An Actor Despairs (A Three Act Article)

Gianmarco Soresi Audition.png

Written By: Gianmarco Soresi
I do not want this to be positive, feel-good, inspirational, or in any way
hopeful. If we were talking about art that would be one thing but I’m here to talk
about auditioning thus I hope to be pragmatic, realistic, and disillusioning, which
may be depressing. This is not to say that auditioning isn’t an opportunity to
exercise your acting muscles, nor is it to say that those running the auditions aren’t
artists in their own right (I LOVE, ADMIRE, AND RESPECT ALL CASTING DIRECTORS
FOREVER), but it is to say that auditions are, for the most part, a hopelessly
inadequate way to assess any individual’s artistic merit, demand an insane amount
of preparation (and occasionally money) with little chance for reward and none for
donating your time (it’s a two-way streak), and a pain in the ass.

To avoid touching on the struggles of getting an audition in the first place,
which would be a whole other article, book, or suicide note, I will take us back to one
of those auditions that, just by paying the application fee, one can guarantee:
auditions for college conservatories, which are also, time-ratio wise, the most
inadequate of auditions. Before we begin, however, any article about an actor’s
experience, particularly bitter ones like these begs the question, “is the person writing
the article any good?” Don’t worry, I won’t link to my reel, and I also ask myself that
same question every day, but I hope the stories I tell below reveal truths independent
of any particular skill level. I’m think I’m okay but I know I’m dedicated af.

ACT 1: Cincinnati Conservatory of Music
The first of eight conservatory auditions, I prepared for this one mercilessly. Having
flown to Cincinnati the day prior so I could settle in, I showed up an hour-and-a-half
early for my slot the next day. Upon arrival, however, a group of perfectly-branded
CCM sophomores breathlessly (yet well-supported-ly) commented, “Are you
Giancarlo Soresi?!” I am not but I understood, “Yes, but why do you know this? Have
I already been accepted?” No. Instead, the head of the program barrels out of the
auditioning room and bellows, “ARE YOU GIANMARCO SORESI? YOU’RE AN HOUR
LATE!” Name right but incorrect about my tardiness, as I proved to him with my
printed audition details e-mail. “WHATEVER, JUST COME IN,” he growled. I did not
get into CCM. LESSON: You can’t control any circumstances aside from your
performance and sometimes said circumstances are impossible to overcome so try
to have fun at least, I guess?

ACT 2: Juilliard
Not even the acting, vocal, and movement coaches could prepare me for the fire
alarm that went off in the middle of my Shakespearian monologue. The auditors
assured me it was just a test so we could just wait for it to pass. And with that extra
FIVE MINUTES that I had with the people whose approval could launch a career I
made sure to get to know them further, told a joke or two, NO I DIDN’T DO ANY OF
THOSE THINGS I JUST STOOD THERE LIKE AN IDIOT I THINK AND I DID NOT GET A
CALLBACK TO JUILLIARD. LESSON: Every moment is an opportunity.

ACT 3: Carnegie Mellon
This story may not be true, as it did not involve me, but like a good fable its lesson is
applicable to real life. One of those musical-theater-sleepaway-camp friends of mine
auditioned for Carnegie Mellon (as did I), but stayed until after the audition session
was over and asked a head of the acting department if he could take her to dinner
and state his case further as to Carnegie Mellon was a perfect fit. He got in. I did not.

LESSON: The bold succeed. They can also get into trouble (different article) but in
this instance it worked. This boiled my blood at the time, now I admire his chutzpah.
In conclusion, good f*cking luck. Like trying to win the lottery, the only way to
increase your odds is buying as many tickets as possible. What’s in your power is
being the best artist you can be and, more challenging, feel good about your work
independent of the approval of people whose opinion, for the most part, you don’t
care about. LESSON from ultimately getting a BFA at the University of Miami? I
shouldn’t have gone to college in the first place…

 

Gianmarco Soresi Headshot.jpg

Gianmarco Soresi is an actor, stand-up comedian. Rather than detail the various television shows he’s said one or two lines on, these are some of his own projects that he is immensely proud of: An Actor Unprepared (his first web series, featured on SplitSider), Less Than 50% (premiered in the NY Fringe Festival, moved Off-Broadway for Fringe Encores, optioned to return Off-Broadway next year!), Matza Pizza (sketch series produced by Edge in Motion Productions), and his first stand-up special, Infinite Bris. He is also the guy from all those damn General Electric commercials, which allowed most of those previous projects to happen. For more visit www.GianmarcoSoresi.com or follow him @GianmarcoSoresi

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