sign. He says he'll let me know by Friday. There's no guarantee but I’m feeling so good I settle into peak hour traffic believing I’m gonna get both roles and I haven’t even done the second audition yet.

The next day I rush off to South Melbourne for another Neighbours audition. It's mid-morning but it's raining and it's like peak hour again. I am consequently a bit late and the lovely but no-nonsense casting agent rushes me into her little studio. There's a beanied, bearded man with a Scottish accent (I know I've seen him in something before) who turns out to be reading for me. He's doing three roles. Thankfully I'm only doing one. I have to look at him and then across to two other imaginary characters while he says their lines. I'm not exactly composed but I put my best professional foot forward and get a blank on a line in my first take. Second take goes well but the casting woman wants another. I unintentionally do a look in the wrong direction but she's happy (or maybe she just wants me out of there) so off I go. I accidentally drive over a traffic island up the street (put it down to poor visibility) but manage to arrive back at work on time and in one piece. Then it's back to my day job--rehearsing my Drama students for their performance the next evening.

Friday comes and I’m checking my phone all day. Nothing. I spend the weekend down in the dumps, wondering whether I should chuck it all in. By the end of Monday the last little remnants of hope have gone. Then on Tuesday after work I get an email to say I have the mum role after all. The client liked me the best. Me! My first credit for 2015. Now I don’t look like a total BLA (Big Loser Actor)!

But wait. There's more!

On Thursday there’s a missed call from my agent. I have given up on the Neighbours role by now. It's probably an audition for some lineless, lime-lightless, payless role. But the young woman on the phone tells me I’ve got the part! She waits for me to stop screaming like I’ve just won tattslotto then gives me some details that I hardly hear I am so delirious. I hang up and look around the staffroom eager to justify my joyous outburst to my colleagues but their bemused heads are down.

I don’t care.

The drought is over.


Yesterday I got a call from Neighbours to discuss wardrobe. An hour later I get a call from my agent to say they've cut my role.

I know life has its up and downs but lately I've had more downs than a Coles ad.