Audition Diaries: Look the Part?

Just got back from an audition for the “host” of a fashion web series: 5-minute fashion tips and advice, like TBS’ Movie and a Makeover, but online.

It sounded like so much fun when I heard about it yesterday, but this morning I wasn’t certain I should even go. Sure, sure, the audition posting stressed “personality: friendly, likable, a little quirky, easy to relate to. Think Kelly Ripa, Meg Ryan, and Jennifer Aniston” (and two more paragraphs waxing about this awesome girl’s personality–can I meet her? I totally want to be that girl’s friend!).

I’m friendly, and all the rest of it. But still. It’s fashion related, right? So my immediate assumption is that they’ll want someone taller and skinnier than me… more fashion-y.

Of course, I did go. It still sounded like fun, despite my cynicism. And this is a new kind of audition for me (less scripted than “impromptu chat around the script points), so it’s always good to just learn something new. So I went, determined to just have fun and be myself.

A good starting place. Because when I got to the audition, I walked into a room of 4 petite, put together, and truly beautiful Asian and Latina girls. Ok, so the casting didn’t specify ethnicity, but clearly they’re going for a look. Well… I’m brunette at least. I guess that …counts…

And of course, they were all younger than me, and swathed in these really cute, laid-back, uber-trendy outfits. Scarves, cropped trousers, pointy patent pumps, flowing jersey, and satin shirt-dresses… all of these are things I have, but the final result is never so “on-trend.”

I just don’t do trendy. I’ve tried, really, but my adaptations of a trend are always skewed to the classic or the quirky, or both. And yes, that’s exactly how I like it in real life, that’s my style— one which I am pleased to have cultivated over my life thus far.

But. When you’re trying to get cast and they seem to want trendy, even though they don’t outright say it? Well, getting dressed was bit rough this morning. I finally settled on a strapless navy sundress, a structured & cropped jacket with animal buttons and cuffs, and my favorite leather platform heels (light creamy yellow, featuring a slight sheen and a sculpted white flower on the peep toe. They make me confident!)

I felt great about the outfit this morning (“show us your style?” Ok!), but in the midst of all that casual cool and lovely brown eyes? All of a sudden it all seemed so vintage, so (comparatively) old… and so wrong.

Everyone was really nice as we waited, and we all chatted about the scripting, and the hard parts to memorize. As the other girls auditioned and left, I was left alone with the Hispanic girl, in this sleek, simple, cozy little outfit and fantastic black pumps. She also has this killer, flashing smile.

“I don’t even know why I’m here. That description listed all these white celebrities… Meg Ryan? Do I look like Meg Ryan?”

“I think they mean in terms style and attitude,” I said. “But I know what you mean… I feel like I’m not the right body type at all.”

The smile again, and she laughed loudly. “But you look exactly like what I was picturing! Besides, it’s acting not modeling.”

Well, whattya know? Forget the imaginary host they described– I want to be this girl’s friend.

Anyhow, the audition is over, I was myself, and I had a pretty good time doing it.

And yep, I know– when it gets down to it, that’s all I can do. Having fun and feeling good about my work and my presentation is all I can control. At casting time, some one (or ones) will point their finger and say, “We want this one!” And that may be due to any number of the things they did and didn’t ask for.

I just hope that the specified “quirky sense of humor” can be expanded to include “potentially inappropriate”…during the (on-camera) ad lib part, I joked with the “audience,” “Well, you’ll probably need a drink after this!”

Oh well. Classic with a twist.

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