Tenspeed & Brownshoe

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The NO NO's of Auditioning

Over at Ken Levine's blog, Ken has graciously and humorously shared some of his audition stories with actors coming in and embarrassing themselves or other people in the room. Currently, I'm in the middle of a slate of projects and we just had our first round of auditions yesterday. This has inspired me to write about some of the things that I love and hate about auditions:

Don't look at the producers or director when auditioning.

Unless the director is reading the lines himself with the actors, there will always be some sort of "reader" when auditioning. Some actors make the mistake of playing it to the director/producer in hopes to come off more powerful. Guess what? It doesn't. It's actually rather off-putting. Especially if the scene contains an intense argument. I can't tell you how hard I laughed when an actress looked over at my Director of Photography and called him a "white cracker bastard!" P.S. Don't worry, it's adapted from a Langston Hughes story and not a Chris Rock monologue.

Don't destroy the room!

Yet another argument scene. One actress thought it would be dramatic if she ripped off her necklace, her watch, and proceeded to systematically destroy the room while performing. Well...it wasn't. And she was wearing beads. And it broke, sending beads all over the floor. A nice little present for the next actor coming in. So now after her, the room looked like the last scene of The Burning Bed.

Read the script...

The most outrageous thing that happened yesterday was a guy who came in to read for the lead. He came in dressed like he was gonna rob a Korean liquor store. The story takes place in 1940. Already, I could tell he wasn't really prepared. Anyway, he starts reading the sides...literally. He never looked up. And if that wasn't bad enough, he delivered all his lines like DMX. We politely reminded him that the movie takes place during the 40's. So he starts again and this time he starts to shiver while reading his lines. The director stopped him and asked what he was doing. The actor responded, "Yo, 40 degrees is cold, nigga."
I laughed for 10 minutes straight.
True story.