In last night’s class, I got to be the adorkable and quirky Jess from New Girl. We ran lines before class started, then went up first, since we were the only ones who weren’t doing it audition-style this class (due to my being absent a few weeks ago).
We did it the first time and it was good. It really felt natural and we were both present, but we also sort of maybe rushed a bit through some moments that we should have lived in more. So, we did it a second time and allowed the moments to land, to listen to and react specifically to what the other person had just said, not just to the general emotion. Our second take felt a lot better.
Finally, Suzanna had us do the subtext/improv exercise, which was slightly odd, because my scene partner was doing subtext, like the activity is supposed to be done, but I was doing improv, since that is how Suzanna normally does it. Eventually, we found our groove and got upset at each other before going into the text. Last night, when I was doing it, I felt like I started the scene off angry at her for no reason, and that I was all over the place. I wasn’t sure I believed Suzanna when she said she liked that take better, that it had a little less comedy, but more heart. Now that I have rewatched the scene, I don’t find I look angry or upset, it just seems more real and layered than the one-note version that I was probably playing in the takes before. I believe we did awesome work, and I enjoyed working with Carla 🙂
When I was the reader for someone else’s audition, I got to be Joan, from Mad Men, and I absolutely loved it. I am one of the few people who didn’t really enjoy the show because I wasn’t sure I actually liked any of the characters, as human beings at least, but I can definitely see how it would be sooo much fun to be able to play them. When I got my headshots done in L.A., she said I would be perfect for a show like Mad Men, from that time period, and I would absolutely love to prove her right 😉
At the end of class, we did something new, which Suzanna has been doing since the start of the year, I believe, but it was my first time. Once everyone had done their scene, we were given either commercial auditions, or Actor role auditions (where you just have 1-5 ish lines and don’t really get a backstory). I was given a commercial audition about speaking up about mental health, where I have to say the lines all happy and bubbly, but then also say my subtext, which is really deep and depressing. It was definitely a challenge to switch from one extreme to the other, and for my scene partner to not react to the subtext she had to pretend she wasn’t hearing, but it was also fun and I think we did a pretty good job considering. One thing I also loved, was the fact that I know some of the women who actually booked the commercials we were mock-auditioning for. It made me feel like we were working on material I actually had a chance of going up for around here 🙂
“Although sometimes when people get what they want, they realize how limited their goals were.”
-Joan Holloway, Mad Men