Last night I dreamt that I was celebrating the premiere of a short I did with a famous Dutch movie director and the crew at the place we shot the movie: Albert Heijn. And all I could think was: I need to get some red pesto, Dutch cheese and mozzarella to take back to LA. It’s odd how food has become intertwined with nostalgic feelings.
Anyway, end of random blurb. This week I had my first Los Angeles audition and meeting with an agent! And boy, are LA auditions different from those in the Netherlands…
First things first. Well, actually the meeting and the audition were on the same day, but the meeting came first. It was another bloody hot day and I was a snotty mess and a little bit sick. But I thought canceling an appointment with an agent was not done, so I hopped on my bike and went. Let me tell you one thing: do not go to a meeting with anyone when you’re still sick-ish. The lady I met with literally said she was about to kick me out. It makes sense too, getting an agent sick will just get you their unconscious resentment. No one has time for it, not even an unemployed actress.
But I met with the agent anyway and we discussed my package (headshots, resume and reel) and she was very enthused. Said I had to lot to offer, and that she -let the orchestra begin playing- wanted to sign me! Pretty amazing, since LA business is affected by the recession as well and lots of actors are without a theatrical agent right now. I even know actors that have been here for four years and still don’t have one. I’m a lucky lady…So why isn’t this post titled I HAVE AN AGENT WOOHOO YAY? Well, there was one condition. I needed to get my visa first…
It needs no explanation why I haven’t been excited yet. However, I decided to think positive I have taken some new action. I have requested some free consultations with immigration lawyers to see if I might have a shot at the O1 visa for extraordinary talent in the arts. The agent lady also sent me numbers of good lawyers right the morning after. But I was never famous in the Netherlands. Not even close. But I did do a national TV show and that was in the media and press. We’ll see. I’ll just really hope the O1 turns out be an option.
So right after the meeting I hopped on the bus (and then another one) for my first LA audition! Nothing big, just a University of Southern California graduate student film, but I decided it was good for me to start small. Get some idea of how auditions in LA go, so I won’t have to deal with crazy diarrhea once I audition for Grey’s Anatomy or the newest Tim Burton movie.
Funny story; while I was on my way to USC for the audition I started Googling the area because I heard it was a little bit…not so good. And things about drive by shootings and gangs and robberies start popping up and I got so scared I was literally ready to get out of the bus and return. But, scared for my life, I went anyway and USC turned out to be this picturesque all-American university with grass fields and people skateboarding with backpacks and everything. As scary as a box of Ferrero Rocher. The area around may be worse, but my life was safe there.
And then came the audition. Instead of coming at a fixed time like in the Netherlands, you just come in somewhere during half an hour and you go when you can. And then there are no introductions, no telling what you’ve done so far on camera. You really just go in, do your thing “whenever you’re ready” and get out.
You also have to have the sides with you, keep them in your hands on camera, and read from them when needed, whereas in the Netherlands bringing your lines with you is a travesty. I’m told it’s because not having your sides with you is like saying your audition is already the final performance, and they don’t want that here. The waiting area outside the audition room in LA also has a much more competitive feeling, people don’t chitchat. It also has a lot of peroxide…
So those were my two biggies of the week. Next week is going to be another really interesting one when more information on the O1 visa starts to come, and when I debut my homemade Silk Spectre costume for Halloween!
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