authentic underbelly

Friday, December 10, 2010

I had a non-audition audition yesterday where I met with such a lovely actor/producer/writer about this film he's making--it's independent, semi-autobiographical and all improvised.  I had a general meeting since there was no script to read so we sat down for a nice chat. All auditions should be so lovely. Anyway, this meeting took place in a casting studio I had never been to before. For those of you non-industry types, most of these places have several studio rooms (where many different projects are casting at once) and one giant holding pen waiting area where they keep the crazies talent. You show up as an actor not really knowing what you're gonna get on any particular day. Sometimes? Great friends you haven't seen in ages. Other times? A room full of hairy vikings. Seriously.

So when I arrived yesterday, a bunch of bikini-clad gals were milling about, preparing to read for a project called SHIPWRECK'D. Some were running lines with each other and it wasn't pretty. Meanwhile, there was a laptop propped open on a chair playing Christopher Cross's "Sailing" on an endless loop. Maybe helping someone get "in the mood"? God help us. As I continued to wait, I overheard this fun interaction between a guy in a cheesy suit (there auditioning for an altogether different project) and a girl in a camouflaged bikini (I almost didn't see her there!):

Guy in cheesy suit: "What are you going in for?"

Girl in camo bikini: "SHIPWRECK'D"

Guy in cheesy suit: "Cool."

Girl in camo bikini: "Yeah."

[Long beat as guy looks at her outfit.]

Guy in cheesy suit: "What type of role is it?"

Girl in camo bikini, deadpan: "Comedic."

Guy in cheesy suit: "What type?"

Girl in camo bikini, slightly irritated: "Comedic. Really funny."

[Guy nods for five full seconds and then walks away.]

Shortly after, I was called into my lovely non-audition audition. I mentioned how nuts it was in the waiting room and we got to talking about how many different versions of LA there are. He said, "Some people think that's what LA is all about," referring to the craziness, "but it's not." I agreed. I told him I think there is this authentic underbelly here that you just have to be seeking and you'll find it easily. But if we didn't have the vikings, bikini-girls and crazies, we wouldn't have anything by which to measure the authentic-ness. He looked at me and nodded sagely and then asked me if I'd be willing to show my boobs in his movie.*


*that part isn't true but it was kinda funny, right?


  1. love this! i am always in search of that underbelly of authenticity. glad you coined a phrase that captures it so well. thanks for sharing !

  2. yay Joeycake. Love ya... yur friend EL


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