"Are you a Cleveland Browns fan?" asked the Casting Director
"No," I answered "but I am a Mets fan; I can relate."
"Ha" grunted both casting associates.
"Would you like this read with a Cleveland accent? A hard 'a' perhaps.?" I mused
"Yeah.....we're trying to avoid that." The CD said "Just slate your name."
That's how the callback started today at The Onion's corporate offices in SoHo. I went there to read for a role called "Clevelander #1" and "Clevelander #2". The idea was that Cleveland decided to move all of their professional athletes out of town and shut down their beloved and scrappy teams, the Cavaliers, Browns and Indians.
Each time I read they would say "Great! Now do it like (additional direction)." This happened a few times. I like when that happens because it accomplishes two things. One: they tell you EXACTLY what they want and two: you show them that you are able to take direction. For those who don't know, a lot of actors can not take direction. You tell them what to do, and they repeat exactly what they did before. I can not imagine how frustrating that is.
The Onion is very funny, loyal readers will know that I read it every day. Like I have mentioned before, The Onion is launching two television shows at the moment. Onion Sports Network is slated for Comedy Cental and The Onion News Network will get its air on IFC. I am really excited about those shows.
Another thing happened during the call back that got me thinking. On my initial read, I decided to play an opposite. The line was inherently sad and depressing, so I played it with a bit of a chuckle. I arbitrarily made a decision. I was told to try the line again, without doing the chuckle. "It looks like you are in on the joke." he told me. Obviously, I do understand that joke, but I was not indeed, playing it like I was "in on the joke". Understand the difference? To me there is a difference, but the CD's perception is the reality, and that is that.
Actors, have you ever made a decision when auditioning and it was misunderstood? If so, how did you bounce back? I didn't argue with the guy or be like "Oh, actually.....I was playing an opposite there." Ha! Could you imagine? Of couse that line would be delivered as snootlily as possible. I'd be out that door so fast, ha. I bounced back by following the direction and applying the best technique I possibly could.
Now, I have to show apartments to hyper privileged people in NYC and I have to work on an audition for Thursday for the "39 Steps". Fun!!!!