Late nights and Audition Workshops!
Have you ever woken up totally exhausted, after very few hours of sleep, at an ungodly hour, but been totally fine with it? That’s what happens when the thing that kept you up so late, and the thing that is waking you up so early, are both so fun and exciting that it is worth it 🙂
When I said in my last post that I had a lot of lines to learn, I was definitely downplaying it, at least compared to every other time I have had lines to learn. Last Thursday I got the sides for the Audition workshop, as well as for the new scenes that I will be in for Tricaillin. I decided to focus on the Tricaillin scenes, since we were filming them on Friday, then once I got home Friday night I would finish packing and learn my lines for the workshop. That is not at all what happened…
We started filming early afternoon on Friday, just some walking scenes at first, before we got into the big, important stuff that I had recently been written into. One of the other actresses had come from Ontario to film these scenes, so we had to get them all done before she drove back in the morning. Luckily, I knew my lines, and we just had to reshoot the scenes multiple times to get different angles and POVs (not because I messed up!).
We had a big speech scene to do, before going indoors for some scenes by the fire. We rehearsed, got some behind the scenes pictures, and had a little mini supper break before finally wrapping at 12:15 a.m. (for me at least). I didn’t get to bed until a little after 1, and knew I was going to be exhausted, but I had such an amazing time filming those scenes and hanging out with my costars that I was okay with having to wake up in less than 5 hours…
Saturday morning was okay at first, because of the excitement for what was coming. We left Carolyne’s house at 7 and made our way to Ottawa (getting lots of coffee on the way 🙂 ) After quite some time figuring out the parking situation, we got to the workshop, where everyone in charge seemed to know our names. We were either the only new people, or they took the time to study everyone’s headshots.
I was terrified about not knowing my lines, which is a recurring theme for me, that I curse myself for every time, but luckily we were handed new sides for short scenes after going over a few basics. Carolyne had a very interesting scene which involved getting attacked, while I got a cocktail waitress who took an order in a bar. It was an incredibly simple part, but movies need those, and it’s good to be able to say a simple line without making a big deal of it. I did it happy and bubbly at first, then was redirected to do it like I was at the end of a long shift and really annoyed. I am told I did good, so if this acting thing fails, at least I make a credible cocktail waitress!
We had a break for lunch, which Carolyne and I used to run through our scenes. Hers was way longer than mine, but she had nothing to worry about because she was amazing and nailed every word! I, on the other hand, went last. I wasn’t ready to go first, but the waiting game was not helping with the very few hours of sleep I had. I was very lucky that I really enjoy watching other people act, because if I had been at home, I would have fallen asleep. I knew my lines, but I have a tendency to talk fast, and the scene was a really intense situation, where the girl is kind of stressed and on a time limit, so people might have had a little trouble understanding everything I said. I don’t think it helps that I was going on about scalar technology and solar plasma.
I went back to my seat solely concentrating on the fact that I had to work on my articulation and diction, when Rosina Bucci, the casting director giving the workshop, came over to me and gave me a second scene for the next day. I had a much shorter scene than the others to start with, which I had completely understood, since I wasn’t ACTRA and didn’t have much experience, but I was the only one who was given an extra scene 🙂
After class, Carolyne and I took advantage of our little “girls’ getaway” and went out to a delicious Italian supper, then enjoyed the pool at our hotel. By enjoyed the pool, I mean I jumped in to the cold water, then we ran out and talked in the sauna.
On Sunday, we went to the workshop early to score seats on the couches, and got a chance to talk with Rosina before everyone else got there and we had a Q & A period where we covered everything you could possibly want to know. I might not have that much actual experience, but I feel like my time in L.A. and the multitude of books I have read on the topic gave me a pretty good idea for some of it, but it’s always good to know what each casting director likes, since a lot of them contradict each other. I realized while listening to her how my feelings toward my career have changed. It has always been a dream, and I would hear people talk about actors and wish it could some day be me. But there, in that room, I was shocked to realize that I was on my way there. Not because I am booking all kinds of roles or auditioning non-stop…but I am filming an independent film, I am in class, I go to workshops…not a day goes by that I don’t do something acting-related. It’s also a shift in my thinking; I don’t just want to be an actress, I am an actress!
At lunch, Rosina let us show her our headshots and resumes, so she could let us know if they work and what we should change, before we did our final scenes. My name was called relatively early in the game, so I went up and did the scene I had received the day before first. I knew my lines, which I was really happy about, but I went against what I had learnt from Margie Haber & co. Knowing your lines is important, yes, but auditions aren’t to see if you can read and memorize, they’re to see if you can become that person and make them believe. I was so determined to learn my lines that I didn’t take the time to understand Candace and Sara, to analyze the scenes, to rehearse with emotion…
I don’t think I did horribly, but I felt bad, because I knew I could have done better if I had done the work. As crazy as it sounds, I felt like I had let Rosina down, as well as myself, since she had given me an extra scene ( I assume this meant she was confident that I could handle more than I had originally been given). I was saved from the negative thoughts that were about to plague me when we got a break, and Rosina came to talk to me. She asked how I thought it went, and I answered her without wanting to bring myself down, so I said we had come here to learn, it wasn’t supposed to be perfect…and I realized that’s the truth. I did come to learn, and learn I did. I found the best way for me to memorize lines, I learnt a lot about the casting process in Montreal, what to do and what not to do in an audition…I had an amazing two days worth of knowledge. I was already in much brighter spirits when Rosina told me that although I have to work on my diction, I look good on camera and take direction well. (I sat there and thanked her while inwardly doing a happy dance 🙂 )
My weekend was busy and jam-packed, but I loved every second of it, including driving home to a soundtrack of Taylor Swift (okay, not so much the parking ticket). It was a learning experience, I made friends, I gained confidence, and I know what to work on for future auditions. If anyone has the chance to take one of Rosina Bucci’s workshops, definitely go for it, because she’s amazing!
On a side note, while watching Grey’s Anatomy from last Thursday, I spotted a guy who was in the Intro class at Anthony Meindl with me. Dreams do come true, and it’s incredible what can happen in a matter of months. Congrats Sam!
“All your dreams can come true if you have the courage to pursue them.”