I assume it's going to be something like this.
Specifically, Boston Casting is looking for:
- Boxers and fighters in their 20s and 30s
- Women in their 20s and 30s with blonde or red hair
- Anyone 18 years and older, particularly from Lowell and surrounding communities
The Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall in Lowell, MA. A modest gathering space in a modest part of a modest town.
I got up good and early and met my good friend Joe Ruscio across from Emerson College campus, where we discovered a bunch of people lined up to tryout for So You Think You Can Dance? outside of the Colonial Theatre, practicing their moves and whatnot. We considered - in case can't convince anyone that we're fighters, could we convince anyone that we're dancers?
We were joined by fellow actors and friend Grant MacDermott, Andres Solorzano and Megan Reynolds. Our merry band assembled, we set off for Lowell!
And were immediately discouraged when we saw the sheer amount of people lined up for the call. The whole town of Lowell must have been lined up the street and around the block, and then the other block after that.
We considered turning the car right the hell around.
Grant, as a member of the Screen Actors' Guild, was like, "Smell you guys later!" and went over to the SAG line.
The rest of us chumps - joined by Joe Ruscio's comrade Joe Cisternelli - hopped onto the non-union line and stood in the sun with everyone else, shielding and fanning ourselves with our headshots. Grant had already gotten into the hall, dropped off his headshot and reunited with us before the non-union line even started moving.
Once it did start moving, it didn't take as long as I thought it would - definitely not more than an hour. As we got closer, some production assistants started handing out forms to include with our headshot.
As we all started filling the form out, along with "NAME" and "ADDRESS" we discovered a field reading "OCCUPATION" - we all exchanged glances and then wrote down "Actor".
In retrospect, we probably should've put "Fighter".
The line continued into the hall. On the far side, someone was telling a bunch of people - presumably those who had already been cast - about the workings of a film shoot.
Then we handed our headshots and forms to a lady who put them in a big box labelled "NON-UNION".
And then we left.
This was the first open casting call I had ever been to. Without any real way to differentiate yourself from anyone else, I'm wondering if it's any better than a lottery. Still, standing on a line early in the morning under the hot sun is kind of fun when you're with friends.
But is it worth the headshot?
There were all sorts of people on that line. There were more non-actors than actors. But it occurred to me that talent doesn't really matter if you don't look right for the part.
I'm just waiting for that casting call for white guys with brown hair.
7 headshots remain.