a auditioning cartoon

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Today I am grateful for auditioning.  Many of you might not know that I’ve done a considerable bit of performing, mostly back in the day.  I love the stage and the instant gratification that it provides, but the memory work and time commitment is daunting to me at this ripe age.  Though if the right role presents itself. . .who knows?


I have also been trained, like the mule you want pulling the cart.  I have done commercials, industrial films, a few Forensic Files, a bunch of student films, and even a low-budget feature or two.   Nothing you would know or remember. A memorable one for me was an industrial, in-house, Sexual Abuse video that was as much fun to shoot as the title implies, even though it wasn’t porn.  Honest!


It has been a while since I’ve auditioned.  So imagine my shock when I saw a casting notice from Kathy Wickline Casting, calling for someone exactly like me, with my same mad skills!  (clothed)  I contacted Kathy, made an appointment, dusted off and updated my resume and printed a good picture taken by a friend when I was at a bar in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, after church.  Yes, after church.  You gotta know Sheboygan.  Oh relax.  I cropped out the Bloody Mary!


The last time I went to this agency, the office was in central Philly.  I figured I’d take the train in, hail a cab and bada-bing-bada-boom. . .I’d be brilliant. . .then back on the train headed home.


The morning I was to audition I decided to type the address into Mapquest, just to be sure.  It was not anywhere near where it used to be and probably a $25 cab ride each way.  Swell.  I drove.  It was easy to find, although I had to call for help with parking.   I was very early. . .because of my neurosis about being late.  When I walked in, Kathy, who follows some of my nonsense on Facebook, said, “Hi Mary!  I feel like I know you.”  Apparently she wasn’t traumatized by the naked magician request, or she had blocked it out, like I had until now.  “You do,” I said.  Pretty much everyone does. I am several open books.  “But where is the bathroom?”


Audition waiting rooms are odd places.  Everyone is serious. . .as though this one gig will make or break their entire life.  It won’t.  I provided a little comedy relief when I headed for the low couch and announced I might need the help to get me out of it, or the Jaws-of-Life.  Some hadn’t seen the audition copy so I passed mine around.  Hey, we’re all in this together.  I recognized a guy, then we realized I had dinner at the same table at the Philadelphia Writer’s Conference last year.  Small world.  A woman with great hair sat down next to me and she was from Souderton, which is a stone’s throw from Lansdale.  Really small world.


After the men were done auditioning, the client came out and told us what he was looking for from the women.  Read a teleprompter.  No sweat.  The character/actress is not well. . .suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis and now some kind of leukemia.  Poor thing.  I was dolled up in bright blue and other primary colors, with full makeup and great hair!  I gotta tell ya. . .I looked good!  I was so colorful that I looked like a box of Skittles got dumped over my head.  And stuck.  Even with all of the crap I’ve gone through with the recent surgery and hospital stays. . .I looked healthy.  Shit!  Just my luck!


When it was my turn to go into the audition room, I shook the hand of the client and said, “I just want it on the record that I don’t have to look this good.”  He sort of raised an eyebrow and said, “You look, ah, fine.”  Um, okay.  Tough room.  “No, what I mean is that I have absolutely no problem being on camera looking sickly, or with no makeup or bad hair, you know. . . really awful.”  Then he laughed.  Whew.  I thought I lost my touch!


I don’t know who got the part. . .or will get the part.  All I know is it was such fun dusting off those old skills and auditioning.  I am very grateful to Kathy Wickline for including me.  And yes, I asked her for permission to use her name before I wrote this.  I’m not a complete idiot!  (She might be experiencing regret at this point.)  And, although hugely successful in her own right. . .she has now made the blog.  Congratulations, Kathy. . .you have “arrived”!

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