As April 30th has come and gone and I still have not posted stories or video blogs detailing the great, American, cross-country, Marriot hopping roadtrip to Los Angeles, you may be wondering,
"What in the hell happened? Is she even going? Did she chicken out?"
The short answer is, yes. Wait, no; I didn't chicken out; but yes; I am still moving to Los Angeles. However, inquiring minds wanted to know why I didn't stick to my self imposed deadline, so let's start with what happened, shall we?
Back in February, I auditioned for a film called *Deuces that was going to shoot in Atlanta this summer. Film and television casting typically happens in this order:
Phase I: Principal Casting. This includes the leading, supporting, and many smaller roles that directly affect the plot of the film. Principal casting is almost always taken care of in LA and/or with more experienced and larger name actors. If production plans to shoot the film outside the state of California, they they proceed to...
Phase II: Location Casting. Say production wants to shoot in a state with a nice tax incentive like Georgia. They then hire a local casting director to corrale local talent. The local casting director sends out the available roles to agencies who, in turn, submit their actors. Sometimes the casting director chooses which actors they want to see, but sometimes they just see whoever the agency wants to send to them. The actors are then put on a tape that gets submitted to the big guys who made the final decisions. Sometimes the local talent gets booked directly from their taping, but often the director/producers will pick their favorites and hold another round of auditions called "callbacks."
Location casting is almost always taken care of within a few days. If more than three days go by and you haven't heard anything, you consider the audition a lost cause and move on to the next one.
Phase III. Extras Casting. After most of credited cast has been established, production will hire another casting agency to handle the extra work. These casting directors have the hardest job in the entire world because they are responsible for making sure that random members of the public show up to set at 4:00am and sit in a room for hours while they wait for someone to lead them outside and tell them to walk with purpose. I did a day of extra work once.
The role that I auditioned for in Dueces was a small one, but large enough to be considered a principal and get me the union eligibility that I needed. I felt like I had a so-so audition and, after I failed to hear anything from casting, forgot about it. Fast forward a month: I'm sitting across from the film and television agent in my agency, explaining to him why I want to leave Atlanta and go to Los Angeles.
"Well," he said, "You sound like you're going out there with the right expectations. All I ask is that you keep your moving date flexible. You've made fans with all of the casting directors."
"Yeah. Both ___ and ___ have said that you're talented and that they love you. Also, ___ says that you're definitely on the callback list for Deuces."
"They're only just now holding callbacks?"
"Well... here's the thing. They are still nailing down locations. They wanted to see if Atlanta had enough local talent to fill out the movie."
"Yeah, I know."
I was silent for a moment.
"Well, do you know when those callbacks might be?"
"No idea. But I do know that they like you and that you shouldn't move until at least after callbacks."
Two weeks later I found myself performing the same scene as before - except this time in front of the director of the film.
"Great," he said when I finished, "Now do it this way."
I did it that way.
"Awesome," he said when I finished, "Now do it this way."
"Fabulous," he said when I finished, "Now do it as if this is the greatest thing you have ever discovered. You have been waiting for this your entire life."
So I did (I think.) We exchanged thank-you's and I left feeling pretty good about the whole thing.
"Maybe this will actually happen," I thought.
Three days later. Nothing.
Two weeks later. Nothing. I e-mailed my agent and asked if he knew anything.
"Nope, nothing yet."
Another week passed and I received a text from a friend of mine who also auditioned and got called back.
"Hey," it said, "U heard anything about Deuces? I just got an email about another round of casting for brand new characters."
I did not receive the same e-mail. Afraid that this meant that the previous roles had all been cast and they no longer needed to see me, I emailed my agent again.
"They haven't sent out anything," he replied, "and they just tacked on ANOTHER round of casting for brand new characters."
By that point, I had delayed original moving date by two weeks.
A few days later, I received another text from my friend that said,
"They have not cast any roles in Deuces yet."
I'm assuming she went to the new audition and asked the casting directors herself. A few minutes later I saw that Deuces was already putting out calls for extras and background workers. This added to my confusion because production almost never calls for extras without hammering out a principal cast first.
Currently? I'm still in Atlanta. Still here, still waiting. I already quit my party princess/entertainer job because I expected to be gone by the 1st. I'm beginning to stress about money, crossing my fingers that my roommate doesn't ask for rent because I no longer have steady income and never budgeted for an extra month in Atlanta. While my temp agency promised to keep me temping as long as I'm here, I'm still incredibly nervous because expenses keep piling up: the air conditioning in my car stopped working. Three of my car lights went out and need to be replaced. I had to replace my Macbook charger. My car insurance payments just got higher for some reason.
As far as living situations go, once I finish getting all of my stuff out of my roommate's house then I will begin to couch surf with my generous and awesome friends as I wait for the final say on Deuces.
At this point, I just want to know if I'm in or not. It would be nice to book something with the power to make me SAG-AFTRA-Eligible before I leave, but the truth is that I could probably get Taft-Hartley'd in through a New Media project in California a lot quicker than waiting for something in Georgia. As my friend put it: "It doesn't matter how you get the eligibility. All that matters is that you get it."
And I will get it. I would just like to know, preferably soon, if I can get it through Deuces.
I'm itchy for that drive.