This weekend was action-packed. Three auditions were lined up for me on each day and they went extremely well. Here's the low-down:
- Friday - There was an audition for a play my agency sent me on. It was located in the heart of the loop which made for potentially tricky logistics to find parking and walk to the site of the audition. I did learn finally after 9 years of living in Chicago that it's possible to take 90/94E to Congress East! I've never had to do that until now for this audition.
I got there about 10 minutes ahead of time even though I was almost 30 minutes late leaving my house. I parked on a street with these green pay boxes where one can pay for how much time they need to park on the street with cash or credit card, and then subsequently place the receipt in the driver's side dash where the meter maids can read them. Initially, I was parked in a yellow zone and then luckily the guy behind my car left almost as soon as I got there. SCORE! Then I went to pay the machine for an hour's worth of time. I paid for the time and then *poof* nothing happen. Where's my receipt?! GAWD BLESS! I figured they wouldn't be looking for ticketing folks anyway because of the extreme cold and decided to go on my merry way to the audition spot.
Once I arrived the director and producer were sitting at a table waiting for me while talking to another actor. One said, "You must be Nelson Velazquez." I was taken aback by how he already knew my name. Yes, I know the agency set this up, but still it was weird. I introduced myself and was lead into a side room for the audition. I performed my monologue and then discussed the logistics of the play I was reading for. Logistically speaking, due to work and already defined committments, my chances of being called back were questionable. I then read a side to read and that was it. The director handed me a script for a callback on next Thursday!
- Saturday - This one was for a movie. The casting director for the movie emailed me earlier in the week looking for help in reaching other Latino actors in my sphere of influence. I told her I would forward on the casting notice to my peeps and sent her my headshot and resume (H/R) in the meantime. The name of the casting director looked familiar as I believe I had sent her my H/R previously for other movie work. It looked like my persistence paid off.
Once again, I relied on my trusty monologue (I REALLY need to learn a new one ) to introduce my skillz to the staff. The director asked me to do it a number of different ways. What was striking was that there was this hint of Edward James Olmos in the way I approached one of the representations. I then was asked to read a side from the script in different mannerisms as well. The audition was a success!
- Sunday - I was given a tip by a friend of mine regarding audition to be considered for one of the Director's Program improv ensembles where new, up & coming SC directors can flex their skills on a group of improvisers. I got to audition with a guy who I've seen and talked to on a bunch of occasions but never got the chance to play with. It was a lot of fun and reaffirmed for me that, yes, I actually can do this stuff. I was asked to "teach" the directors something in roughly 20 seconds. The monologue went something like this.
"Hi, I'm Nelson Velazquez and in the next 20 seconds, I am going to teach you how to be come a hip-hop artist. I am self-certified in hip-hopology so just follow my instructions and you'll be good. First, ensure that you have a really crappy job. Have almost no source of income. Then go out to a wholesale store and buy as much fake jewelry as you can afford. This automatically gives you "street credibility". Then go to your local bar and read the labels on all of the bottles. Don't buy any. Just read them and include this in your rhymes. Oh, and speaking of rhymes, make sure that as many rhymes as possible end in "O" or "A" so you can rhyme with "Ho" and "Pay", as in "gettin' pay". That's it!"
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Release date: 19 April, 1994
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