Although I was only supposed to have one class with Suzanna last week, someone wasn’t able to make it to the Tuesday class, so I was called in : ) Originally, I was only going to do a scene from Damages, but someone else was doing the Maggie’s Plan scene I had auditioned the day before, so I got another chance to step into Maggie’s shoes.

We did it like a scene, not an audition, and there was something about having done the scene so many times before, and being with someone I have known a while and worked with a bunch of times that made it really…natural. Like a conversation between me and my best friend rather than a scene in an acting class. Which is what it should always be, but this time Suzanna commented on it. And even after having done it so many times, we found new notes. Maybe because he delivered a line differently, but there was a new kind of teasing and some really good work. Suzanna asked if we wanted another take, and we said yes, because you always say yes if someone wants to let you act in front of an audience, but it wasn’t as good as the take before. Even though I quickly recovered, I flubbed a line. Still, my scene partner discovered a new moment in the scene, so it was not wasted.

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For the Damages scene, I had done some research, because I am clearly lying about something, and I thought it would be good if I knew what that was. Still, short of watching the scene, I didn’t figure out how to make sense of the first part of the exchange, not until we went to the back hall to run our lines. She said them so naturally that I kind of just went along with it and I find it looks great. We had to do a pick up for line issues, then I had to figure out when I wanted to stand, and my scene partner had to be more threatening, but I really enjoyed re-watching every take. They weren’t perfect, and I still don’t know when the right time to stand would have been, but I liked every single one. It evolved a bit with each take and we tweaked it as we went.

I got a commercial rather than an actor role to audition, which I still don’t feel confident with, but Suzanna clearly likes me in commercials. Or wants me to work on them. The dialogue is interesting to learn and it definitely puts my resting smile face to good use. It also lets me work on my miming, because I had to pretend to drive up, get out of the car, walk around it and be a weather girl. They say you’re supposed to work on what you’re not good at, or in this case not confident with, so bring on the commercials!

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As a side note, I have the awesome pleasure of sporadically being a reader for a Montreal casting director. I don’t want to share too much about what I find out behind closed doors, but the other day we were looking for pictures of an actress who had auditioned for us, and the project’s director and casting director started discussing…facebook. Yes, ideally, all of your pictures should be on your agent’s website and they shouldn’t have to go anywhere else, but sometimes your agent doesn’t have a website or you might not have any full body shots there, or you might not even have an agent. In these cases, google searches will usually reveal your facebook page if you don’t have a website. I always thought it was kind of silly to assume that employers would scour your facebook profile before hiring you, but sometimes, they just stumble upon it while looking for a picture. So, as the director always tells his friends: be careful about what they put on facebook, or which posts and pictures are public, because sometimes it does happen that they will check out your profile, and you don’t want to regret whatever it is they find.

“Turn your demons into art, your shadow into a friend, your fear into fuel, your failures into teachers, your weaknesses into reasons to keep fighting. Don’t waste your pain. Recycle your heart.”

-Andréa Balt

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