January 9, 1998
In the past, after a successful Jeff Greenberg Office audition, the callback has always been later in the day. That gave everything a whirlwind quality, and also prevented the long drawn-out waiting in between the audition and the callback, during which one entertains the possibility of getting the role and everything that might mean. More often than not, however, one does not get the role and so all those days of hoping and wishing and planning and expecting just add to the disappointment of being passed over yet again. This callback was a full THREE days after the audition. Plenty of time to sweat it out.
There had been much good feedback at the original audition from Jeff and I had been trying to focus on those ideas over the past three days. I had toned down my outfit, losing the bow tie and tux shirt, but remaining in white shirt/black pants. I was the most "costumed" person at the callback. I felt I had still gone too far with the outfit. No time to worry about that now, though, I guess.
As far as the scene goes, the delivery of a few crucial "Ohh-kays" had been the subject of discussion at the audition. Jeff had strongly suggested that all three be delivered the same way. I tried it, it felt fine. I had prepared it and envisioned it a different way, but with all that expert advice I had received from Jeff in the past, I felt it would be in my best interest to pay attention and adjust. Plus, all the other notes from Jeff on the scene were very good and helpful. So I worked on it this week keeping in mind the "Ohh-kay" deliveries and trying to synch them up.
There were five young men at the callback, all different types, really, which makes sense for such a generic character. I went in fourth and did my magic. It was not such a huge hit. I immediately got feedback from all three gentlemen in the room. Don't push it so hard. Don't expect trouble. Don't pause so long. Lots of stuff. Now that may seem to be a horrible thing, but the worst thing would be if they thought I sucked and just let me walk out. Instead, I absorbed all the notes and they had me do it all again. The second time it went better. They laughed more, but probably only because it now more closely resembled the way they envisioned it when they wrote it. And so good. But the very last word in the scene was the third of the three infamous "Ohh-kays." And it was not OK. I mean, it was fine, but it was just a bit off.
I went out and sat with the other Room Service Waiter wanna-bes while the fifth actor auditioned, the sound of the final ohh-kay rattling through my brain as I tried to figure out how it should have sounded. Some ideas ran through my head. And then it happened. They brought the first guy back in, then the second, then the third. Would I go again or had I had my two tries already on the first visit? No, I got a third reading. "Just do it exactly the way you did it the last time," was all they instructed. And so I did, with one little exception. And the end of the scene, for the first time in the whole process, from my own first reading of the sides, to working on it in the car, to Jeff's office, to revamping and rethinking, to the first couple readings of the callback, to this fateful moment at the tale end of my third and final reading for this waiter, at long last, it came out just right. They laughed and laughed and sent us all home. Ohhhhh-KAY!
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