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Practice Makes Preparation

I got an audition the other day, well, last Thursday, due asap. I bundled up my late afternoon inhibitions and trundled off to my audition space. There I set up the equipment and squiggled through some quirky sides. (Sides are little bits of script the casting director wants performed to see if the actor fits the part, or is any good).

From the point at which I received the breakdown until I submitted my audition was about two hours. Yes, the sides were modest but, as "they" say, no small parts only small actors, right? When I was finished a wonderful thing happened. I felt accomplished.

I always feel accomplished when I finish an audition. Live auditions are edgier, taped auditions are more time consuming. Both are exhilarating. I personally prefer live, but love the tapers too. Anyway, I felt accomplished. "Called in", taped and submitted within two hours.

Naturally I started second guessing myself - did I do enough, did I do too much? Too much too quickly, not enough too slowly? Hey, it doesn't have to make sense, it's emotional. But, it was done and nothing more I could do, so I let it go and felt good again.

I'm the kind of guy who believes in ultra preparation. Working the piece until I can do it in my sleep. It comforts me to know I don't have to worry about recall. Which brings me to yesterday.

I booked that "last Thursday" audition and shot it yesterday.

My call was late morning and the location was about forty minutes drive. Not bad, LA things considered. An office in a storied campus the other side of the valley and I got to wear my own shoes. Very Michael Caine. If the shoe fits, well, it fits. One never knows with wardrobe.

There I was, waiting about in a nice suit, my shoes and very complimentary makeup for about an hour and a half before they called lunch. Then, after lunch, I got the sides for the day. Two scenes and four pages. Oh, and we're next up. Gulp. You couldn't a given 'em to me before the break?

But I didn't worry because practice makes preparation. In the time the crew needed to finish set up I worked those lines like oxen plowing a field. One after the other until the rows were planted and crops were growing in my head. I love pictures. And the takes were great, too. At least I felt great because I practiced how to paint those pictures a million times. It's a true comfort to rely on old habits.

The real joy of acting is letting oneself go. Trying things outrageously, or intimately, or boldly. If the bones are good, the flesh is anything you want.

The movie is called "Screenshot to Santa." I have no idea when it will come out, but I'm guessing holiday season. I'll keep you posted here.

Speaking of breathing easier, I'm doing just that after California rejected irrationalism and kept a very good governor. Yesterday was a great day.

I hope you're feeling better relying on old habits. Practice what you practice even if you never preach. It makes a difference.

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