Oh, the culture of auditioning. I had two of them today. I have a friend, who responds to me with the rolling of eyes, when I tell him that I have an audition. He says, “Well, at least you get them. I don’t get them.” Then sometimes he tells me that I should just be grateful, no matter how I’m treated at the audition some people don’t even get them. True. I’m always grateful at the first moment I’m called in. I say, “Thank you, God for the small miracle of someone thinking of me, unbeknownst to me, as I sit at my desk.”
But by the time I get to said audition, I feel that I don’t have to maintain that grateful, aka, disposition if I’m being treated like crap or perhaps being forced to do things I don’t do. At that point, I realize that just being thankful to be called isn’t enough. It’s begging for crumbs. Every once in a while, I’d like things to change, for the people that make decisions and make people come in and do a dog and pony show for them, while having to pay for their own valet parking, could be a little fucking nicer.
First audition of the day, I drive to a building that isn’t a network, but the show is on a network. It’s pouring rain. There is no parking and the street parking is permit. The receptionist can not help me. In fact, she hangs up and tells me to just “find parking.” I get to the audition and no one is around. The place looks like someone’s 4 bedroom apartment, a nice one. I knock on some french doors, which lead to an office. I say, “Hi! I’m here for the 11 a.m.?” And this chick rolls her eyes at me and says, “Did you not see the sign in sheet?” I said, “Yes, I did. But it’s for another TV show and I wanted to let you know I’m here.” She kicks me out. I sign in. The french doors, shut, slightly and the four beeyotches in there start talking loudly about how actors can’t figure things out for themselves. One of beyotchy ladies says to the others, “I’m sorry, I’m like such a bitch today, it’s just that my dog can’t pee right now and I don’t know what’s up.” The other women say nothing, because they have no excuse for their behavior. They are just “witches with a b” as my sixth grade teacher used to say.
I start reading US Weekly and some guy comes in for the audition. He sits down next to me and is like, “Hi!” I am taken aback and realize that now, I may have to talk to him for as long as it takes this audition to start. I realize how rude and closed off I am and this could be fun to pass the time with this guy, see how he ticks. So we talk. It’s pretty okay.
Then another guy comes in. Uh-oh. This guy is from the same agency as Talking Guy. Talking Guy, nods too often and says, “Oh! Sally sent you in too? Cool. Cool. Cool. They are such good people over there. Such good people.”
Awkward. Oh. Did I mention that the show we are auditioning for is primarily a black show? With lots of free-style rapping and improv. So Talking Guy (who is white) says, “Let’s practice our freestyle raps.” To his Same Agent Rival. Same Agent Rival (who is white) does a little pretending to scratch the record move. And they laugh.
And now, two black actors walk in. I think to myself, “These white guys are going to stop practicing their raps, right quick.”
Nope. Talking Guy says, “Hey Homes.” I looked around to see if he was speaking to any houses. Nope. He is suddenly talking “black.” My race is once again, embaressing me and so I put the Us Weekly so far into my face I can see into Katie Holmes soul. And she wants out of this marriage. Her jaw is so tight, it looks like she’s saying behind clenched teeth to the paparrazi, “Help. Help. I’m 8 months pregnant and in Australia. Tom has me in a head lock. Help.”
Talking Guy is suddenly talking louder. He’s throwing some “Yo’s” in for good measure. I braced myself. Praying. “Please don’t say peeps. Please don’t say peeps.” Apparantly his audition, to be accepted amongst total random strangers, just because they are black, has begun.
One black girl comes in. She practices a freestyle rap and it’s quite bad. She just says her name, jokingly. She meant to be bad. And Talking Guy, throws down his wrist, letting it hang between his now wide spread legs, “Yeeeeeah Girl!”
I finally get called into the audition room and have to explain that I don’t know how I got this audition but I don’t do characters or celebrity impersonations. I so don’t care that I just start talking to them and saying, “I’m funny. But I have no way to express it to you because there are these confines, which are fine, it’s just not my thing.” Then I freestyle rap and the woman was like, “I’m not kidding. That was awesome.” I rapped about the idiots in the lobby and how rude the receptionists were. And how no one understands that stand-ups don’t do characters.
When I left Talking Guy was being loud and what he thought was black and the black guys were slumped in their chairs reading Us Weekly.
Oh and tonight I had an audition at the Laugh Factory for a comedy fest. The host, each time a woman took the stage, (3 times), stopped the flow and the show and said, “You guys! You guys. Hang on. Listen up. You have a comedi-ennne coming to the stage.” And then he’d pose sideways and give some weird wink and pose. And then he’d say comedienne again as if he were teaching retarded children to say the alphabet.
Can you imagine if a comedy show host said, “”You guys! You guys. Hang on. Listen up. You have a black person coming to the stage…you have an arab coming to the stage.” No you can’t not imagine that because it is racist. You see my point.
This guy was so busy accentuating the feminine form of the word “comedian” that he forgot my name and my credits and just literally pointed at me from the stage and said, “So, here you go!” And I shouted out my name until he said it into the mic. Wow. What an awesome way to begin a set that is being judged. I had a fun time and it went okay. But I propose that club bookers or festival people make MC’s do a time-out when they pull that shit and not let them host again until they can remember to not be condescending. Maybe with all that condescention out of the way, they can begin to remember people’s names.
*Disclaimer* I had a fun day and I love my life and I enjoy all experiences. But I filter it through a rant lense or else, what’s to read?