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Tricks of the Trade



I’m sitting outside the audition room. Other actors are gesturing and having silent arguments with the air. Then, from the corner,


“pa pa pa pa da da da da ca ca ca ca ba ba ba ba ta ta ta ta

po po po po do do do do co co co co bo bo bo bo to to to to”


Pa pa da da is doing yoga-ish movements in front of the mirror and gazing into his own eyes with the urgent yet vacant stare of a German Shepard.


A young woman with a hair bun, a clipboard, and a lot of power, comes out of the audition room. “DONALD. DONALD YOU’RE UP. JAMES, YOU’RE ON DECK.” Donald doesn’t have a chance. He’s wearing flannel for God’s sake. They specifically said “upscale” which means sports coat and slacks.

Nice try, Donald.

I know my turn is coming up so I engage a power pose. I stand like Superman facing the press. I am going to conquer it. I will overcome the nerves! I will overcome the nerves! Then the Most Powerful Hairbun reappears. “Tony Fo-ghee, Fo-ghee-ah”

In the audition room I’m expected to absorb these directions. “First you’ll slate your name and height. Then you’ll give me a 3/4 profile on both sides. Then I’ll get a full body shot. Don’t smile. When you say the lines, talk to the reader behind the camera but remember, you’re both referring to the car which is off on the right. But you’re not really into the car so don’t look at it too long. And remember, you two have known each other a long time and you’re so close that you finish each others’ sentences. Any questions? Good. And action.”








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