I wasn’t asked to sign any non-disclosure agreements so I assume it’s safe to announce that I have just been cast as William Whitaker in the film “No Real Than You Are.” My first audition was on my third day of recovery from a stomach flu. And although I endured my first Oikonomia show at the height of it, come Sunday, I wasn’t really in the mood to audition for anything much less two different roles.
Nevertheless, Van Jazmin thought I’d be good for at least one of them, and when I read a little about the film, I was at least motivated enough to go, read up on my character on Wikipedia, and do my best to fake a Savannah accent. But I didn’t get the rush of nailing an audition that I used to get when I went big and unleashed my inner thespian, so I blamed it on my being worn out and out of practice. However, since the crew is going to be filming a scene at the Flow Factory, I was glad to at least have some role in the production. I kinda miss the filmmaking process.
When I got the callback for the role of Black Market Trader, I figured I’d bring a bit more energy, and since I was auditioning with partners that I know, it was a bit more easy to slide into character. It also helped to know that Erin Hood and Victor Grigorii were duking it out for the role of Black Market Trader and I was actually the sole reader for William Whitaker. Since I felt like I’d already nailed it, it was a bit easier to nail it again.
After I’d gone through the scene with both of them a couple of times with Vincent, the director, giving us direction, he walked me out and congratulated me on getting the role. He confided in me that he thought my audition sucked as much as I did, but I was put on reserve because of my beard, which was also the primary reason I said I should get the role on the audition form. However, he told me that he knew I had something in me, resonated with the first few pages of my book How to Survive an Estralarian Mind Meld, and was really excited to see that I could indeed bring it upon request.
He also asked me, as Van had informed me that he would, if I would consider shaving my beard, the very thing that had gotten me the callback in the first place. Though it seems some sort of ironic sacrilege, I told him that I would indeed shave my beard for art. As a matter of fact, I’ve already pledged it to the mural that Freddie Lamoreaux is painting at the Flow Factory, so the endeavor will actually kill two birds with one stone. Plus, it will give my face a nice, breezy summer of sunshine and make my cheeks kissable once again.
While I knew that the story was going to delve into the oxycodone epidemic that has taken so many young lives, the script, when I was finally able to read the whole thing, was darker than I imagined. However, there where quite a few parts that really resonated with me, and as dark as it may be, one of the roles of art is to illuminate our souls, and I do believe this piece has the potential to do that for a lot of people.