It takes enormous drive and courage to be an actor in general, but specifically to audition, to walk into a room on a random day and inhabit a page or two of a role that you have no context for and hope that whatever you’re doing lands near what the filmmaker/s are going for, knowing dozens of other actors are there to do the same? Man, I could not do it. My internal critic would be unbearably brutal.
We are casting for 4 roles at present, 2 male, 2 female. Saturday we saw people for all 4 roles. Some actors read for both parts, some read only for one (divided by gender I mean). Typically I’d have the actor read with no guidance, just so I could see how they interpreted the side they were assigned. There was no right or wrong to this per se but it definitely clues you in to a) actor’s sensibility b) how well/poorly the scene is written and conveying information. After reading it through once I’d provide a little background for the scene and character and have them do it again. Because this script has lived inside me for so long I have very specific ideas about each character – some quantifiable, most nebulous – but it was fantastic to see so many different people reading. It opened me up, my concept of the film that is, in ways I hadn’t anticipated. And that’s the strange alchemy in this, I’m looking for a very specific person but if you’re able to show me something I didn’t know was there then that could work too. I have to be rigidly flexible. In any event, the biggest problem is finding the right person. If you have 2 people nail the same role in an audition but one brings a lighter sensibility than the other which one do you go with? Which factor will enhance the film best? It’s unanswerable really. And so you have to do a lot of going w/ the gut reaction and hoping months from now when you’re shooting and months beyond that when you’re watching the finished film, that you picked correctly.The second hardest part will be not being able to use everyone, b/c the amount of talent we saw was very impressive. Some people we saw were so so good but simply not right for the part. I left the auditions in a bit of a daze. Going to review and muse and make some decisions about callbacks very soon.
Today is the deadline for the Oregon Media Arts Fellowship via the OAC. I’ve been working around the clock to get my submission in shape. To that degree it’s the same equation as the actor: I’m sending them my best take on what I think they’re looking for, knowing full well that there are myriad talented filmmakers pursuing the same grant, and that the odds are very much not in my favor. Living the dream! Onward!