I had a fantastic Commercial Audition today at CastingWorks LA!
Donise Hardy (C.S.A.) is an absolute commercial powerhouse in this town, knows her stuff, and knows how to get critical information to people taking the workshop.
The workshop was all-day, a mix of both first-time and returning Donise pupils, and we had the chance to run through 4 commercial auditions (including the whole "business" side of the auditioning, including slates, profiles, etc.).
Personally, I really enjoy auditioning for Donise, because I know exactly what's expected of me: I'm there to do a job, having fun is expected, and I never break professionalism to goof off.
The biggest thing I got out of the workshop is just how much Donise wants actors to shine during the audition and callback. Yes, she's doing a job. Yeppers, she's getting paid to bring in top talent, and she wouldn't be doing herself (or the talent) any favors if she brought in people to audition because they've taken her workshop, or are nice, or whatever. When Donise invites me to do an audition, it's because she believes I can do the job. It's because she trusts my agent to pick the talent that can do the job. It's mine to lose.
Plus, spending all-day in the casting office really gave me a whole new level of comfort with the space. That, I can leverage ...
The all-day workshop was made up exclusively of talent from Collier Talent Agency, and our top-notch agent was there for us for the long haul, to watch us grow (or not).
I met new co-actors Aaron Weisinger (a ton of fun to watch), Marc Hustvedt, Roger Edwards, Erin Fallon, and Drew Whelpley (who's a nice guy with incredible comedic talent and timing), Shari Brown (fantastic listener) and Carolyn F. West (fellow voice actor).
I also got to hook up with previous acting class alumns Richard Ricks (picks up a scene, memorizes it, and workshops it in an instant), Nicole Graf (a ton o' spunk, fun to watch, and the she makes "Valley Girl" fun again), Elizabeth Mason (talk about commitment and comedic timing! And pairing her up with Drew Whelpley? It's like peanut butter and chocolate), Tom Procida (Another really good actor, and after 10 weeks of acting class where we never got paired up, class ends and one audition and one workshop since have seen us paired up with each other), Laurie Coker (another fellow voice talent, and currently sharing ongoing class time with me), and Jessica Robertson.
I mentioned Jessica a month or so ago, and how impressed I was by her professionalism. Well, I got to do a scene with her, and that kind of focus and professionalism is really welcome in a tandem audition. We could run our lines together, and if one or the other needed to break out for solo prep (tongue twisters, memorization, etc.), the other would do the same, and we'd come back together without saying much of anything for the transitions. Cool. Plus we had fun with the piece.
All of these folks were incredibly strong, and I really enjoy spending a time with folks this talented and focused on bettering themselves.
So, uh, yeah, I really recommend the workshop ...