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. I never read I, Robot, but the description of the scene reminds me off an old Twilight Zone with, ironically, Leonard Nimoy playing a reporter when a robot is put on trial for the death of his creator. The robot is sentenced guilty, and at the end of the show sacrifices himself to save some poor person from being hit by a truck.

  2. Wil, First of all thank you for not being on the Sereal World.
    I love you web site. You make us all relize we go through the same crap every day.
    Best of Luck on the Jobs.

  3. It’s about time someone based a movie/series (whatever it was, i didn’t read too carefully) on the Alan Parson’s Project smash hit “I, Robot”. The Foundation series, incidentally, is, in my opinion, one of the all time greatest book series.

  4. hey, nice website Wil. It’s been a long time. Good to hear your doing well. I know your on the verge of major success again. Have you seen me on the “Surreal Life”? you have to check me out. It was a trip when we filmed. My god you’ve got Vince Neil, webster, hammer, 90210 chick, and some other bimbo’s. I’m reading alot of scripts and will be blowing up big time. I also have a website, wil. We should make a movie together in the future. Maybe a cop buddy movie, We’ll get jerry o’connell and The “Haimster”(I think he’s available). We’re BACK Wil and no one is going to keep us down. Cool. Give me a call. Take care, Corey Feldman.

  5. Hmmmm…
    “Anthony Anderson, from “Barbershop” and the upcoming “Kangaroo Jack,” gets his own sitcom pilot, “All About The Andersons,” in which he plays a single father who lives at home and dreams of a better life for him and his son. Anthony’s barber father Earl is a cranky Archie Bunker-type without the prejudices, his mother Pearl runs a local hair salon and his eight year old Tuga is a precocious young man who also acts as his father’s emotional anchor… ”
    Interesting. But it could be a place to showcase the fact that you can do comedy. :)

  6. Wil, I believe it was the book of short stories titled ‘Robot Dreams’. Lots of good short stories in there by Asimov. If anyone here hasn’t read it I reccommend it highly.

  7. I must say my “Intuition” wrote a story with Jerry in mind…but if you guys get back together, you HAVE TO let Wil write it. It should be something Mr. King would be proud of.:) For old times sake?
    “hey, nice website Wil. It’s been a long time. Good to hear your doing well. I know your on the verge of major success again. Have you seen me on the “Surreal Life”? you have to check me out. It was a trip when we filmed. My god you’ve got Vince Neil, webster, hammer, 90210 chick, and some other bimbo’s. I’m reading alot of scripts and will be blowing up big time. I also have a website, wil. We should make a movie together in the future. Maybe a cop buddy movie, We’ll get jerry o’connell and The “Haimster”(I think he’s available). We’re BACK Wil and no one is going to keep us down. Cool. Give me a call. Take care, Corey Feldman.”
    Posted by: Corey Feldman on January 16, 2003 08:37 PM

  8. With all the very, very best to you my friend. You deserve it all. I believe that you can do anything you set out to do. That big guy watches out for you, you know. Once more, all my best. Stay safe… ever, Donna

  9. I’m impressed by the level of clarity you’ve developed at such a young age. I’ve got a few years on you, and I still haven’t gotten there.

  10. That would be cool Wil, to see you, Cory and Jerry together again. hehehe maybe a 24th century cross between Gonnies and Sliders? LOL
    Wonder if someone really did have an idea for a Goonies sequel, as this page suggests:
    hehe Ya never know I guess :}
    What does one say for a successful audition, “Good Luck” or “Break a leg”? Either way I hope you get the part Wil! :}

  11. Jehoshaphat!
    Was the police detective named Elijah Baley?
    The Robot would be Daneel or Giskard.
    I wonder if Gladia will be in the film.
    As far as for the books:
    Caves of Steel
    The Naked Sun
    The Robots of Dawn
    Robots and Empire

  12. Interesting reading, what you’ve been doing since trek. And it was a pleasant surprise to hear someone is going to do a movie with Asimov’s work. Great! I hope all goes well for you.

  13. I seem to recall “I, Robot” being the plot of an episode of “The Outer Limits,” which was based on one of Asimov’s many Robot stories. As for which one… you’ve got me stumped!

