I scheduled myself to have Mon-Wed of this week off from my Moderator job so that I could work background those days. Well I ended up not working on Monday or Tuesday. I had tried to book work for Tuesday, but they said they couldn't use me. So I was destined to laze about at home for the third day in a row. This was not going to work for me. My friend Dan had gotten called and booked on the movie that I got denied for. Since I was doing nothing all day anyway, I decided to try to spec (in BG terms, that means go on set and see if people don't show up and you can take their place). I thought the call time was going to be around 3:00PM so I text Dan at 11:45AM for the details. I called the info line and they said the call time was 1:00PM! I rushed and threw my clothes in a bag (you have to bring your own clothes when you're an extra) and hauled but over to the studio.
When I got there, they said they couldn't let me in because my name wasn't on list. Of course my name wasn't on the list, I wasn't booked. So they told me to call the pass office and see if they could help me. The Pass Office told me to call Central because they need them to send the O.K. So I called Central and they said they don't make passes for Specs. It looked like I was going to have to go home with my tail between my legs.
I had considered calling the casting director at Central and asking for her help, but I didn't want to be an annoying BG person. I mean she had already told me they couldn't use me, and now I had the nerve to just go to set? This could definitely put me on her Bad List.
I was just about to resign to getting in my car and going home, when the guard (an elder gentleman), told me to call and see if maybe they spelled my name wrong. I didn't feel like explaining the whole situation and how they couldn't have spelled it wrong, because it wasn't on the list in the first place. I gave him some short answer and he said "Well don't give up." That really got to me for some reason. I looked at my phone and decided to call the CD at Central. It rang and she picked up almost immediately. I told her what was going on and asked if she had any more spots on the movie. She asked if I was already there and had the appropriate wardrobe, I told her yes. She put me hold. When she came back, she said she could officially book me, but she would give me a pass so that I could at least go see. I thanked her profusely and went to get my pass.
Okay, parking problem: Solved. Now to get actual work. I made it to the stage and went up to the sign-in table. I asked if they were taking Specs. Right away she shook her head and said they weren't. I asked "none at all?", she said she would check, so she asked the AD at the next table over. And she said "Sure, let them hang out and see. If we don't get our numbers we can let them on" (I'm pretty sure I was the only Spec). They told me to get food and relax til they figure out who's signed in.
People kept coming in, and the voucher pile was dwindling along with my hopes of making it on this film. I hung out with Dan, we got burgers, but I couldn't eat because I was too riled up and nervous about whether I was working or not. Eventually they had taken most everybody to set. I gently reminded them that I was still waiting. They said "It's 2:45, sure let them on!", again I was the only spec, but I was just happy they were going to let me work.
The set was awesome, it was a resort scene so everyone was in swimsuits, there's a pool, wet bar and everything. Plus it was warm, which was a plus since girls had to be in two-pieces.
They told us it was going to be a long day, which was fine with me. After we had been working for a long time, we were waiting in holding to go back on set. The ADs stood up and told all the girls to stand in a circle. So we all got up and went over. They told the blonds they could go ahead and sit down.
The ADs walked around the circle picking girls out. Wen they got to me, I smiled, and she told me to step forward. Wen they finished picking, they told everyone else they could back to their seats. Then they told us they were taking us to the Producer to look at us for a possible upgrade. They were looking for a Polynesian, island, exotic type (and they picked me! Go figure, maybe it was the flowers my hair guy put in, thanks Matt!). So they march us all over to set. Then the producer comes out and looks at us. She tells a few girls to step out because they'd already been seen too much. I am completely nervous at this point. I could feel all kinds of butterflies in my stomach.
When she finishes that process, Vince Vaughn comes over to look at us! I ADORE Vince Vaughn so this just sent my pulse skyrocketing. He was really nice, and explained the scene to us. Then they told us we were going to be auditioning for the producer for a line in the movie!! I was so excited. This was the first time anything liek this had ever happened to me. They gave us the script to look over and I practiced and practiced. I could hear other girls practicing too, but I did my best not to pay attention and focus on what I was doing. I prayed: "Lord you got me here, if it's meant to be it will happen. If not, I know you have something else for me. Just help me to do my best."
My turn finally came and I read the dialogue. When I finished I could hear the other girls saying their lines for the producers. I kept thinking "She sounded cuter" or "I should have done it like that".
That's when I had an epiphany. No, I should not have done like the other girls. I did it my way (As Frankie S. would put it) and I should be proud of that. If everyone did it the same way, it would be of no help to the producers. I had made my decision for my audition and I should have no regrets. They have something they are looking for and if I'm not it, I'm just not it. It doesn't mean I wasn't pretty enough. It doesn't mean I wasn't good enough. It just means I wasn't what they needed at that moment. And that's okay.
They asked six girls to stay and the rest could go. I wasn't one of the six. But I wasn't upset at all. I was just elated that I had even been chosen to read in the first place. Not many people get that chance. I was a little disappointed but I was much happier than I was upset. I had time to look at the girls they had asked to stay and who they had asked to go. There were a couple of girls leaving with me, that I thought were gorgeous, yet we were all walking back to holding. There were girls that I thought I was prettier than, but they were staying. There were girls whose auditions I heard, and thought they nailed it, and they were going back with me!
This was an amazing realization. There is no way to know who or what they are looking for. People you think would be perfect they could think suck, or vise versa. I am not going to go into auditions comparing myself to other performers. You can't, you'll go crazy! You can't get inside their heads, so don't try to be what they want. Be what you are and you'll have no regrets. You just have to do your thing
With this new found information I was on Cloud 9. I had auditioned for a producer on a movie I hadn't even been booked for!
When we signed out at the end of the night, I thanked the AD and I told her my name and she said "Ohh! Genellyn, yeah! You were very close in the auditions, it was a hard one". So that lifted my spirits even more! It was just a really great day. And I thank the Lord for how it was orchestrated.
SO many things had to happen to get me to that auditioning point. I almost gave up a couple of times, but my help came from Him! The courage it took me to call for the parking pass, my pushing to make sure they weren't taking specs.... And even though I didn't get the line, it was still a fabulous experience, and I walked away having learned something extremely valuable that I will take with me for the rest of my acting career. I had never had an impromptu audition like that, and I'm grateful to have it under my belt.
Oh and it turned out, they picked a blond girl for the part anyway!
So, I went from having nothing to do for the day, to almost not making it on a movie set, to being seen by Vince Vaughn, and auditioning for a producer. Amazing.
**Update: Since the movie's out now, I think it's okay to share that it was Couple's Retreat I was working on!**
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