I saw this on a friend's Facebook page…
"I have an audition next week for a teen comedy with —– —–….omg thats a train wreck of a film waiting to happen….I can't wait till I can audition for some quality films."
I bet this sounds like something you've said in the past. We've all read bad writing and thought "Why are they wasting the money?!" I just want you to consider the consequences of walking into an audition with a mind full of arrogance about the "trainwreck" this is going to be.
First; why even go? Easy answer, right? Because we need to work, we need the money, it's a film credit nonetheless, you never know what it could lead to…etc.
Okay then, why judge it? Well I warned this younger friend against doing that and this was the response I got back, "generally I'm pretty happy about all my auditions…but I'm human and have real emotions and there are times when I'm not gonna lie to people and tell them I'm excited about something when I'm not."
Must you LOVE everything you audition for? No. I'm as critical as anyone about writing.
The thing I cautioned this person about was creating a habit where you judge the audition harshly and fool yourself into thinking you're really doing your best work in there with a head full of "train wreck."
So then you might ask, "yes, but if you hate it, can you really do your best work?" and the answer is, of course! NEVER judge your character. Do the same work you'd do on Mamet or Shakespeare as a teen comedy. Why not? It might feel like over kill but altering your process because you leapt to a decision about the quality of the material, will alter the course of your creative process. The part may not require the same depth of research, but that will become apparent as you go. Don't start with the idea that the words are beneath your talent and you're doing that movie a favor but when a quality film comes along, that's when you'll be able to show off all that talent.
Starting your process with, "what a waste of time" clouds your thoughts and it clogs your artist up with value judgements. If it's really beneath you, then don't go. See if staying home felt better. or, see if you were just scared of some part of the audition and that made you judge it.
I read a script years ago that I thought was okay but way too simple and cliche'd for the star power attached and the budget. I couldn't understand why it was being made. When it came out I absolutely loved it. When I first read it I couldn't see in the words what other actors did, and it taught me that even after 15 years of doing this I had more to learn.
I judged it pretty fast but I auditioned for it and I thought I did a solid job. I didn't get the part, but the film won a deserving Best Picture that year. It was a good lesson. Maybe there is magic in the words you don't see at first, but reading the words through a "trainwreck" lens won't ever get you there. Your mind won't allow it.
If it is another senseless teen comedy that doesn't deserve your brilliance, your brilliance will tell you, just don't mistake your arrogance for your brilliance .