There is no “Right”

I had to go to an audition yesterday where I had to strip down to my underwear. In the final commercial, the character I was trying out for would be completely naked, his critch pixelized. Naturally, this would be funny, if they’re calling in guys like me. Jordana mentioned that it would terrifically amusing for Ian if I got my first national commercial by being fat and funny.

The interesting thing it that I was at about the 30% mark for fatness in this room of guys. There were a couple of guys smaller than me, but almost everyone was huge-mongous. And everyone was shirtless.

I’ll say this, if they’re looking for body hair, I got everyone beat.

They probably aren’t looking for body hair.

The thing with auditioning is that you have to just decide that you are you, and they are either looking for you or they aren’t.

(Sorry, quick aside, there is no “thing” with auditioning, and no advice that anyone should ever take or give in this matter. There is nothing in the world so completely based on visceral reactions than casting, it’s a first second yes or no that stays with you, or maybe it’s a long thought out process, but there is no way to tell. As my agent said, “you could be third on everyone’s list and get cast, just because there is infighting and no-one wants anyone else to win”. It’s a ridiculous life.)

There are actors who compile as much information as they can and they try to mold themselves for an audition, which always struck me as strange because their performances are almost always just versions of themselves. I go into an audition and figure they aren’t gonna cast me anyway, but if they do I can start working with the director on creating the character once I’ve, y’know, *read the script*.

You want to be “right”, you want to be “good”. It’s interesting to me, this musical we are writing has had totally divergent reactions to it. Everyone who is a fan of musical theater, particularly anyone who has a love/hate relationship with old musicals, has loved the music we recorded and loves the ideas and humor in the book. My friends who are outside this world have been *silent* about the songs and the show. It’s the same silence usually reserved for other friends who make terrible movies or write awful songs.

But, there isn’t any “good” or “right”. I said the other day that I hate almost all the music I heard while in Chapel Hill, and I said it because I’ve thought it a thousand times. I would go hear live music and wish I was doing *anything* else. I *loathe* white boy funk, I *loathe* dirty guitar based southern rock, I *loathe* self referential inside jokes and sloppy edge-of-your-seat drumming.

But these things aren’t “bad”. I understand why people love the Chapel Hill scene. For me, there is a difference between the Squirrel Nut Zippers and Vernon Dalhart, and I just prefer Vernon Dalhart. I am uncomfortable with proud sloppiness, with bold diletantism, (and yes, I say that as a man who is writing a musical despite having no advanced degree in music composition) but I also understand that to someone else, it has an immediacy and an energy that the over-articulated pop, hip-hop or musicals songs don’t really have.

I do sometimes wish that there was a way all of these things could be discussed without it seeming like feelings will be hurt. Unfortunately, my own disregard of most people’s opinions is probably the first major problem with having a free flow of ideas. I’m extremely thin skinned, but I slip quickly from disagreement to disrespect, and that really sucks on my part.

I’m proud of the fact that there is some art that I like despite disliking the artist, and that I can generally separate my friends from the work they produce, but I have always found myself in the unfortunate position of disliking most of the people who like the same stuff I do. I have a punk-rock attraction to my friends and an uptight approach to music, all of which makes for strange bedfellows.