by Matt Keeley. @reallymattkeeley.
CHICAGO – Strategizing how best to showcase himself to the casting directors in the room next door, local actor Luke Maynard revealed that he was planning on throwing in some yelly bits just for good measure.
“You get maybe two or three minutes tops to show what you can do, and I aim to make them count,” Maynard confided, mentally reviewing his material for optimal shouty placement. “I gotta have at least one good Stanley Kowalski moment in there. Just for safety, you know? See, when I raise my volume real good that means I’m acting better.”
Prior to the day’s audition, Maynard had brushed up his technique with the services of a private acting teacher.
“Luke’s got the right idea,” performance coach Hudson Gerstein explained between sips of throat-soothing chamomile tea. “I always tell my actors to take some time to go over emotional preparation first. Think of your character’s relationship to the person they’re speaking to, what just happened immediately beforehand, and how can you throw in a yelly bit to give it that little extra oomph?”
“I mean, sure, you never want to force it. But come on, everyone knows there’s nothing that can beat a moment of heightened vocal intensity. If you can truly let go and allow yourself to feel–AGHH!!! See? Made you listen, didn’t I?”
Inside the audition room itself, the casting team faced all-too familiar audition habits all day.
“So many of the people we see have a wonderful performance, but we just can’t help but wonder if they’re able to speak over a normal talking volume afterwards,” said casting assistant Amanda Cosgrove, pausing to consider Maynard’s resume that had been typed in bold and all caps. “It’s a shame, really. But it takes a special kind of confidence to walk into a room of strangers at 9:00am and scream your head off for ninety seconds. Not everyone can do that.”
Sources close to Maynard report that in preparation for his callback, he started by finding moments in the script sides to start sobbing uncontrollably.