I’ve been self-tape auditioning for commercials the last year or so for my patient, angelic agent, Pat Dawson, at Pantheon. It sounds like it would be significantly easier in the world of Covid since they are not holding in person auditions, but it’s a daunting task when your brain is telling you you’re the writer, director, producer, DP, editor and actor. Recently, I had a self-tape audition for Ring Central. A fun spot that centered around Julius Caesar giving his “friends, Romans, countrymen” spiel and his lieutenants plotting his demise. I was “reading” for one of his lieutenants sharpening a knife while looking at a Ring Central feed until Caesar catches him and he has to improvise his reason for his hiding a knife and subsequent excuses. I did some cursory research on Caesar and had some good improv lines; “Did you know Cleopatra actually had a crush on me”, “I don’t think anyone will blame you for the civil war. The peasants will get over it”, “Victus over here said the face on your coin doesn’t look anything like you. I think you should execute him”. It was fun. I uploaded it and forgot about it. The next day, I get an email from the casting people from Ring Central that I need to confirm my vaccine status (boostered bitch!) and my legal name. Am I going to book it?! Did I get it?! Am I going to retire, now?! (what, no. Hardly). Friday goes by. Monday goes by. After 30+ years I know the die has been cast and I haven’t.
Now the question is, with the auditioning in the hands of the actor, at home, in his/her/their own comfort zone, I begin to ask myself, “could I have done more?” What if I put titles in? What if I cut together real shots of Rome? What if I rented/bought an authentic Roman toga costume instead of my bedsheet and a tree branch around my head for a sertum? The anxiety rings (pun intended) in my brain and causes me sleepless nights…because that’s how my brain works. Didn’t book the job. Learn from it and make it right the next time. The question is where is the line from doing too much?
I’ll let ya know. Meanwhile. No residuals for this one.