Monday, 16 January 2012

Actor John Giles On Working On The Audition Film

When I was given the script of The Audition to read I was immediately excited at the prospect of working with James again but after reading the script I was surprised to find that the excitement was accompanied by a small amount of anxiety, the ratio of which I would say is like being given a ticket to ride on one of the world’s largest roller coasters. I knew I was going to have the most amazing experience but some fears would need to be overcome along the way.

These concerns were not due to the writing. On the contrary I found the text incredibly concise and poignant such that it touched on nerves that I did not know I had.

Having been on both sides of the audition table I can sympathise with all concerned in this quite stressful ritual.

A “bad audition” can quite often be blown out of proportion in our minds as we search our most vulnerable moments and exaggerate them in retrospect. More often than not the reason for not getting the part is quite minor such as height, hair colour or even postcode rather than not being good enough. Unfortunately most do not get this reassuring feedback so we are left to fill in the blanks with our own insecurities.

I guess that was where I was coming from in my thoughts that if The Audition reached its potential then I would be watching a screen version of a false memory that I had created and hoped would be locked away forever.

The script deliberately does not take a point of view. In fact from the few I knew who had read it I could see that there was a clear divide in who thought the director was at fault and who thought the actor was instead to blame.

I was reassured to find that the shooting was to be perfectly aligned with the script in the telling of two separate stories allowing the viewer to take part rather than be pressed upon. This is partly achieved by the separate shots (the actors never appear together) and also by the acting approach that both parties want a successful outcome.

I found this whole project embodied acting in its purest form. Knowing your initial objective and super objective then setting off with an open mind and allowing intent listening to shape both the mental and the physical. It was pleasing to see the results in terms of the naturally formed dialogue rhythm and body language. The poor communication highlighted on the screen was countered by fantastic communication off screen making the shoot an extremely efficient, enjoyable and rewarding piece to work on.

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