The Playgoer: Actor's Nightmare

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Friday, May 04, 2007

Actor's Nightmare

Mr. Urbaniak testifies from the trenches of [tv land], on his big commercial callback...

"Okay," he [the director] finally said to us. "I'm going to give you some emotions and you'll react to the camera." I was first. "Sad," he said. I did as told. "That's confused," he said. "Sad." He was the confused one, of course; I was totally doing sad. But to make him happy I put on more of a wounded puppy look (all in the eyes), resisting the temptation to also push out my lower lip. "Good," he said. "Amused." Piece of cake. This audition was so stupidly amusing no acting was required. I smiled, eyes twinkling. "Good," he said. "You're a cashier. Start with a neutral face, and then say thank you without speaking." Turning my face into an inscrutable blank canvas, I took a beat, gave a little smile and (the masterstroke) nodded my head. "Very good," he said. You're fucking right it was very good, big guy. An Obie Award-winner and Drama Desk nominee stands before you.
If nothing else, let's remind our opponents of at least this valuable benefit of a healthy subsidized theatre: to train the actors that delight you on your couch, at 2am, between segments of "America's Next Top Model"...

Correction: 1st sentence emended after the man himself notes in Comments, this took place in our glorious NYC, not la la land. Sorry, James, I can never tell when it's pilot season or not.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That was from the trenches of New York. (I move to L.A. on the 15th.) When you think about it though, it's a very efficient casting method.