Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I Abhor Auditioning

I have a real hate/hate relationship with auditions. I hate the judging, usually based off of looks instead of content or character or contribution that could be made to the script, show, etc.

I've acted on the side, dabbling in the industry to figure out if it was where I wanted to focus my energy, time, and resources (I'd often been told how great of an actor I am by audiences after a theater performance or by crew members after an acting gig, was even told I was a natural by Will Smith's acting coach, Aaron Speiser after a workshop). But, instead of growing more confident with each audition, I grew more self-conscious, especially in this Miami market where a breakdown doesn't usually call for someone like me (fat black female) unless it asks for someone loud, brash, crass, rude, angry, ignorant, lazy, and/or ghetto (I'll put a video of one of the roles I was hired to fill below and you tell me if one or more of the aforementioned adjectives doesn't apply)-- in other words, someone completely contrary to my own nature. Doesn't help that my mom named me a ghetto name (I deleted the name-- those who know me know what it is), does it? Lol. Of course, that was in the 70s before it became ghetto.

With every audition, I became aware of my blackness and how the world of writers and directors see my blackness. With every breakdown, I became aware of the lack of acceptance for the variety of people who come from a black background. Even if a breakdown calls for a black woman, she has to be "ambiguously" black, meaning you can't pin her down as an African-American type of black person. The mixed race makes her more accepted by the media masses. The intelligent black person rarely finds his/her way on screen-- unless his name is Will Smith (I quite admire the dude by the way).

Someone told me to just keep playing the roles until I didn't have to, until I could make my own decisions and choose my own roles but my conscience won't let me. So I crawled into my head, sub-consciously sabotaging auditions for roles I felt perpetuated the American black stereotype.

But this color issue is actually not what I want to talk about; it's not why I began this blog. Never mind. Let me just make it its own blog entry and I'll move what I wanted to talk about to another blog. So continuing on this track, I go.

Which brings me to some other more practical advice I heard-- write my own scripts with the kind of people I'd want to play. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck did it with their script, Good Will Hunting. So there's an option I'm interested in taking. But, as of today, I've been arrested by a crippling case of procrastination. I'm just going to have to fight through it otherwise I'll just be all talk.


That's it for now. Enjoy the video. If anything, you'll get a laugh out of it, especially if you know me. =) (reading the comments on YouTube were funny, except the racist ones of course).


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