This is a short essay I wrote for a contest on Canadian Actor Online. It had to be 250 words or less. And yes, it is a true story.
When it comes to auditions, the term normal need not apply. Every opportunity you have to sell your services to a casting director is wrought with the perils of uniqueness, so any preparation you may have slaved over is often thrown right out the window. You have to come in to the room expecting the unexpected.
After being called into the demesne of one unscrupulous director last July, I was told to toss away the script my agent had frantically gotten into my hands the night before and that the audition would be completely improvised. This startling revelation sent a cold shadow of fear into my being. Improvising is a strength of mine, however it can be difficult to judge whether you are giving too much or too little to a director. Plus, the character he asked me to create on the spot was a Bad Hollywood Producer pretending to be good.
Not one to back down to a challenge I gave it my all, creating a fake question and answer period with the director as my audience. He played along, but then as with most auditions I was back out the door within ten minutes.
Seems I gave a little too much. The real producer sent me a message saying I didn't get the part I wanted, but would I take a different role - "Bad Actor Auditioning for a movie". Didn't know whether to be complimented or insulted, but I took the role anyway.