  14. >> Hollywood is out of ideas, indeed.
    Channel surfing past E! right now and they actually had some generic spokesmodel interviewing a roomful of frat guys sprawled on couches talking about who they thought was hot.
    Spokesmodel: “Cameron Diaz?”
    Frat Guy: “Oh yeah. Hot.”
    Spokesmodel: “JLo?”
    Frat Guy: “Yeah! Hot.”
    Spokesmodel: “Halle Berry?”
    Frat Guy: “Hot! Yeah.”
    Spokesmodel: “Venus Williams?”
    Frat Guy: “Yes. She is SO Hot.”
    Spokesmodel: “That chick from ‘Alias’?”
    Frat Guy: “Man… Hot! HOT!”
    Spokesmodel: “Hot?”
    Frat Guy: “Very hot.”
    Spokesmodel: “Very hot?”
    Frat Guy: “Yes! Hot.”
    Spokesmodel: “Hot!”
    Frat Guy: “Hot!”
    Spokesmodel: “HOT!”
    Frat Guy: “Hot-HOT! HOT!”
    (All high-five).
    Somewhere George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are loading sacks of unmarked bills onto an Iran-bound tanker, and President Bill Clinton is getting his dick sucked AGAIN!
    Spokesmodel: “Tutsi women hacked to death with machetes?”
    Frat Guys: “HOT!”

  15. Wow, glad you got that audition down, Wil. Good for you. Those feelings are the keepers.
    I haven’t thought about Asimov’s books in ages, even though they sit on my bookshelf. Now in one week, I have 2 encounters with them. The current choice of a book club I belong to is The Foundation Trilogy. I look for signs, so I have good vibes about the audition!
    Let me know if I have to read I, Robot too. Oh, wait, I see I have time. They plan on releasing this movie summer 2004.

  16. Any one familar with Harry Harrison’s work?
    He is the author of “The Stainless Steele Rat”
    If you have never read the adventures of Slippery Jim De Grizz,I stongly urge you to check it out,you will NOT be disapointed.
    Harrison also wrote a short story called
    “The Fourth Law of Robotics” it is in the book “Foundations friends:stories in Honour of Issac Asimov”

  17. Wil, Is Robot, I Auditor
    I hope you get both parts Wil.
    as for celebrity – look-a-likes, caugt on tape…
    maybe one day I can tell you about your
    look-a-like…. caught on film…???

  18. I remember reading some story like that, by Asimov; but I thought the detective was a robot too (Daneel, the one who returns in Nemesis, and in Foundation and Earth); it must have had something to do with the reason behind the three laws of robotics. But I read it a long time ago, and it’s just a scene in Asimov’s vast universe.
    Good luck on getting those callbacks.

  19. Yeah, that sounds like one of the short stories from “Robot Dreams”. The first one in the book, IIRC (though, of course, I can’t remember the name of the story).

  20. The scene you describe is definitely from Caves of Steel. I, Robot, is a collection of stories introducing the three laws of robotics. Oddly enough, also the term ‘positronic brain’, which is used to describe Data’s brain in TNG.
    It sounds a lot to me like they are gathering the Robot world of Asimov, splicing, and putting it together into a movie. gosh, to see R.Daneel would be way funky, with his human partner Elijah.
    part mojo to you wil.

  21. Hi Wil,
    Nemesis opened here in Germany last night, and it
    was strange to see you on screen in the banquet scene after all I’ve read on here…
    It was nice to see you on the big screen again
    (no, we don’t get any of your current work over here),
    but you were on the far left of the screen, so you may be cropped in the “fit for TV” version 😉
    At least you made the credits! When Rick Berman’s name came up I had to think about him not inviting you to the premiere and I thought “A..hole”. Weird, isn’t it?
    Back to read only mode…

  22. The movie is based on the short story antology “I, Robot”, but apparently only loosely as the script originated as a crime thriller kind of thing and was reworked with material from Asimov later, so don’t expect it to be too much like the original.
    My guess is that it will be less true to the original than Bicentennial Man was – and I’m saying that even though they completely changed the focus of Bicentennial Man from being a story primarily about what makes us human to being a soppy love story. Not that I don’t think it will be a good movie, just don’t expect too much Asimov.
    As for the robot guilty of letting owner get harmed or die theme, that occur in several Asimov shorts and a couple of novels (at least “Caves of Steel” and “Naked Sun” I believe).
    Essentially most of Asimov’s robot stories revolved around the consequences of the three laws and how they can give unexpected consequences, or how they could be circumvented intenationally or unintentionally.
    A robot with the laws couldn’t kill on purpose, for instance, but what if you trick it?

  23. let’s start by sending you lits of positive mojo our way, although you sound as though you are on top of the world at the moment. It’s a nice feeling, it’s been a while since I was there but still good nonetheless.
    As for I, Robot I am asking my friends at the sci fi and fantasy society will get back to you on that one soon.

  24. “I haven’t had an audition in forever, and I’ve had two in two days.” It’s because Wil has a Posse!

  25. hey man…
    how totally cool that you got to read for a part in I, Robot.
    thats pretty freaking awesome wil!
    my mom was and is a huge sci-fi fan, and my brother and i were raised on the books of Asimov, Heinlein, and Clarke…
    (which in turn of course made my bro and i huge sci-fi fans.)
    any how, glad you got the ‘mine’ feeling, and even more glad that you have the right attitude and perspective now…
    to me, THAT is the thing i was most pleased to read about…that you have a new found appreciation of yourself as a writer…
    cuz believe me, as good as you are as an actor (and you rock) your writing talents are just as good, and thats what keeps us coming back here everyday!
    cheers wil

  26. Wil,
    Can you do all of your crazy “Smoking Monkey’s” a favor and start calling you stepkids-just your kids.
    Ye get the fact that they might not have your gene’s but you have a say in their everyday life- Right?
    As much as we can all tell you care about them, as much happiness is in your voice when you talk about them, as much emotion is voiced in your words here on WWDN. From one father to another, you’ve earned that right. If not in your own eyes at least in mine…

  27. I was twelve years and I went into the library. I had heard of this science fiction thing and I was dying to give it a try.
    I borrowed two books that day: “I, Robot” by The Good Doctor and “The Last Command” by Keith Laumer. These books changed my life. They made me think about the world in ways I would not have dreamed of before.
    I hope you get the part, you were great as Wesley Crusher, you’ll do great at this job too. Success!

  28. Congrats, dude! Hope you get the parts. Maybe if they’d left your lines in NEMESIS, it would be doing better at the box office.

  29. romana sez
    ” Oddly enough, also the term ‘positronic brain’, which is used to describe Data’s brain in TNG.”
    In “Datalore,” Natasha Yar notes that Dr. Soong (sp?) was the first to achieve “Asimov’s dream of a positronic brain.” Lore later threatens to phaser Wesley into a “torch.” Wil looked good and scared in that one.

  30. Congrats on the auditions Wil.
    I guess what we told you all along was right. Forget about the pressures of the audition, you’ve got this site and your army ;), but more importantly your health and family. Big pieces fall into place easier when the surrounding pieces have the right grooves. I made that up (as far as I know), but it’s a pretty fitting analogy. (sp??)
    Anyways, keep on the roll.

  31. “I, Robot” is actually a collection of short stories by Asimov about robots and the 3 laws of robotics. IT was also an episode of the original “Outer Limits” series back in the 60s. The inventor of a robot is killed in an accident, and the robot is accused of killing him, no one believes the robot is innocent, and he is convicted and sentenced to death. The robot throws itself in front of a runaway truck to save the life of a child, though.
    (Thank you, SciFi channel). I hope you get the part, Wil. You know who else would be an awesome robot: Brent Spiner! The guy plays an awesome android, so a robot should be a piece of cake.
    Sending mojo your way…

  32. Wil, did you get to meet the director, ALex Proyas? What is he like? Having written and directed Dark City and directed The Crow, he’s one of my favorite directors and can’t wait to see his take on this kind of story. I hope he stays true to Asimov’s ideals though. Any hint of that in the bit of the script you got to see?
    Best of luck!!! I hope the I, Robot role comes through for you.

  33. Wil,
    Sounds great! Hope you get the gig. Need to see more of you on film, etc. : ) Best of luck!
    Take care,

  34. *Sending major call back mojo*
    I totally believe that what you’re experiencing now is because you are truly comfortable with yourself and your many talents.
    Rock on!

  35. Wil-
    Sending you some serious mojo, Jojo. I hope you get the part! That scene you described does sound familiar. I haven’t read Asimov in so long…
    Whatever happened to Polar Express? That audition wasn’t that long ago. Perhaps you’re trying to repress the memories of that blue hair and poison oak. :-)

  36. I sucked on the Polar Express audition. I thought I wrote about that. Hrm.
    Well, I was in severe pain, suffering from major tendonitis after we put in our new lawn, and I just couldn’t focus.
    So I sucked. Hard. Never heard back, but tried to get word to them that I knew I sucked, and hoped that they’d see me again.

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