Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Grinchmas Audition.

I had heard in the past about this Grinchmas event they do at Universal over the Christmas holiday. I had never gone out for it because I always thought I'd be unavailable during Christmas, plus I didn't know what it was. But doing Halloween Horror Nights for the 5th time this year, everyone was talking about auditioning, and I was gonna need a job in December, so I decided to go to the auditions, which were yesterday at the Debbie Reynolds Studio on Lankershim in the Valley.

What they were looking for was a few guys to play the Grinch, in a super elaborate costume like the one Jim Carrey wore in the Ron Howard movie, as well as several residents of Whoville, who would wear Who prosthetics, also like in the movie. During Horror Nights, I heard people say that you would need to invent your own Whoville character, I guess to show off your improv skills and creativity, because the Whoville characters would roam the park and interact with guests. I think there's also a stage show or something, which might involve some light dancing. One guy showed up to the audition in full Who costume and prosthetics, with a prop basket. He was apparently a Whoville baker. I was thinking he should pretend to be a real Who, biologically, so he could complain that this is the only job he's really suited for.

While standing in line, I saw the official sign listing the role requirements and realized I had forgotten to bring a headshot/resume, which they had said on the website we MUST do. I don't have a headshot, but I do have an acting resume with my picture on top of it... but I had no printer ink at the time, so the whole issue was moot. I texted some people to ask, "What sounds better-- I don't have a headshot, or I forgot my headshot?" One friend said "I forgot my headshot." Another friend said "I'm waiting for my new headshots." But I thought the funniest option would be to say, "I don't like to give out headshots." Again, moot, because there was no point at which anyone asked about headshots. You either had one attached to your form or you didn't.

Anyway, they gave everyone a number while we waited in line, took our picture, then brought us in and measured our height. While being measured, I told them, "My doctor says I'm ideal Who proportions." Then they led us into a small dance studio, where they collected our forms and attached our pictures to them. I overheard the form/picture people bitching that they had given the same number to two people on more than one occasion. I suggested to them that they just add a ½ to one of them.

We waited on the floor, then about 50 of us were brought into a larger dance studio, where we were lined up in a semicircle around a table of the people in charge of directing and running Grinchmas. The head guy asked everyone to step forward and say their name, and as we did, he would put our form into one of two piles. See, before we could show them our skills in dancing, reading sides, or improvising, the first round of this would be a "type out audition." Type out is when they evaluate your overall look/vibe and determine whether or not it's even worth it to audition you further.

It's tough to convey the essence of your being when just stepping forward and saying your name. I said mine in a sort of slow, deliberate fashion, and the guy looked at me for an extra second or two before putting me in one of the piles. Then, he thanked everyone for coming to the audition and read out loud the numbers of the people he wanted to stay for the next round. I was number 127. I listened as he read the numbers, counting down from 150 to 101... "129... 128... 126..." Relatively few people were asked to stay, and I wasn't one of them. But apparently I made everyone directly around me look pretty good.

I wish they had gotten to see my skills at reading sides and improvising. I would've scored high there. I could've told them about my Whoville experience... which involved attacking people as a Chainsaw Killer Klown... but it was experience nonetheless. They should just do Christmas Horror Nights. I'd have been all over that.

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