Self recordJun 2, 2014
Recently I had the chance to audition for a film. I had been approached by someone I had just met to read for a part in a short film she had written. She asked if I had the ability to self record ( video taping oneself for the purpose of auditioning ) I said yes. Everything would need to happen in less than 24 hours because it was Wednesday and the film would shoot on Saturday. For anyone not in the performance business this whole process would seem crazy. For that matter many in the performing business would think this process is crazy.
Thursday morning I got an email containing the scene I needed to record. I then had to carve out moments in the day to familiarize myself with the lines, find an adequate space to film, and find someone to help me film. It is called “self record” but you really can’t record yourself without a great deal of prep. Firstly you need someone to read the other lines in the scene. Then you need someone to man the camera. I also like to have the outside eye to help me hone my performance. I had figured out how to record my voice doing the other lines so that I could play my character against myself. But I instead decided to enlist my 11 year son to be my assistant. He was great. He kept me on script making sure I did not stray from what was written. He recorded my acting choices and gave creative criticism on for each take.
The process was surreal, bizarre and a few other things I don’t have words for. I sent the video out and was flooded with waves of doubt and insecurity. I had to stop myself and ask where this was coming from. Normally in an audition is led by a casting director or the director. In the normal situation you are given an idea of what sort of choices are desired for the character. For this audition I had to decide where I wanted to take the character, what I wanted to show of me and if I did not get the part it would be because I made the wrong choices. Well the waves did not flood me for long. I had made choices. I had recorded those choices. I had sent them on their way. A good director can direct anyone. A good actor makes strong choices. No matter how good you are not every choice you make is going to resonate positively with everyone. That last part put me at ease. I had made strong choices and those choices may not have been what the director wanted or needed.
I did not get the part. I was relieved to not have to race to New York, shoot for hours then race back home to fulfill my commitments. I am grateful for the opportunity to have auditioned for the film. I am grateful I had the skills and the resources to self record and send the recording. I am grateful I got to spend time with my son sharing what it is that I do. In the past I would have looked at this as missed opportunity since I was not cast in the film. I look at it today as a blessing. The blessing is that I am still able to do what I do, I am able to share that with my family, I have the skills, I have a loving family that supports what I do.