A lot has happened since the last post. And it is all cool stuff!
I posted the audition call on various sites I found through search. These are the sites:
Most calls came from Castcaller which costs $2 per month.
People had to signup for an audition on this site and then I would call them back and put them on the schedule, then send them an email with the time and place, which was at http://www.brickandmortartoronto.com/ourspaces.html … Commons Studio.
I scheduled 24 auditions. It was a cold day in January but thankfully the studio was really toasty when I got there to set up. I used my Android phone as a video camera and dumped the videos onto my laptop with AirDroid app (through wifi).
Most were well-prepared with a monolog. I think an audition monolog is probably one of the most difficult things to do well. I had them do some other things like just stand there like you don’t want to be there and I would say things for them to react to. Then I switched it and had them act like they really wanted to be there. I wasn’t looking for anything specific, more just getting a sense of what it would be like to work with them. In the, I have to say, the ones I chose, had the most experience, the best monologs, were easy to communicate with and had a lot of enthusiasm for how the project would be put together.
I let a few days go by to let it all sink in. My brain was already on fire, creating relationships and story with the people who’d I’d chosen. But I forced myself to not write any of it down because the process is a collaborative one and is created by what comes out of the group experience. Sounds all airy fairy but now that we’ve had our first session together, I can say that it works!
You Got the Job
I told the eight actors the news via a group email. “Congrats! You are invited to be a part of…” I also attached an Agreement that they would all have to sign. It outlines our obligations and how, if there are profits, how they will be shared. I also gave them this information for the Kickoff Session:
I couldn’t find a rehearsal space in time for the Kickoff Session so I hosted at my house. This was actually a good thing because it needed to be a social atmosphere. Snacks, music, etc. Everyone, except one, used a different name and made some character choices. Some were obvious and others we couldn’t tell because no one knows each other. The cool thing was everyone was there and all of them totally into it.
At the end I gave them some homework which was to send me an email about their experience. What did they notice about each other? Themselves? This turned out to be incredible. They wrote back with their thoughts and feelings about each other and this gave us some seeds to sow as there were obvious and natural and things starting to happen in each person and how they related to each other.
I wrote back to each one: my reflections on their reflections which I told them were “just ideas” … things they could consider to deepen or not. They are not directions. One thing I asked certain people to do was relive or meditate on certain moments they experienced so they could recall them and use it in scenes. This is like filling up the toolbox. You need a toolbox full of good tools and you need to practice using them.
Finding Rehearsal Space
There are a lot of rehearsal spaces around town but most are booked on the one night when we can all meet. Today I managed to find some space at a dance studio at a college. A really nice space but we might get bumped into the small studio sometimes. No big deal – rolling with it is important.
Get Them Ready for Session 2
I sent them an email this afternoon telling them how we’ll be warming up. First, we’re going to laugh for one minute. This should be …wait for it – funny! It will help to get people relaxed and in a positive frame of mind. Then we are going to all learn to sing “Tell Me Baby” by The Red Hot Chili Peppers.
The rest of the email said this: