Auditions

I just walked in from my I, Robot audition. I think I did well, and I really had a good time. The scene I read felt very familiar to me. I think the writer took it from one of Asimov’s robot books, but I couldn’t tell you which one. The scene had a robot being questioned by a detective, who accused the robot of placing his owner in danger, then allowing his owner to die. Sound familiar to anyone?
I prepared the audition perfectly: I knew my lines, so I didn’t need to refer to the sides (that’s what they call the part of the script they give us to read) at all, and I was able to make some bold character choices. I didn’t feel nervous, anxious, or uncertain at all when I went in. I felt excited! I couldn’t wait to play this robot.
After one reading, the casting director, who also knew his lines and had clear character choices — an extreme rarity in Hollywood — gave me some direction, and we did it again. The difference I felt between the two performances was striking, and gave me a jolt of excited euphoria when I left. I had that feeling I talked about back when I was working on Boise, that thing I call “Mine.” Whether I get the job or not, I got to have that feeling, so it was a successful call in my book.
It’s funny, the way the entertainment industry works. I haven’t had an audition in forever, and I’ve had two in two days. I, Robot today, and a call for a pilot called “All About The Andersons” yesterday. The best part of yesterday’s audition was this sign I saw on my way out. I passed by the production office for some new show called “Real Celebrity Look-Alikes Caught On Tape!”
WTF? I laughed out loud when I passed it.
Hollywood is out of ideas, indeed.
Though both of these jobs would bring in good pay checks and help raise my profile a little bit (well, a lot if I book the movie), I didn’t feel the tense, pinched, “oh my god I must get this job or I am a total failure” feeling that so overwhelmed me last year. I think this is because I stoppd defining myself by my acting success or failure, and turned my creative focus onto writing, and my emotional focus onto my wife and stepkids. Seems really obvious, I know, but I had to spend a lot of time trying to climb the mountain before I learned to sit at its base and just enjoy looking at it.
Updates have been sparse recently and haven’t said much. When I finish the rewrites on my book, I should have more good stories to tell. Thanks for sticking around.
I’ll update when I hear feedback on the auditions.
Thought for today:

“One sees great things from the valley, only small things from the peak.”
–G. K. Chesterson

129 thoughts on “Auditions”

  1. Why is THIS man not fabulously wealthy?
    http://jimwoodring.com
    Why?
    WHY?!
    Everyone on here bitches about that piece of shit Rick Berman, but every one of you slinks back to service him orally.
    Submissive! Soft! Compliant!
    J’accuse!
    Why do you follow the Cult of Jared? Why do you insist upon emasculating yourself at the drive-thru three times a day and FOUR on Saturdays?
    Berman is a fucking zero, but he is a fucking zero sustained by an army of fucking zeroes. Cut him off. Cut him down. Send his ass packing. How much of your resources have gone to Berman? Somewhere this very moment, Jim Woodring is eating cheddar cheese.
    Because he can’t afford the FANCY FRENCH KIND!
    Shame on you.
    Shame the fuck on YOU!
    (Yes, I am talking to you, you “trendy,” “counter culture,” “beatnik” FUCK! YOU! Not the guy sitting next to you at the light in the Aerostar. Bitch, I am talking to you.)
    How many trips have you made to Best Buy this WEEK? And how much money have you given to Jim? I rebuke you. I turn my back on you. NONE of you are my people. I don’t know you. Talk, talk, talk, talk, TALK.
    No more mouthy bitch action. I want an overnight transfer — reallocation, m’kay — of resources. From the dark side to the side of light.
    I don’t own any Star Trek DVDs and I haven’t seen Nemesis and I am still almost completely Bakula-free. Now…
    YOU go look at your shit-shelf and tell me what you see.
    Done?
    What do you see?
    A fucking, overflowing crap-shrine to Rick Motherfucking Berman.
    Well, fuck you.
    Get in the game, motherfucker.

  2. I imagine this is the first audition you have been to where you wanted the director to think your performance was stiff and emotionless.
    Good luck on getting the part, hope to see more of you on the big screen in the future.

