On the way to the office this morning, I noticed my gas tank was down to about an eighth of a tank. When you're driving an SUV, that means it's time to get a fill-up. I don't know how much gas is in your neck of the woods, but I paid $2.51 a gallon for regular unleaded. And that's actually one of the lowest prices in town. Cost me about $35 to fill it. I don't know about you, but I don't make $35 an hour. Anyone making minimum wage these days has to work a lot of hours, just to fill their gas tank -- so they can go to work. Nope doesn't make sense at all.
So there I was today, sitting at my desk, proofreading my eyeballs off. It was a busy day, and by 3:15, my supervisor asked if I had taken lunch yet. I gave her the sad puppy-eyed look as best I could. So she told me I'd better go soon. So, around 4:10, I got in my car and jammed it to my audition across town.
Fortunately, I had filled my gas tank this morning, so I didn't have much to hold me back, except the afternoon L.A. traffic. But as luck would have it, the busiest freeway in the country, the I-10, wasn't so crowded. And I tore through the cars like you wouldn't believe. Then I came to LaBrea and scurried on up till I got to a turn-off so I could veer onto Highland. Then I took Highland to Fountain, took a left on Seward, and a right on Homewood where the audition was being held.
I knew by the two Asian guys outside in black kung fu pants and tank tops that I must be at the right place. So, I walked in the office and saw a bunch of 9-year-old kids sitting around. Oh, did I get there too late? Yeah, I was about 30 minutes late for my appointment, but from the looks of it, they were still seeing martial arts guys.
I signed in and from the sign-in sheet, I saw that the commercial was for a national spot. Hmm, not bad. Even better is that they're looking to cast more than one guy for this thing. Uh, more than one ASIAN guy, that is. And that's pretty cool.
There was some time to fill out my size card, take my polaroid, and even do some stretching of the legs. Everyone there was wearing some sort of athletic attire or martial arts outfit, so I looked a bit out of place in my DKNY stretch khakis and midnight blue polyester pullover. Nevertheless, I proceeded to do some stretches, some twists, and even some light punching and kicking, while standing about 3 feet away from a bunch of 9-year-old kids. None of them, however, ever made eye contact with me. That was a good sign, I decided. Yes, I was badass enough to fool a bunch of spoiled child actors.
If you've never been to an audition for a martial arts-related project, keep in mind that about a third of the martial artist's strategy is to psych his opponent out. If you can screw with your opponent's mind, any bit of a pause or hesitation can cost them dearly. And in this case, we're talking about a nice-paying job, so you bet your arse that I'm gonna play that game too.
Today, I played the ever-so-gentlemanly martial artist. I've always believed that that messes with people the most, because you show absolutely no fear by playing someone who is a gentleman in danger's eye. All the other Asian guys in the office looked at themselves in their athletic attire and wondered if they had worn the right clothes. Because I had been working my ass off all day, and then hauled ass to get to the audition, I didn't have time to worry about my clothes or anything else, so I probably looked like I didn't give a crap about anything.
Anyway, suffice it to say that there was some minor tension in the room with all the mental games and such. All the other guys went in two at a time. I was the last guy in the room to audition, so consequently, I got to audition alone. I did a 20-second introduction about me and my art, and then the camera guy widened the lens and I did my thing.
Yeah, I don't know what the heck I did. It sure wasn't a choreographed routine. I just hope it looked good on camera. After shutting the camera off, me and the casting guy discussed religion and such. It was a strange conversation, and if I wasn't mistaken, I'd say he had been smoking something. I guess that's not so bad, but the guy looked to be about 60.
I ran out to my SUV, saw a bunch of Asian actors standing by a car, all checking me out like they wanted to kick my ass or something. Felt just like Chinatown in the 1970s. Then I drove back to the office while stuffing a couple of breakfast bars in my mouth and drinking them down with water. I continued proofing until about 8:00. On the way home, I noticed my back was a little stiff, and my brain had grown weary. I must've sighed about a hundred times before I got in my apartment. Yup, you know it....