Monday, 20 April 2015

Starring A Call Back

It’s always good to start the week with a call back. It makes you feel like you have a foot in the door, and something you did last week is paying off this week. You’re starting at step two, and you’re not back at step one. Again. 

And so I drove off to my call back. Bright-eyed, bushy tailed and GPS free. For me that was almost a bigger achievement than call back itself.

We spent most of the three hour call back slot running lines for the scenes we would be performing. And as I sat under a tree, trying to hone the cockney accent we were later not required to do, and practicing three scenes that were later not seen, white stars started to jump across page.

And no, it wasn’t a hallucination. A friendly warning, and precursor to a migraine, the white stars blurring my vision to the point where I couldn’t read anymore is medically known as aura. Usually about half an hour after the aura a migraine which renders me helpless kicks in. Unless I medicate myself. I started digging through my handbag for my medication I usually carry with me. As my search yielded less and less in my small handbag I realised that I had used and not replaced my last dose of pills, known as a migraine cocktail. I usually only get a migraine once, at most twice a year, and as the last one had been two weeks before I still had a dose in my house I hadn't worried about replacing it too hastily. I walked to my car to see if by some miracle the cubby hole in my car would provide a solution. I did not. Although I did find a pair of sunglasses I thought I had lost, and thankfully a box of strong painkillers. A friend gave me muscle relaxants in case the pain killers didn’t work and I was back to my group to rehearse. Stars and all.

My usual cocktail to keep the migraines at bay.

Thankfully we waited so long for our turn to do our call back that the aura was gone by the time we walked into the space to start. And I was only left with shaky hands by the time I had to do my part. The roughly 15 pages of text we had to prepare was cut to about 4 in an attempt to get through all the actors auditioning for the various parts we were reading for.

About 10 minutes after we had entered the space for the call back, and three hours after we arrived, our band of actors left. And still able to see, and drive, I left the theatre, GPS free and managed to make my way home again.

Monday, 13 April 2015

From CD-Sing-A-Longs To Green Screens

It’s the nature of life that my only two auditions this past week were at the same time. At the very least, in the same time slot. So between 10 and 1 on Friday I had to make my way from an audition for a children’s theatre musical in Parktown to auditioning for a presenter at CNBC Africa in Sandton. It was quite the stretch. So I prepared the song that I was going to sing for the theatre audition, and what I was going to say for the on camera audition.

Being the modern girl that I am, and because we don’t own a CD player anymore, I practiced my song by plugging in my cellphone into our stereo and using the mp3 track stored on it. I was sure that I had the CD with the track on in my car from a previous audition.  At my planned time I hopped into my car, and just to be sure I grabbed the CD. It wasn’t the CD with my backtrack on it. And due to the recent move there was a very real chance that the required CD was still residing at what is now my brother’s flat. I ran back and grabbed all the CD’s in my reach which had backtracks on them. I found one with a track on that I knew well enough, and that the director I was auditioning for hadn’t heard me sing it before and climbed into the car. The half hour drive to the audition venue was my practice time. I arrived just before 10 and scurried into the theatre to audition. Another wide eyed blonde looked at me when I walked in at the allotted time:

“Are you from contractors too?” Contractors is another artist agency.

“No, I’m from Leads”

She explained that the agents were supposed to have let us know to come and audition at a different time. The original casting call had said we should be there at 10, but the theatre had replied to the agents giving us all individual time slots. The three of us had not received any further communication from our agents and had arrived at the original time. The director, knowing that it wasn’t our fault, and been gracious enough to see us anyway.

I walked in, as prepared as I could be all things considered, and performed my heart out. After the song the director asked while perusing my CV:

“You didn’t study musical theatre did you?”


“I see here that you studied drama. So did you take singing lessons?”


“You sound like you studied musical theatre”

Considering how nervous I had been walking in I was so thankful for the compliment! I was informed that I had a call back the next week and I was off to the next audition.

The GPS took me into the heart of Sandton, and through road works, until I reached the corporate building which houses the offices of CNBC Africa. I drove up to the boomed gate, and filled in the paper work. When I handed back the book the guard informed me of what I needed to do:

“Drive in, make a U-turn and come out of this gate, then enter the next boomed gate”

As I drove in and made the required U-turn I saw that a thin line of paving divided the parking lot into two sections. The section I was in and was required to leave, and the section I had to re-enter via the next boom gate. All because of the offices I would be visiting. Corporates.

As I filled in the second and third security books entering the building, and again as I entered the offices of CNBC I noticed at least three other names of girls who were auditioning despite not seeing anyone else.

I was hooked up, balanced for sound, and put into one of the fanciest green rooms I’ve ever seen. And although the man I was working with seemed to like me, and liked the fact that I write I heard that very familiar sentence:

“It all depends on what the client wants”