Friday, January 07, 2005

The audition at CHUM went really well. I found myself somewhat out of my element though, as it was obvious they were looking for a Stand-Up Comedian, which I am not. I don't see myself as being naturally funny...my comical timing tends to come out more when I play characters on stage or when I have a good writing day. I can throw some good quips at times...can even crack a room up from time to time. But when compared to some of these guys who just ooze funny all the time I'm a rank amateur.

It must stem from the fact even after so many years of theatre I'm still naturally shy, and I often struggle to find the right words to say when in a small-talk situation. In fact, I'm not a fan of small-talk at all...I'd rather have a nice long philosophical conversation with somebody. These don't happen all that often though, so for the most part I keep to myself when around people, either engrossed in a book, or listening to what's happening so I could jump into a conversation if it get's "good". In the past some people considered this mannerism of mine to be arrogance, because they couldn't imagine a comedic actor being shy.

To compensate for this in public school, I created characters all the time. I played with accents and sound effects, and it was through those that I could carry conversations with people "normally". I'm sure I was downright annoying at times.

In high school I threw myself into the areas of most attention in what could be viewed as an almost masochistic manner. I was in Drama, Dance, Vocal Music, and was most infamous as a Morning Announcer for every grade level I attended. Does that sound like a shy person to you? I was though...and was able to persevere in all these areas because I wasn't necessarily talking or performing to a person, but to a mass entity that renamed faceless and nameless. They didn't respond or ridicule (much) in the moment, so I could continue without worrying about them.

A director or producer in a small room can be more frightening then anything. You can't ignore them, or de-entify them. You have to stay aware of their facial expressions and mannerisms, because they can be clues as to whether you are on the right track or not. So, I pulled on my "Uber-Tim" character, which I use when I need to act like I'm just as boisterous as the next guy and happily volunteered to go first.

Fortunately, I'd met the director previously, and he remembered me, which can help ease the situation (and the chances of getting the gig). The producer was also a nice guy who responded favorable to my take on the script. I ran with it three times, trying different energy styles and not worrying as much about the script then I was with the timing. I felt positive about the result, so I'll chalk this up as one of my "good ones". Whether the director and producer agrees is their business even though that will ultimately reflect whether I get the gig or not. I would like the job, of course...but I also like just getting through an audition without making a complete ass of myself. Each of those good ones make it easier for the next to roll smoothly, and so on. Perhaps one day I won't need the character...It'll just come naturally.

I'd like that...

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