That White Room

There’s nothing quite like auditioning, they place you in a white room and no not the padded one from the asylum, but it is just as scary.

Most of my auditions to date have been for TVC’s(television commercials). Going into the room for any audition is always interesting, it’s always a white room and you never know what’s going to happen because you only get given a general brief, most of the time you think you’re going in for the lead role but that’s never the case. Sometimes you head into the waiting room and you’re sitting there with a hand full of other guys/girls with almost the exact same outfit and look as you.

Once when I was in the waiting room I heard another actor who was auditioning scream, confused I referred back to the script and couldn’t  understand why the other actor was screaming. It started to make sense when they left the room, they were talking and laughing with the casting director like they were going to play tennis together over the weekend.

Stuff like this happens all the time, I’ve had many funny experiences. I once went to an audition where they asked for a “tradesman” so I put on my cleaned Hi Vis shirt, thinking I was going to have that look down. As soon as I walked into the waiting room I noticed I was the only guy with a Hi Vis shirt on so naturally I felt like I had this role over the other actors because I read the brief, right? Wrong. I walked into the room and it was a couple scene, which means I was working with another actor. We started out by playing games like charades, her answer was lord of the rings and mine was the brand we were auditioning for (I thought it was clever at the time, she didn’t get it). That exercise was to see how we would interact with each other, then we went onto film the audition and here’s where it got really awkward, I realised they weren’t actually looking for a tradesman with a Hi Vis shirt on so naturally I started to panic, they just wanted someone who had the build and general look of one. It turns out it was a couple in bed talking about moving furniture and they get up to move it trying to figure out the feng shui of the room. We were moving lite wicker chairs but had to act like they were heavy arm chairs, I guess that’s why they wanted a tradesman look. It was obvious that I wasn’t going to get this role either.  1

I’ve also had many stereotyped auditions, one was for a national security commercial. I walked in thinking of course I look like a “shady middle-eastern guy” I definitely have this role. I walked in all cocky and when they walked me through the scene they basically didn’t even need me. All they wanted was for someone with their back to the camera, to drop a bag that had cash, credit cards and drugs in it and basically walk off camera. My ego was deflated to say the least.

The best thing that really built my confidence and my love for going into the audition room was being on the other side of the table, I had already gotten the lead role for a film (The Rabid) and I was asked to be a reader for the auditioning actors. Once the actors left the room I could see what the thought process was and how they really wanted the actors to do well, it gave me so much insight and so much confidence. Now whenever I feel nervous about walking into that white room I’m always thinking about that day and remember they want me to succeed but I always want to showcase my acting to the best of my ability

Moral of the story is we never know what to expect from any situation that comes our way. An audition is an actor’s job interview. Go into an audition ready for anything to happen and have fun with it, even if they end up embarrassingly awkward, super fun or scary it’s a part of the job.

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