  3. Good luck on the auditions!!
    btw why do you always refer to your kids as “stepkids” ? is it really necessary to remind them everyday that you don’t consider them yours? get over it. accept them as your own. love them. life is too short for these types of distinctions. even though I don’t know them, I’m sure they would respect and love you for it.
    mine do.

  4. Dear Adoptive Parent,
    I am incredibly offended by your post.
    I love my stepkids intensely, and I have spent several years raising them as if they are my own. However, their father is heavily involved in their life (if not the paying of child support) and they love him very much.
    There is a very good chance that they will read this someday, and probably my book too, so I have chosen to respect THEIR limits, and not claim them as my own.
    I do not have to remind my stepkids of anything. They know I love them. I know they love me. To call them “mine” would put them in an awful and uncomfortable position. Their father puts incredible pressure on them to call their stepmother “mom,” and it’s very upsetting to them. I will not do that to them.
    You have _NO RIGHT_ to tell me to “get over” anything. You do not live in my house. You are not raising my stepkids, and you do not have a magic window into my heart and soul to divine how I feel about them.

  5. I’m so happy your auditions went well and that you got a good feeling out of them. :-) Last month I rediscovered your site and went back and read all of the blog entries (I was on vacation…poor college student…easily amused, y’know the drill). It really makes me happy to see how far you’ve come since the start of it all.
    Yeah, I obviously don’t know you but still. It’s nice to see some one who seems like such a genuinely good person doing well for themself.
    I really enjoy visiting your site and reading your insights on life and the world at large.
    Keep of the excellent work, Wil!
    *mojo for all that is good for the wheaton family*

  6. From http://www.theouterlimits.com/noflash/episode.html
    I, ROBOT
    Dr. Charles Link, a small town research scientist constructs a robot. Link’s murdered. The robot, Adam, is blamed and declared to be a Frankenstein monster. Grotesque in size and make-up only, Adam has a computer-like brain that affords him a gentle personality and most human capabilities. Apprehended, the robot is threatened with destruction by authorities. Nina, Link’s niece, gets a defense attorney, Thurman Cutler, to force the matter into court for an official judgment in trial without precedent.
    Directed by: Leon Benson Written by: Otto O. Binder
    Starring: RED MOGAN (Robot – Adam), HOWARD DASILVA (Cutler), MARIANNA HILL (Nina), HUGH SANDERS (Barclay), ROBERT SORRELLS (Fred), FORD RAINEY (Coyle), CHRISTINE MATCHETT (Evie) and JOHN HOYT (Prof. Hebbel)
    Leonard Nimoy was in it too. I remember watching this last semester. Quite a good episode too!

  7. wil, re stepkids vs kids.
    you and anne and the offspring seem happy with the current situation. you have certainly built a relationship with them such that they would tell you if it was an issue. so fret not. you know whats best for your famiily hmic.

  8. Wil, I appoligize. I posted when I was in a bad mood. if I could delete the post I would.
    every home is different—what works for me is not always right for everyone. if I caused any grief for you I am truly sorry.
    please ignore me and my offencive comments.
    I will shut up now.

  9. It was an outer limts episode, there was the old one, and the new one.
    Wil could you please do something about the fonts on your website?
    They run together in Opera and Mozilla. It makes it a pain to read.

  10. Mr Wil? Has spudnuts gone mad?
    Major audition mojo.
    I was reading about this film in Empire magazine (will point out the article if i find it) and it seems quite exciting.
    Big Screen Wil (TM) is an exciting prospect.
    We shall see.
    Still have the first post problem I see.
    *sends more mojo*

  11. holy cow that was fast, I’ll send you a screen shot. It’s not exactly run together so much as very crowded.
    Maybe I could fiddle with the font settings on my end.

  12. Hey Wil,
    Maybe your agent should remind the casting people that you carry significant weight with the geek market? After all, that’s got to be one of their core demographics on an Asimov adaptation.
    If only “Johny Mnemonic” didn’t ruin the concept of Gibson Adaptations. Mr. Keanu “I can carry 50gigs of data in my head” Reeves kinda soured what was a wonderful short story. *Sigh* I fear Neuromancer may never come to be.

