Monday, September 19, 2011

Film Callback

I had my first ever callback for a SAG feature film on Friday.  It was out of state so I carpooled with another actress with my agency who was called back for the same role.  Awkward?  Sort of, but I viewed it as an opportunity to get to know an experienced actress a little better.  Not to mention, we both saved some gas money.  :)

She drove and we chatted on the three-hour drive and got to know each other a little better.  We had met before in a casting director's workshop earlier this year.  She was the reader in the workshop and I was a student.  At the time, she was starring in a critically acclaimed stage production in L.A. that the workshop director had written and produced.  I already admired her work.

Neither of us discussed the part we were auditioning for but we exchanged stories about our backgrounds, how we got started and I, of course, asked her many questions about her experiences in La-la land.  Once we got there, we discovered only four women had been called back to read for the role.  I felt super-honored to be included in that foursome. 

I went in before her and read four scenes for the film's director and casting director from L.A..  They both gave me great feedback after each scene.  I felt totally relaxed and comfortable for the first time in any audition.  I was connected, in the moment and fully present.  That alone was a major accomplishment. I walked out feeling pretty good. 

My friend went in next.  About mid-way through her reading, I heard applause.  When she walked out she gave me a thumbs-up sign and we signed out and left.  Once outside, she asked how I felt about it and I told her that it went as well as it could have.  She asked if the director applauded when I was done.  I told her no and she started laughing and told me that he did in hers.  It was an off-hand remark, no harm intended, and we both started laughing.  I congratulated her on an applause-worthy audition. 

On the way back, we discussed our insecurities as actors.  I was surprised to learn that she plays the same head games with herself that I struggle with on an almost daily basis.  We agreed that the psychological game is sometimes the hardest thing to overcome.  I told her that I honestly hoped that she would get the part if I didn't (which she probably will anyway).  And I meant it. 

Overall it was a great experience and I wouldn't have changed anything if I could have.  It's another milestone for me.  A feature film and only one of four called back.  I'm ecstatic for that alone.  But it was about more than that, I gained some valuable insights and learned that even though we compete for roles, it doesn't have to be ugly.  Will I be disappointed that I didn't get it?  Of course.  But if it goes to a worthy opponent, then so be it. 

I'm moving on up. 


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