Close, But No Cigar - Pt. 3
Auditioning for the "Nashville" TV Pilot
If you haven’t read Pt. 1 or 2 yet - catch up by clicking here!
I felt the support of so many people carrying me into this audition. The casting director asked me to call her. She reminded me to do my scene just like I did it the last time through on Wednesday. To wear the same thing. And don’t be shocked if I actually don’t get to see the director.
That last part didn’t make sense to me. But I chocked it up to some Hollywood thing where it’s all about keeping the actors on their toes, never knowing what to expect, and to always remember who’s in charge. Kind of like how the guys are treated in prison. Except with the possibility of a cool, life-changing opportunity hanging in the balance.
Again, I was the first one in the waiting room. But it became apparent that there were going to be about eight of us seen.
I was oddly nervous, and saw myself turn into a kind of party host meets stand-up comic.
I introduced myself as everyone came in—partly to be kind, but also to find out what part they were up for. It didn’t look like anyone else was there to read for the part of Bucky, so that felt encouraging.
The first young woman went in, taking her fiddle. I took the ready seat, since I was next. She came out and said how incredibly nice everyone was. No sweat. They called my name, took me down the hall, and told me to stand outside the door for a second. This is when I got super nervous. Waiting for the gun to go off while in the starting blocks. This must be what it feels like before you go into the judge’s room on American Idol.
The door opened and they brought me in. I’m first blinded by two big lights shining toward where I’ll be acting, and then it’s the long table filled with paper, laptops and headshots. Then it’s the three people sitting behind the table. This is just like American Idol. The Oscar-winning screenwriter on the left, the director in the middle, and another producer on the right. The writer lady was awesomely nice, shaking my hand. I told her, “Thank you so much for coming to Nashville!” The director didn’t look up, and the other producer nodded his head at me. I asked if he shook hands, and offered mine. He took it. Then I took my place in front of the lights, casting director sitting in front of me just as we rehearsed. A strange few moments of us just sitting there passed. Then the director stood up. His phone rang. “I’m sorry I’m going to have to take this. Go ahead without me,” and walked out of the room.
This stirred up something strange in me. Everything in me wanted to say, “I don’t mind waiting for him to come back,” but I didn’t. Then we began the scene.
Right off the bat, I made a mistake. “We put 20,000 tickets on sale and they were gone in a week.” It was supposed to be 16,000. I had to keep talking, but my mind raced and I felt stupid for messing up, especially in front of the person who wrote the script! The rest went off without much of a hitch, until I reached the very end. In rehearsal, I had continually forgotten one particular word. And wouldn’t you know, I forgot it again here under the lights. And then I was supposed to say, “Just wait til you piss those guys off.” And because I was feeling stupid for forgetting the magical word: stiffing, the last line came out wrong…I can’t even remember what I said. We ended.
Then there was another weird silence, like everyone was waiting for someone else to do or say something, and they didn’t. Finally the casting director broke the ice and said, “Anything else?” The writer lady said, “That’s great. Thanks.”
My response to her was, “Dang, I’m sorry I messed up your words…as a writer, I really wanted to honor the words you wrote!” I think that’s what I said. Then I walked out. And went out to my car. It was a horribly strange, empty feeling. Very similar to getting your 8th grade school picture taken.
“So how did it go?” Everyone wanted to know. Well, it was fine. I have no idea what they thought, or if I was not at all what they want, or exactly what they’re looking for. Now my job is to officially let it go. To release this. To actually start to forget about it.
After Wednesday’s audition, the bell slowed its ringing the next day. But getting to this next level is making it really difficult for me to let the bell’s ringing die down. I’m one step closer to something really awesome, and I’m supposed to just forget about it? That’s what the experienced actor would say.
But what do I say to all the people that have been praying for me and are cheering me on? Thanks for the support, but it’s time to move on people! Nothing to see here! I can’t fathom that.
I don’t know what tomorrow holds. I will be waiting and hoping for the phone to ring, probably for several more days. But I am incredibly thankful for getting this far, and having the opportunity to act in front of real-life Hollywood people. And I’m blown away by the excitement and support of so many people in my life who are interested in my success. It makes it all that much better when good things happen, because it’s not just for me to enjoy. It’s for all of us to enjoy.
Everyone you meet, they’re jamming in the street,
All night long (all night)… Yeah, I said!
Everyone you meet, they’re jamming in the street,
All night long (all night)…
PS: I did not end up getting chosen for the part of Bucky, but there’d be more auditions as the show progressed. It was so fun to see fellow actors and musicians I knew show up on the screen in different scenes. And I just kept waiting to be picked. This isn’t even the end of the story! If you’d like to read about my next experience with the “Nashville” television show - go here!