casting director workshop. Oh what a night...
Usually the casting director will bring scenes for actors to read, either from the show they're currently casting or from past shows they've cast.
Last night, we were asked to bring our own scenes, which I dislike greatly. It's difficult to find good scenes and then the pressure is on to give a perfect performance since you've conceivably had plenty of time to prepare. I much prefer the even playing field of a cold reading situation.
NCIS which starts right after she's been attacked in her home by a stranger and shot him out of self-defense. The character is in a heightened state of fear and worry when Agent Gibbs begins the scene, so I took myself out of the room to prepare.
In the silence of the hallway, the task of "getting there" feels daunting. How to scare yourself half to death in a vacuum? I gave myself plenty of time to try technique I could remember to evoke a strong "moment before," from picturing myself in jail to describing the attack to Agent Gibbs.
Then it was a matter of keeping this heightened state until it was my turn. Because you don't want it to fizzle too soon. After a few false starts, I finally went in and did my scene. Pushed the first scene a little, but the second scene was there. Afterward, the casting director looked truly impressed and kept praising me for my quiet, solid presence. Phew!
Went home and promptly returned to obsessing over the Woot-Off! I really want one of these, which I've seen on the Woot-Off! before:
Actors, what do you do to "get there" before a heavy scene?