Let's play some basketball. I mean, let's audition. It's a new round of headshots, and we're starting at a new audition location, a rehearsal room at the Huntington's Boston University Theatre for Bad Habit's production of Book of Days.
I gotta tell ya, nothing exacerbates audition anxiety like a tiny communal space with a bunch of actors crammed in. Not that it was COMPLETELY inhospitable, just that it was a long hallway on the second floor with no place to be alone. Everyone seemed to crack cute or nonsensical jokes to liven the mood, including myself, and we all regretted saying/hearing them.
All males in attendance were studying the same side as me - a man in love with cheese and the process that goes into making it. Sounds awesome right? The tough thing about working with it, though, is that it contains a list.
A "list" is how actors refer to a piece of text that includes a sequence of numbered descriptions or actions - "First we did this, and then we did that, and it was tingly, sour and purple." The trouble with these as that human beings innately increase the urgency and intensity of their speech during a list until it peaks at the last item in the list. This sort of delivery is usually expected, and deviating too far from that style just makes your character seem like someone whose first language isn't English. It makes it much more difficult for each actor to find their own unique beats, the things that make actors stand out from each other. From there, it's not far from the sinking feeling that the only thing separating you from everyone else is how "right" you look for the part.
I ran into Grant MacDermott, ol' Emerson buddy and fellow Jersey native, who's in Nicholas Nickleby right now. He had the same side, which was referred to as Side B. Presumably Side A was reserved for older gents.
I auditioned for the director/producers, a very plain performance. I was asked about With These Hands, and if I had experience with a Southern Accent. I said, Only when I'm making fun of other people on the train.
9 headshots remain.