I’m sure every actor out there has done a bad audition. Those times when you’ve gone into a casting and done so awfully, abysmally bad that you lie in bed at night cringing at yourself. You literally play it over in your head hundreds of times, wondering why the fuck you acted like such a dickhead. Today was one of those days.
The audition was to play a female fighter in a film. The character description was unsurprisingly vague, stating that she would “rather take a fist to the face than talk about her feelings.” The brief specifically stated that they were looking for actors, who could play fighters. They also asked you to wear movement appropriate clothing to the audition.
“I’ve got this,”I thought to myself as i got dressed into my polka dot playsuit. I did my makeup as I would for any audition, but I put extra heavy eyeliner on (to show that I was super rebellious and that you wouldn’t want to mess with me).
“They want a fighter,” I thought to myself, “but they probably want a pretty fighter.”
I listened to Eminem’s “Way I Am” in the Uber on my way to the audition, because thats the most hardcore music I know. I’m pretty sure that in that moment, I was the whitest, and most naive girl in LA.
I first realised that perhaps things weren’t going to go my way when I arrived in the waiting room, and everyone else was dressed in legit UFC fight gear. One girl was strapping her hands with tape and another girl glared at me from underneath a bruised and swollen eye. These were not just method actors. These girls were 100% real fighters, and every one of them looked like they wanted to tear me to shreds. I decided to sit in the corner and try no to make eye contact. I reminded myself that they were looking for actors. Give me one boxing class and I’d be able to play a fighter convincingly enough.
When I was finally called into the room, I handed in my pretty little headshot and CV, which the casting director then proceeded to throw on the desk behind her. She then asks me “Are you a fighter? Or an actor?” I laughed at this and proceeded to tell her that I was, in fact, an actor. She didn’t find this as amusing as I’d hoped. She then told me to stand in front of the camera, do 60 seconds of improvised fight sequence, and then do 30 straight punches looking down the barrel of the camera.
Shit. Was she fucking serious? Did I not just tell her I was an actor and not a fighter? And by the way, lets just think about how long 60 seconds is. ITS A REALLY FUCKING LONG TIME.
I wish I’d said no. I wish I’d had the bravery to say, “you know what? Not gonna make a fool of myself today.” Unfortunately some deep idiotic part of my brain decided that it would be a better idea to actually do the fighting. So I struggled through my improvised kick boxing moves, ducking and hitting at an invisible target, all the while pulling up my stupid fucking jumpsuit which kept threatening to reveal far too much. My long hair was causing major problems as it kept falling in front of my face and i had to keep pushing it back. By the time I was finished, the casting director was looking at me as though I had snot on my face, and she was wondering how the fuck it got there.
I tried to pull together what dignity I had left (none) for the second part of the audition. I did the scene once through, before being briskly thanked for my time and nodded towards the door. I thought this was the end. This is usually the end. You usually leave the room and are allowed to go and crawl into a hole to die in peace. But No. Not this time.
The casting director actually leaned out of the room and yelled out to all the other girls in the waiting room,”IF ANYONE else has their hair out, put it up so we can actually see your FACE, and if anyone is wearing make-up, TAKE IT OFF!!!” She slammed the door behind me, and that was that. I’d have appreciated if she’d maybe given me the heads up that she gave everyone else, but at this stage it was far too late for me. I had well and truly fucked it, and the sad thing was that I had headed to this audition feeling like the baddest bitch on the streets. I left feeling like an insignificant flea.
I walked out onto the street and called a friend in an attempt to laugh it off. I could see how completely and hilariously bad the audition had been, but I was also deeply humiliated and ashamed. Improvising a fight sequence for myself was not how I would have chosen to spend my Wednesday afternoon, but… Laugh or cry, right?
Needless to say, I didn’t get the part.