I had a lot of fun. It was really swell to see my cousins again and audition for a new casting director. I took the megabus over there, it's hard to argue with a $35 round trip from NYC to Pittsburgh. You'd spend more money on tolls if you drove yourself!
So anyway I had a lovely time with my cousin Johnathan and his wife Jaynie. They have a really nice home in Pittsburgh and his sister and brother in law came over with their adorable and hysterical son, Isaiah. He is going to be an actor, mark my words. His father enjoyed a nice career as well before making a career switch to youth ministry. Johnathan's parent's came over too. His mom is my dad's first cousin, that's how the relation works. Pittsburgh is a really pretty city. There are so many bridges and hills and it's just.....really really cool. I suggest you head over there, for real.
So cousin Johnathan dropped me off a few minutes before my 1pm audition last Thursday and I had a chance to relax, shake off the nerves etc. I arrived there with sides for a different character than what I was auditioning for. I was auditioning for "Sledge" a 250 lb gorilla who gets his kicks by working his job as an enforcer for a notorious mob boss, "Casket Mike", played by Eric Roberts.
When I walked in to the audition room, not only was the CD there but the director himself was there. This guy, he was really laid back, cool and complimentary. He'd be great to work with, methinks. The CD asked me who I was auditioning for, I told her "Sledge" and she told me that I was physically right for the role. She also informed me that I did in fact have sides to read that are specific to my character. For those of you who do not know, sides are bits of dialog for your character. Sometimes it's just 2 sentences, like this one was, and sometimes it can be 5 different scenes, like the "Memphis Beat" audition I went on, (at the time called "Delta Blues".)
The CD asked me if I wanted to go over the lines for a second and come back in. I thought to myself......Phillip, you're already in the room, the vibe is cool, you work on cold reading all the time, just do it. I said "I feel comfortable cold reading it."
"Really? Are you sure?"
"Yes, you either think I am right for the role or you don't, you either think I can act or you don't. I also don't want to hold up the audition times, so I am comfy going."
"Well OK then, slate your name."
"Wait, am I looking at the reader or into the camera?"
I slated my name and I crushed it. Totally. My acting coach was right. ("Like him" on Facebook! The widget or whatever you call it is on this very page.) If you just even arbitrarily assign guideposts to things and endow peoples names with some sort of an opinion and vary up your rate, inflection, pitch and dynamic......it will come across great. They all told me that I did a great job, which they didn't have to say at all. I left and took a cab to downtown Pittsburgh, met up with my super great and sweet agent, Tara. We hadn't seen each other in 4 years!!!!!!! Then I went to Primanti's for lunch.
Sweet googly moogly Primanti's is great. They serve massive sandwiches with tomato, coleslaw and french fries in between the bun. I repeat: in between the bun. Hot DAMN! And the place is covered in Pittsburgh sports memorabilia. I am a ginourmous Steeler fan. Check out the mural.
Then I was back on the bus at 5pm and arrived in NYC around 1am, got home to my wife whom I missed oh so terribly around 215am - damn you N/Q trains! We woke up at 630 to go to Maine for a wedding and a mini-vacation. That is for another blogpost though. I am still digesting my trip. Literally. I ate half my body weight in lobster, oysters and clams.
It was a nice but cramped drive back. Pennsylvania is a gorgeous state. I leave you with a sunset kissing the ridge mountains from my trip back......