Thursday, May 05, 2005

When It Rains...

I had a higher-profile theatre call me yesterday and "offer" me an audition. I put that word in quotes because it seemed apparent from the get-go that the caller expected anyone he called to fall over themselves for the opportunity to read for a part in any play they chose to produce. Normally, I just note this attitude and put any irritation at it aside because, frankly, it's not entirely unjustified — many, if not most actors would fall over themselves to audition for a show at a prestigious venue (e.g., Steppenwolf, Goodman, etc.).

Still, it annoys me that actors are sometimes their own worst enemies by wearing their desperation on their sleeves (to say nothing of the fact that they feel desperate to begin with), and it annoys me when producers/directors exploit this, thinking it's the status quo. Add to this the fact that the fella on the other end of the phone was calling from an Equity house but said the show was "non-Equity with pay", and I had the definite feeling that the guy was deliberately Name Dropping With The Intent To Exploit (sounds like something illegal, and sometimes I think it should be).

It's silly, and it's petty, but I basically just gave back as good as I got, telling him, "I'm sorry, but I'm replacing Famous Chicago Actor in (play title) which will be going up at Well-Known Chicago Theatre during the rehearsal and performance period you're mentioning." I think I took the guy by surprise, because there was a beat, then he broke out into a pretty hearty laughter. I felt laughed-with, as opposed to laughed-at, so I think we both realized we were playing a silly game. We both eased up on the attitude, then, and exchanged some pleasant chit-chat before hanging up.

Voiceover auditions yesterday for Multinational Car Company, Regional Restaurant Chain, and Nationwide Department Store. First two went well, but the last was a bear, despite it's being perhaps the most straightforward in delivery.

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