An Open Letter to the Director, Producers, and Writers I DIDN’T Audition for Today

We never met, and that’s your fault, and your loss.

I was pretty excited about your project. Sure, the pay wasn’t great, but the sides read well, and shooting an indie feature in Greece sounded like a dream. I worked a lot on those sides. I spent most of yesterday, learning the lines, then doing the book work, then rehearsing it on my feet in front of a mirror, then rehearsing with an actor friend. I made some really strong choices for this audition. I think you would have liked what I was about to bring to the table.

Unfortunately, you and I will never work together and you will never see what I prepared and here’s why: I firmly believe in that old saying “three strikes and you’re out”. Boy, oh boy, did you strike out today.

Strike One: After driving in traffic for an hour to your production office in Canoga Park, I was greeted by a very sweet assistant, who asked me to sign in on an iPad sitting on the counter. Your sign in sheet was more of a questionnaire and I quickly scrolled through and filled in each box, until I got towards the bottom of the very long page, the part that asked for my social media handles. I asked your assistant why you needed that information, and she responded “so they can see how many followers you have”. Her response made me sick to my stomach. Her response was everything I am against, it’s a major flaw in the industry. Her response made me feel like my talent didn’t matter, my 10+ years of training didn’t matter, my resume didn’t matter. “Why hold auditions in the first place?”, I thought,” Why not just cast straight from Instagram!”. When you blatantly judge an actor based on how many social media followers they have, you’re basically telling that actor “we don’t have enough money in our budget to promote this movie, so we’d like you to do it for us, for free”. Sorry, my degree is in theater, not advertising.

I wanted to leave. I wanted to take a stand. But, I had just sat in traffic for an hour, I drove all the way to Canoga Park, I spent most of yesterday preparing for this audition, I took a beta-blocker for Godsake! “I’m here. I might as well audition”. So, I took a seat in the waiting area.

Strike Two: After forty-five minutes of waiting, I started to get a little antsy. The girl who had been waiting before me hadn’t gone in yet, and there was no sign of anyone else in the building besides the actors waiting and the assistant checking us in. So, I walked over to the sweet assistant and respectfully inquired about the time frame. The assistant looked down at her phone and told me she had just gotten a text from the people holding the audition, and they were on their way back. Wait. BACK?! Back from what?! ….Lunch.

When you called me in for this audition, your email said to come anytime between 10am and 2:30pm, and there was nothing in there about a lunch break. I would have planned my day COMPLETELY differently had I known I would be forced to wait an HOUR while you took lunch in the middle of YOUR SESSION. You came up with these times, this is your movie, and your casting, you emailed me, and you didn’t think it necessary to inform the actors that you would be taking a lunch break between 1pm and 2pm? Clearly, you have very little respect for other people’s time.

Strike Three: As I sat again in the waiting area, now squirming with frustration, a gentleman walked in holding his sides. Your assistant couldn’t get out of her chair fast enough to greet him, she shook this gentleman’s hand and asked him to sign in. After he was done giving you his Instagram and Twitter handles (I bet he has a lot of followers), the assistant escorted him to a separate room, a waiting room just for him, apparently this person, though I had no idea who he was, was very special and could not be seen sitting with us “unknowns” in the unimportant section of your production office. I barely got done rolling my eyes at this scene when you finally walked through the doors, holding your soda cups from your hour-long lunch break.

Once again, your assistant came over to us. This time, she wanted to let us know that the very special gentleman was going to be seen first, even though he had just gotten there and we had been waiting for over an hour.

And THAT was my final straw. Three strikes and I. Am. Out. I informed the assistant that I was leaving.

I’ve never walked out of an audition before, today was a first, and it happened because I couldn’t sit there for one more second feeling like less of a person. You made me feel LESS than, and you should be ashamed of yourselves. I’ve never walked out of an audition because I’ve never experienced the level of classless, unprofessionalism, that I experienced today.

Moving forward with your creative endeavors, please consider actors as equals. We aren’t second class citizens. You aren’t doing us a favor by holding these auditions. I will not bow down to you or beg you for a job. I will not sway my morals to adhere to your conditions. I will not be made to feel less than.

A really talented actor, with only 4K Instagram followers.