Sorry for the scatological hook of this post, but my head was so far up my ass recently, it seems appropriate. Now I’m not one to blog about auditions usually because I think it bores everyone, including my ancestors. But I had several brain farts in the past 24 hours that turned a simple audition for Showtime’s ‘Weeds” into a private comedy of errors.
Actors’ Brain Fart #1
Sometimes casting directors will send out a script for, say, Business Man #1 but will ask the actor to read all the Businessman roles as one role. That was the case with my Hot In Cleveland audition. So, when a “Weeds” audition arrived in my email box with the role of Soccer Dad in a scene with Another Soccer Dad and Different Soccer Dad — I knew what to do! Add in that all the other non-essential roles were blacked out for the scene and it was very obvious I was to read them as one role.
Yeah, Felix Unger was correct about people who “assume.”
And now that I was becoming an ass it was time to do what asses do. And, by mixing my go-getter attitude with my recent night-owl sleep deprivation jag, you get some hearty, reverberating brain farts.
So, having prepared all the roles and worked out one odd transition, I was ready to ace the audition.
Into the room I go with the director, producer and casting director, the lovely Dava Waite-Peaslee. We begin the scene… and all of a sudden Dava is reading some of my lines! Oh shit.
At this point one would think I would’ve clued in… Nah. I assumed she had a wrongly highlighted script. I did my best not to look confused as I jumped over some of “my” lines to keep up with her.
When I was finished, it was apparent that it didn’t go that great. But I wasn’t going to passively-aggressively joke, “I guess we have different scripts” or something and chuckle like a nincompoop. No. I’d take the loss like Actor Man™… But first, I had to fart again.
Actor’s Brain Fart #2
As I was leaving the room I decided I’d go check the scripts they had on the sign-in table — you know, just in case they had changed it as sometimes happens.
I looked at the script and saw it was the same… What did I think it would’ve looked like if I wasn’t supposed to read the other lines? Would those be crossed out? Of course not, then she wouldn’t have read them either!
This didn’t occur to me due to my head being lodged too far inside a dark place. My sleep deprived brain saw the same script, so it assumed it was Dava’s error.
Okay, I should just leave with this knowledge, right? Ha!
I am also a bleeding heart and wanted to give the other actors in the room the benefit of my “insight.” Or, in this case, my brain gas.
Actor’s Brain Fart #3
I turned to the other actors in the room and conspiratorially warned, “Hey Soccer Dads – she may or may not read the other Soccer Dad’s lines.”
A few of the actors gave me a smile and nodded, appreciative of the fact that I just told them she may forget to read the other lines that they knew NOT to read, thus making them learn unnecessary lines!!!
Having done my damage, I walked across the Universal Studios lot feeling that my bad audition was balanced out by my helping the other actors…
Until it hit me.
A wave of embarrassment and guilt washed over me. I was not the prepared and caring Actor Man™ I thought I was! I was Doofus Actor™ with a brain gas disease!
Even though I called my agent and used him as my analyst for 10 minutes, I still had to write a post about this. If not to save others from the dangers of mixing night owl behavior with auditioning, at least so those other auditioning Soccer Dads I may have undermined might read this one day and know I wasn’t being machiavellian in my advice… I was just being a butthead.
Now I take a nap.