Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Can I be a Naked, Lesbian Model in your Crappy Student Film? Please!!!!

My audition for "Zombie Model" was in Santa Monica. I headed out mostly just because I really want to be a zombie.

The audition note rubbed me the wrong way. It read:
"The purpose of the meeting is to acquaint yourself with Edward. It is as much Edward's tryout with you as it is your tryout with him. He is looking for his muse. He hasn't found her yet."

Hey, asshole, I am auditioning for a role not to be some snotty kid's muse. I mean . . . go fuck yourself.

I went anyway, I had an appointment in Malibu later that night and thought I could get some writing done down in my old neighborhood.

I was instructed to wait at a cafe table in a small, grassy area where students were eating their lunch. We were given a script for a student short, but it wasn't for the part we were actually auditioning for. We were all a little confused. I remember the email saying that he was thinking of me for another part, but still wanted me to come in an audition for the original short.

So I was auditioning for the role of DEVIL for Cold Light of Night and he was looking to cast me in a short called The Pill.

The sides for The Pill involved a young man who hallucinates the transformation of a news studio into a utopia of "half naked" women, some of which are making out with each other. They attack him and force him to take the pill. It was confusing, but there were no lines and it sounded way to close to a 19 yr old's wet dream than a film short.

I asked him about the sides for the Cold Light of Night script. He said he wasn't comfortable sending out the script without storyboards due to the graphic nudity.

. . .

There is supposed to be a note in the casting breakdown if there is any nudity or sexual situations. Um . . . what to do, what to do? He added, "They decided to make this a paid role. $200." How do I feel about it now? I don't know.

I eavesdropped on this Casting Kid chatting with another, younger actress waiting to audition behind us. She mentioned how she wanted to go to film school. He was discouraging her.

Casting Kid, "Don't do it. Be an actress. Actresses should focus on acting. Filmmaking is a whole separate field. You don't want to worry about props."

Actress, "But I am really interested in filmmaking. Maybe not directing myself but other actors."

Casting Kid, "Don't do it. Its really long hours too."

There is ABSOLUTELY no reason for her NOT to go to film school if she wants to. When I was volunteering on other guys sets, prior to being admitted into Chapman Film School, I would hear shit like that all the time.

"Ohhh, its really hard." Oh yeah, hard work? Long hours? Nevermind.

I really hate it when people discourage you, and I am trying not to make this a gender issue, but somewhere inside of my empty uterus, I feel a little itch ... yeah, its a gender thing.

I turned and said, "I went to film school and I think it benefited me a lot. You know how the process works, it gives you an edge. And if you ever get sick of rape me, hooker, stripper roles- you can try something new."

The other actresses laughed hard at the joke. We all know the bulk of non-union shorts, especially male/student films, involve one if not all of the three (hooker, stripper, rape). Pathetic.

Casting Kid joined us at the table and spoke about how the direction for The Pill would be different for the Devil role Edward was directing. He said, "Edward is more Chaplin meets Friedkin." God, could you get anymore pretentious?

I said, "Well I am more like Hepburn meets Streep." Again, the actresses laughed.

Casting Kid gathered himself, he was trying to decide if I was making fun of him or not. I was.

I walked with the young actress back to our cars to plop more change in the meter. I told her I heard there was "graphic nudity" for the role. She was stunned.

She said, "I don't do any nudity. I'm a virgin."

I said, "It pays $200." She quickly replied, "I don't care."

I said, "Well, I just overheard this, so we should wait to see what happens in the audition."

They were pulling actresses for their audition over to a table within earshot of everyone else. It was just a conversation, not an audition at all. I overheard them announce to their buddies that the young actress was a virgin. This whole situation was making me ill.

When it was my turn, I was feeling fairly defiant about the whole thing.

Two boys sat on either side of me at the table. One asked me to talk a little bit about myself. I told him how I went to film school and did a documentary, worked in the industry and have been acting for a year. He said, "Ok, very good. Did you get a chance to look at The Pill?"

I said, "Yes."

He said, "We would be shooting that at the end of the month (blah blah blah)-"

I said, "I am not really interested in doing The Pill. I only do nudity for compensation. (not true but for a bunch of idiots like this, that would be the only way I would consider it) You have to understand, the bulk of non-union casting notices sent out to us girls is about rape and nudity. You have to be selective about that kind of material if you want to be taken seriously." And want to preserve your self respect.

I continued, "And there was no dialogue."

He said, "Well, you would be featured though." Ok, "featured" means that you are recognizable in the background. If I wanted to be featured, I could call up Central Casting and book a job on a legitimate project that paid me. I do not desire to drive down to Santa Monica, strip down, make out with a girl so I can be recognizable to my mother, future children and everyone else in exchange for a bagel.

I said, "Not my kind of thing."

He said, "I understand, so . . . "

Ok, I have to be more clear. I said, "I am not interested in doing The Pill."

He collected himself, "Oh . . . ok. Not interested. In our piece, Cold Light of Night, there is full frontal nudity. Are you ok with that?"

I said, "With compensation."

He said, "Ok, there is compensation. Are you ok with simulated masturbation?"

I said, "Yup. In fact, I have been practicing." Budum bump. They laughed. I said, "Bad joke" and knocked on the table.

He said, "That's ok, we laughed. Did you prepare a monologue or look over the sides?"

I said, "It was never asked of me to prepare a monologue and I never received the sides."

*As a serious actor, you should always have a monologue ready. Not for these douche bags, but in general.

He was growingly uncomfortable and said, "Oh, well its a feminist piece as much as it is about the main guy character. There is graphic stuff, but its about women too."

I said, "Post feminist."

He fumbled the words out, "Post feminist. I like that."

I said, "You can use that with the other actresses."

He resumed, "Now, the story is a man sees this one beautiful model on a bunch of billboards. One after another. Then, through some weird fantasy, he is alone in a hotel room with her. She seduces him, gets him riled up, then locks herself in the bathroom where she teases him."

I said, "She teases him with her . . . words?"

He said, "No, with her (hand gesture) touching herself."

I said, "Oh I see."

He said, "Then the guy breaks down the door, drags her out by her hair to the bed and proceeds to beat her. That's pretty much the whole thing."

I said, "That's where it ends?"

He said, "Yeah, pretty much. Well, she laughs after he beats her."

I said, "Did you write this?"

He said, "No. (gestures to other man child next to him) He did."

I said, "Can I ask you a question? Are you sexually frustrated?"

They laughed.

I said, "I'm serious. I would like to know where a story like this comes from."

Writer, "Well, uhh, you know, its kind of like a warning."

I said, "A warning for what?"

Writer, "People."

I said, "People to . . ."

Writer, "Just all these ads can make people (gestures circles around his ear) you know?"

This kid can't fucking articulate THIS kind of script. Are you kidding me?

I said, "So you are trying to say that ads sexually tease men, and the end result could be violence."

Writer, "Yeah."

I said, "You know, I never understood how sex and violence marry themselves with men. Its popular in horror movies, and I love horror. But women don't associate one with the other."

Silence.

I said, "Maybe its the surge of testosterone in your brain. It can bring up sex and aggression simultaneously. Hm."

They nervously laughed.

Edward, "Ok, we'll let you know."

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