  13. i hope you get the part in the asimov story…i loved his FOUNDATION books…you could be involved in the making of a classic…something we’ll be watching over and over again for years.

  14. forgot to mention…another great thought for the day…it is true that the joy is the adventure on the way…once you get there…it’s all downhill.

  15. Excellent news, this post. Well wishes all around.
    Oliver: I must say I feel the same way. Damn Rick Berman. But seriously, have you checked out http://www.roddenberry.net? This site has the integrity that Trek now lacks….
    Wil: Excellent response to the stepchildren situation. You have my utmost respect.

  16. Hey did anyone notice this?
    If you go to the I Robot listing at imbd.com, then click on the bio for Issac Asimov it says that he contacted HIV from a blood transfusion during a heart bypass in 1983… poor Dr. A! that can’t have been a nice thing to have to live with for the last 10 years of his life… :o(
    Also, on a completely different subject; Happy Birthday #14 to Jared who posted way above me in here, hope you had a good day!
    I’m afraid i don’t have anything much more to materially contribute to this conversation; other people beat me to the observations about the Elijah Bailey/Daneel Olivaw books, and about the origins of the title “I, Robot”, although I think there was (maybe?) an actual Asimov short story that used the title too…
    I am impressed with the speed and quantity of posts that you get Wil…
    Greetings to you if you ever get this far down the scoll, lol :o)

  17. Sup Wil
    Why haven’t you commented on the latest Trek movie yet? Was curious to hear your thoughts as well as your opinions on “The Surreal Life”.
    Good Luck big guy!

  18. Okay, I posted here once already, but the thing about the stepkids has been grating on my nerves.,,
    Wil, I applaud you for the way you ststed your position. Sure some other arrangement might work out for someone else, but what’s yours is yours. And for someone else to presume to tell you what kinds of relationships to have with anyone else in your life is truly and simply offensive.
    Wil is not the dad. Sure, the kids can look up to him and say to themselves “I like this about Wil and I’d like to be that way” just as they can with their father. If they have two halfway decent role models in their lives — that’s more than many people have.
    Okay, I’m starting to ramble a bit as my hackles come up. The advice was presumtuous, and forcefully so.
    Wil, here’s some good-stepparent mojo for ya.

  19. Could it be? Has Wil Wheaton finally started to get over his lack of self-confidence? Could he really just be relaxing and enjoying life? Is it possible that ‘that feeling’ is really enough?
    Folks I think so! :)
    Annie

  20. Hey!
    I’m talking to you.
    I just ladled a heaping portion of spud-chowder onto the front of your Old Navy size medium boys jet-print camo short sleeve (100% cotton, machine wash, Indigo, SKU #185533) and all you can do is stare at the stain?
    I’m calling you out, sally.
    Show yourself.

  21. The story may be “Little Lost Robot”, from the collection “I, Robot”. This is not a trial story, but it is a story about a robot who has had the First Law modified by removing the “or through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.” clause.
    In the story, the robot – outwardly identical to 62 other robots of its type – was told to “go lose yourself”, and it did. Worse, its brain was unstable and it was developing a superiority complex over humans; the humans were desperate to find it, but could not afford to destroy all 63.
    A brief quote (Dr. Susan Calvin is speaking):
    The psychologist said, “If a modified robot were to drop a heavy weight upon a human being, he would not be breaking the First Law, if he did so with the knowledge that his strength and reaction speed would be sufficient to snatch the weight away before it struck the man. However once the weight left his fingers, he would be no longer the active medium. Only the blind force of gravity would be that. The robot could then change his mind and merely by inaction, allow the weight to strike. The modified First Law allows that.”
    I hope to God that if this movie gets made they get someone good for Dr. Calvin. Someone like the Weakest Link lady would be great :)

  22. Thank you for not putting your stepchildren through the hell that is dealing with two sets of “parents”. I have had to live with that for the past 13 years and it is terrible. My parents were _always_ putting pressure on my brother and me to like them better than the other pair. They would even act like nothing was wrong and claim that they weren’t trying to badmouth the other pair AS THEY WERE DOING IT! I was probably clinically depressed for that entire time and that is no way for a child to live. Thank you for doing what my parents refused to.

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