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Call of the Wild

So many great things have happened lately. By great, I mean, stuff that can turn into great. One has to start somewhere, right?

Holidays always slow the momentum in Hollywood. Great for releasing movies, not so great for the rank and file auditioner. You know what they say, though. Quality not quantity. Never truer in my myopic life than the last couple weeks.

I love a good accent or cold read or jangly tune. Got all three over the course of the recent past and I was swimmin'! Not to mention a call back! Me: "Hey, Mike." My agent, "Yeah." "This is a call back, right?" "Yeah." "That's petty good, right?" "Yeah." (My agent's very supportive). "This is the third time this casting director's called me in. Is there any way I can professionally say thanks?" "A hand written note?" (He's never seen my handwriting). "Thanks, pal."

Most auditions are about two minutes (or less) of doing your level best to stick out like a sore thumb. Call backs, they're a different animal altogether.

I arrived at the location and went to the second floor like I was told. A bunch of people were milling around near a sign in table. Naturally, I head over. They give me a sheet to fill in my personal details (height, weight, eyes, ears, you know) and ask for what role I'm auditioning. I hand in the paper and sit, running my sides in my head one more time. "Alistair," the monitor calls. "Yes." "What role are you auditioning for?" I tell her. "I don't think that's us. Are you sure you're in the right place?" My stomach leapt to my throat because I had no time to get to the right place if this wasn't it.

Turns out my audition was down the hall. The minute I came around the corner the casting assistant recognized me and called me by name. What a blessing to have that happen for the first time. Whew!

There I am, waiting my turn, rehearsing the well memorized lines again and again "just to be sure." The woman ahead of me goes into the room. "It'll be about fifteen minutes," the CA tells me. "Fifteen minutes?" I think. "Man, I just hit the big time." Imagine having fifteen minutes to audition for a part.

Big time is a relative term. From less than two minutes to let's talk about the character is big for me. What a gift.

When my fifteen minutes came I gave it everything I had. Then gave it everything I had again. And again. And again. The director directed, the reader read, the camera man camera'd. It was great. I felt like an actor.

A couple weeks later my agent called to tell me they wanted me. Me. What a great call to get (I told you he's very supportive).

We'll shoot in a couple weeks time. More I can't say. But, who cares. We're shooting in a couple weeks time!

Some say acting is a calling. Sometimes the call gets answered.

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