So today I had a call back for a small feature film. It was a chemistry read with the guy who has been cast in the lead. I got up, did the obligatory hair and make up. I hate that part. As my friend Jenny so eloquently put it “My kids must think I’m a hooker. I mean in what other profession do you wake up, put a ridiculous amount of make up on at 2:00pm in the afternoon and leave the house saying “ don’t worry, I’ll be back in an hour…”
I had to play a vixen type character, mini skirt and all, which directly bled into that analogy. Only in Hollywood would the parking attendant look at you and say, “Ah you have an audition?” Instead of “ How much for 30 min?” Lets face it, our profession compares to this quite often. We spend our lives prostituting ourselves for our art. Making compromises and wooing the “John” at the other end of the room that will potentially choose us to entertain him for a limited period of time. We always say, “You pay peanuts, you get monkeys.” Then in the next breath we say “Unpaid? Well at least it’s a copy, credit and meal. It’ll be good for my reel.” “If we don’t take this, there is someone else more desperate that will.” Desperation. It’s our motivation and the fiend that ruins many auditions. It really needs to learn it’s place.
It went well I think. Well who knows? You rock up. As prepared as you can be, calm the nerves with a quick swig of Rescue Remedy, hoping they don’t smell the alcohol content of these nifty homeopathic drops and think you keep a hip flask in your car, stretch out your facial muscles like some demented lunatic, find your voice placement with some animalistic throat noises and wait to be called into THAT room.
In your best “I’m- totally- in- control- not- trying- too- sound- nervous- or- too- over confident-and-aggressive- voice” you greet the panel of potentially life changing decision makers behind the table. Not really seeing individual faces, just a blur really, whilst praying your hot rash creeping up your neck is covered with enough powder. You see, I have this issue. The joy of the blotchiness. When I get nervous or emotional, this unattractive red blotch starts to take over my well- put together face, ears, neck and chest. I spend most of the time driving to auditions with the air con on full blast so when I arrive I feel like I have just stepped out of a giant igloo. The damn blotch. It’s my “tell.” Yes, I’m nervous. But I think when you stop being nervous and it becomes easy, when the adrenalin stops flowing, well, where’s the fun in that? After all that’s the feeling we live for. We hate it, but it’s our drug. It’s keeps us focused. Us rabid beast actor types.
I have embraced my blotch. After trying various remedies, breathing, antihistamines, Calmettes and the like, and distracting myself with the same five songs that play on Ryan Seacrest’s KISS FM, I have indeed become one with the blotch. At least I now have a friend in the room. That’s what it’s about. Owning that room. Blotch ‘n all. Today I did that. Today was a good day.