On Monday, I had an audition for a new show on F/X called "Louie". It's the same guy and idea who and that brought you "Lucky Louie" on HBO a few years back. Louie C.K. I went out for the role of "Curtis" - the breakdown goes as follows:
[CURTIS] late 20’s-early 30’s. He is a heavy set, tough, uncomfortable young man who says everything in a bitter, intimidating way, even when it’s positive. He and his sister are locals in a small southern town, out at the town diner, when Louie walks in. He insists on introducing Louie to his sister, implying that Louie could take her back to his hotel. When Louie declines and walks out of the diner, Curtis follows him and threatens him with a gun.
So the audition was a lot of fun. It's always interesting to see other large white gentlemen in the room with you. It's good to get an eye on your "competition" so to speak. For this particular audition, the script was very "tight". That means I was not sent the sides prior to the audition, but then again no one else was. My slot was at 4pm, so I arrived around 245 to work the script, score the script out and practice my choices. This industry is so insane and unpredictable, so I have to set myself apart from the other guys by being very prepared and making visible choices that the casting directors can see. Usually when you audition you make about 5 seconds of chit chat with the CD and "slate your name". Slating your name is very common. You look into the camera and say "Hello, I am Ralph Q. Farfignoogen" or "Ralph Farfignoogen". This CD didn't want me to slate my name, which I thought to be a relief - as I ALWAYS mess up the timing. "Slate your name please" "Phil..." "...oh, not yet!" "oops, sorry!" "It's OK, one more time...go." Ugh fucking criminey.
With that potentially embarrassing scenario out of the running, I was able to just work the script. The CD told me up front that "He" (who I assume is Louie CK) doesn't want an actor to work for the line or say that joke like they know it's a joke, just be very natural. (I can do that, in fact that's where I excel.) Additionally, the CD told me to act awkward, like I just have a few things to say and keep on repeating them due to sweaty glands or other social deficiencies. I can also handle that. So the side reading and acting went well, she is pretty good at reading. She gives a pretty straight read, not underplayed, not overly dramatic, she just says the words - it's apparent that she comes from an acting background ( like most CDs). Then she skipped a line.........ughhh. I waited for the rest of the line, but it never came. By this time I had already begun my rhythmic heavy breathing (showing that I could pay awkward) so perhaps it looked like panic, perhaps not, either way it's fine. I wasn't about to stop acting, break character and go "wait, what?" So I flipped in between the pages seeing if I missed something, but I did not, the I went to the last page and read the final bits of dialog. Why flip through all those pages you ask? I answer, if a big scene is broken up into little scenes or a character is silent for a long amount of time, the CD will still give you the sides, but just to read, just for reference. So there I was flipping back and forth between 3 useless pages of dialog trying to find where this lady dropped off.
When all was said and done, she said "ok". But I wasn't terribly sure if that would be the end of it or if there was more to do. A quick "Funny - thanks!" solved that dilemma. She then asked for me to leave the sides in the lobby so the other actors could use them. I said "Sure thing!" - but I had marked the shit out of the sides, and there was no way someone else wanted them - but most importantly, I didn't want someone using my ideas. I arrived 75 minutes early, no one is taking my hard work and piggy backing on it.
BTW, I look a lot like Louie CK, perhaps this will help, perhaps not.