David Guzzone, where were you when I needed you? No, it’s not your fault. I took your awesome “Don’t Embarrass Yourself” class at Edge. I even took a lot of notes! So you’d think that I might have actually FOLLOWED those notes and that great advice.
But no. I have to learn the hard way.
So I got an e-mail to audition for this really fun gig. While I’ve done tons of auditions, all of them, up to this point, had been in the privacy and comfort of my walk-in closet, where I read the script, get to give it a few takes, maybe even Frankenstein it a little if necessary (my term for cutting and pasting lines from different takes) and send it off into the Ether, to be accepted or rejected at will. But this audition was to be done on site, at the company’s office.
I did show up early. But first bad sign: When the receptionist asked for my driver’s license so that they could create a visitor’s badge for me, it was nowhere to be found. (Note to self: do not leave purse where curious 2-year-old with penchant for removing credit cards and all other such sundries can reach it.) Finally I DID locate the license, but that left me a little frazzled. I had my script in hand, had printed it out a few days earlier when said company had mailed it to me. I’d been practicing at home, and had even asked my husband for his take on my performance. He promptly rejected my first instinct, so I came up with another approach.
At the audition, I sat down at a table, face-to-face with two people (a man and a woman), with a video camera on a table whose lens was closed so that it was only recording audio. So there wasn’t an actual booth. No problem. We make small talk, and then they ask me to launch into my audition. I go for it. When I get to the end, I look up. I’m not expecting a standing ovation or tears or an overwhelming outpouring of emotion or anything, but what I see is blank faces. And then the man (we’ll call him “Sam”) says, “And?”
“And?” What kind of reaction is THAT?!
Fortunately he doesn’t keep me wondering long. “What about the last few lines?” he asks.
At which point I have to tell him that that’s all the lines I had. (Crawl into hole, ABORT! ABORT! How can I get out of here?!)
I’m so lucky “Sam” is a super nice guy, because he immediately asks if I’m a Mac user, and says that sometimes Mac doesn’t format things right, etc., etc., so he kindly slides over HIS copy of the script, and asks me to go ahead with those last few lines. Which I do.
Then he turns to the woman and says, “That would have been really good for that other thing we were doing.” (Uh oh…) and asks if I can try a different approach. Ok, no problem. I’ve got that original idea that my husband had rejected in my back pocket, so I pull that out. But when he asks if I want to try any other ways, I freeze. (Crap. Why didn’t I come up with a few different ways of doing this? And why am I just completely drawing a blank now?)
Normally I’m pretty good at thinking on my feet, but I think that the whole situation, from lost driver’s license to not having the full script, had just really thrown me off. So I had to admit that, no, I didn’t really have anything else to add, and walk away with my tail between my legs.
Once I was safely clear of the building, I immediately picked up the phone and called my sister, to whom I jokingly lamented, “Well, it was good for me to have this experience! Now I know what NOT to do, and I’ll be super prepared next time!”
The incredibly amazing thing? I ACTUALLY BOOKED THE JOB.
Wow. Someone must really be looking out for me…