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Monday, October 4, 2010
Day 15 in L.A. (1 out of 2 in Auditions)
While at the Chris Brown shoot on day 13 I received an email to audition for a show called America’s Court. The requirements were basic. Non-Union actors only and they must have improvisation skills. I was skeptical about attending for a few reasons. The pay was only $50.00 and it didn’t seem too beneficial towards my quest. Nevertheless, I decided to attend. I figured I might meet someone important there. It was located at Sunset Bronson Studios. The show “Lets Make a Deal” among many others is shot there. I figured it’s a nationally syndicated show and I could use the improvisational experience. I took the bus and arrived exactly at the time requested, 10:30am.
I stood on a line outside with other folks until they guided us in. We were seated in the studio sometime before 11am. They greeted us and told us the full details. They read aloud basic court cases and we had to improv as a defendant or plaintiff. It was fairly simple. First they called up women only. The casting director was in control and she knew what she wanted. She stated the case and addressed each person in line when she wanted and who she wanted. She was basically the judge and everyone would address her as Your Honor. She would say to the plaintiff “Explain why you’re suing your roommate.” The response would last for an average of 15 seconds or less then she would point to another random person. “Why are you suing your roommate?" When she was done picking who she wanted with the plaintiffs she would call on the defendants and say, “Explain to me what’s going on?”
Everyone would respond by saying “Your Honor,” and was required to think fast. You were not allowed to do any acting. It had to seem real, serious and natural. After the judge/casting director was done with the first case they added some men. I jumped up and was ready to go. I was 3rd in line and made sure I stood out the line so I could get noticed and called upon. The new case was about a nanny who is suing for not getting paid for babysitting the defendant’s kids. You better believe I had an answer for that. Now remember I’m the 3rd guy in front. She called on the first guy then the second guy and completely hurdled over me and pointed at someone in the back. I’m saying in my head. “What! Are you serious?”
After each case she casted people on the spot and they were signed for a shooting date and they went home. The next case was about a plaintiff suing their friend for crashing their car. In less than a second I had an answer in my head and was ready to go. Can you believe I wasn’t called on again! I couldn’t believe it. If anyone could see right through me they would see me jumping up and down like a little kid with my hands up, “Pick me, please pick me.”
After that they made the group I was in sit down for a while. Time passed and they started calling out types. They asked for a construction type or a married type... Finally I asked myself what type am I. Then realized I couldn’t possibly fit any type they are looking for. Who writes a court script for a guy with a high top fade in the year 2010?
I honestly couldn’t take it anymore. Case after case I had a response ready but they didn’t call on me. I said to myself "At 1:15pm I’m leaving." When the time came I walked up to the owner of the show and said, “I assume I don’t fit any of your types so…” Then she responded and said “Oh no, we have 10 more cases. Let me tell everyone else so you all won’t leave.” I then took a deep breath and pressed my patience button. After a case or two she called for club owner types. I thought I would be a cool club owner. In this case the club owner was getting sued because the plaintiff was wearing stilettos and she slipped and fell in the club. I was going to say, “Your honor that woman had no business trying to do the Cha Cha slide in my club when she knows she can’t dance,” but of course I wasn’t called on again.
Another case went by while I was in line and I wasn’t called on again. I was going crazy inside. I thought I was coming up with some really good stuff. By the time she mentioned another case I took a seat in one of the nearby chairs. Note: Everyone else around me is standing up; better yet everyone else was called on at least once to speak. What made it even worst was that new people was walking in hours behind me and was getting picked almost instantly. So as I’m sitting there the judge is going over a new case about a woman who destroyed $2,000 worth of her boyfriend’s clothes. She choose her types and I was out of it. I started to daydream like I did when I was in high school. My mind was completely elsewhere. I was thinking about my quest, my blog and everything else I had to accomplish. Then guess what? Out of nowhere she points at me and said “What bout you? Get up.” Unbelievable! I wasn’t even in the rotation she picked but she calls on me now. I barely remembered the case at that point.
I might have said one thing that made a few people laugh but it wasn’t a good response overall. After that I knew it was time to go. I walked up to the show owner and said “I have to go” and thanked her for the opportunity. I wouldn’t say it was a complete waste of time but it wasted the majority of my time. Even if I stayed and got casted I would have had to come back for another day for 3-5 hours for only $50.00. Everything isn't about money but no thanks. I left after 2:30pm.
After this experience I’m going to really be selective about what I audition for. I don’t need to be a part of everything. This audition in particular was sent to me by email. I think that’s questionable. Most of the other auditions I really benefited from came from a direct phone call.
As you all know I’m on a quest. Getting involved with the wrong stuff could hinder the progress of my quest. Submitting for any random audition is now completely out of system. We also now know that many of these court cases on television are made up. If you see America’s Court on TV, you should know the deal.
More importantly, I left because I had another audition in a few hours and I needed to get a little rest first. I went home for a 30 min cat nap and ventured off again. This time it was to audition for the improvisational comedy troupe I told you about on day 11. I was supposed to audition on day 13 but I rescheduled because of the Chirs Brown’s video shoot. This audition had more value for my time. There were a total of 5 actors present. The theater was small and probably fits around 100 people. The owner gave an extensive introduction about background and the foundation of his troupe. It was a lot of information. All I can tell you is that the owner is very well connected and he knows producers and has worked with and on television shows.
After the introduction he put us all on stage and we had to act out what he said with no volume; meaning we couldn’t make any sounds. He said things like, “You’re swimming, you’re walking in fog, you’re in a western, and you’re a cartoon character." It was interesting. I never did anything like that before. After that he put us in pairs and I was the first one up with a little boy probably around 7 years old. He was the only child there. In our first scenario I was a father and he was my son. He just came home with a bad report card. We acted that out for a few minutes. In the next scene the boy was an employer at a fast food restaurant and I was trying to get a job from him. Finally, we were both two foreigners at Disney world.
I think I did decent but I know I need a lot of work. The others went up and since there was an odd number I went up twice. After that he called all of us up again and one by one we did voice impressions for a few seconds. I don’t think I did that great here. I’ve never really did impressions before. When we were done he told us more about the opportunities and he’ll be giving us a call tonight or tomorrow. I must say I enjoyed the audition. It’s a significant skill I need to obtain for my quest. A part of this troupe or not I need to join something like this. Believe me Los Angeles has many others to choose from.
He called me later that night and said he wants to start me out in level 1. Level 1 is the lowest level and there are like 5 or more levels in front of that. I can start as early as tomorrow. There is a monthly cost of $100 but I think it’s worth it. I’m going to do a lot more research and try my best to get my funds together and give it a try.
Later that night, as I was checking my emails I saw this one email that had no subject. The majority of my no subject emails are spam and I generally delete them. For some reason I checked this one and it was from someone I communicated with last week about a CBS diversity show audition. I found out about this CBS diversity showcase on day 9 after leaving my agent’s office. This whole situation is ironic and I’ll be sure to tell you the details after my audition with them tomorrow. Yup, I have an audition with CBS tomorrow. It’s long story.
As the quest continues…