Yesterday I went to a callback for the play “The Pillowman.” (For those of you who don’t know what a callback is, it’s basically the second round of auditions. Kinda like when you watch “American Idol” and some kids get the yellow slip of paper to “go to Hollywood, dog” for a second look.)
I went to the audition last month and was given a copy of the script to peruse for yesterday. It’s an extremely dark comedy and although the things I were reading were horrible I was impressed with the writing that I still found myself laughing at what was going on. If it happens that I’m cast in the show, I’m in for a fun time.
So how did it go, yesterday? Eh. I don’t know. There were about 10 of us there and it started by each of us introducing ourselves, talking about which part(s) we liked, and our general over-all thoughts on the play. From there they had us read a few different scenes quite a few times and the director would mix it up a bit each time, having someone read a different part, so he could get a feel of who might fit where.
I felt I did OK. But of course, when I would finish each reading I didn’t sit down and think about how well I did but would find myself wondering what I should have done differently. Second-guessing yourself like that can really wreak havoc on your brain if you let it (and I sometimes do)so I decided to just let what happens happen and enjoy the other auditioners.
There’s a law in the stand-up world that the worst crowd to play to is a crowd of comedians. No one wants to laugh because by laughing you’re letting the audience, the club manager, the talent scout know that “Hey that guy on stage is funny! I may not be, but boy he sure is!!” Sometimes it’s the same thing at auditions. You don’t want to respond positively to other people auditioning because ultimately, you’re going against that person, and you don’t want to give them any extra leverage.
I say screw all that.
If there’s anything I learned doing improv at the National Comedy Theatre, it’s that it’s about teamwork; doing what you can to make the other guy look good. Life’s too short to worry about the whole competition part of it. It as nice to be able to sit back between readings and laugh and enjoy the other guys auditioning. They were really good, a really talented bunch of guys, and I’m always up for seeing talented people do what they do best.
So I don’t know if I’ll get the call today or not. If I do, that’ll be a lot of fun. If not, I can see why. Those guys yesterday were good.