Monday, 24 March 2014

“When you see the big rock on your left, turn left”

“Never say I don’t take you to interesting places”

has become a joke between my boyfriend and myself as we’ve ended up in weird places for my auditions, shoots and the occasional festival opening. This time I was reading the directions for a film casting I attended the past week. Which included driving on dirt roads:

“When you see the big rock on your left, turn left”

I couldn’t help laughing

“Now I know I’ve hit the big time”

And so it was that at the big rock, I turned left to my audition venue. As prepped as I could be for a role whose description encompassed a name and “A young Afrikaans woman” So I wore my go-to audition dress and a pair of heels. For the first time this year I actually wore heels to an audition (with my flip flops in my handbag). I met the director and his assistant who promptly looked at me and said:

“How tall are you really?”

as my usually short frame towered over him in my heels.

“Well, I’m a lot more comfortable without them”

“In that case, lets do the whole audition without them”

I was relieved. And we continued with the first scene they wanted me to act out. I was given more character information, a frame of mind and context and we shot the first scene. I did notice when I walked into the audition room that there was no cameras or lighting equipment, as I’m used to for auditions. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I was told we would be shooting, and was quite frankly surprised when I realised I was to be filmed on an iPad. Well, there’s a first for everything I suppose.

And then we moved to the second scene. The director and his assistant looked at me seriously:
“For this scene we want tears. Real tears. When was the last time you cried?”

It had been a while:

“So things are going well for you” the director said jovially.

And I had less than five minutes to get myself into the appropriate frame of mind, and I’m not someone who cries easily. It’s something I’ve spent hours talking about with fellow actor-friends. The pros and cons and when is it self-indulgent to cry on stage, and how to really do it. And with not much time I thought about a vivid dream that had upset me and just let go. And although there was a lot of base on my tissue there were also tears on my cheeks. It seems that although I was asked for it, the director and his assistant hadn't expected it:

“Real tears. I’m impressed”

I was surprised.

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