A Short Lived Audition

Comic Relief in a Rushed Pace

We’ve all have bad experience at auditions.

But oh boy, are you in for a surprise.

I was at the Emporium Mall and it was around 5:30 pm when my friend Bilal called me. “Hey, Arsalan!” He says so nonchalantly. “I am doing this and this play. You wanna come?” I just heard the word “play” and I was in – a true sign of a thespian. I got home after watching Sanju (which was BRILLIANT MIGHT I SAY) and then I proceeded to message Bilal about the details for the play. His message left me… confounded.

The rehearsals itself were not a problem. They were being done in a studio near my house and in Lahore –the best thing I could have asked for. The problem was the play. It was to take place in Islamabad. Moreover, the dates clashed with those of when my school was supposed to start (The play was to take place from 3rd – 9th September, while my School officially began from 5th September and given my hectic routine and large syllabus to cover I did not want to miss a single day of school).

Bilal had been nice enough to provide me with a contact which I was supposed to call if I was still interested. I was still in doubt but I thought that I should at least ask this “person” whoever she was if I could give an audition. No more than 10 minutes later, I got a pretty informal response of “Yeh suree” and after more chit chat I received more information about this play; it was apparently a paid job, 20k no less and I was being offered a major role (LIKE WOW).

I had 2 days before my audition and 2 days before I could make up my mind and being the adventurous daredevil I am, I thought let’s go for it.

Camera. Lights. Action!

Firstly, I messaged my school’s Head boy to get the email address for my Principal to whom I wrote an extremely at length formal letter detailing why I couldn’t attend the first week of school. Then I picked out a monologue from the first site I found on Google and learned it by heart and practiced it and kept on practicing it till my bones were shaking and palms were sweating (mom’s spaghetti).

2 days passed pretty quickly and the day of the audition was already upon me. I wanted to give the best first impression so I tried to be as punctual as possible so I went to the appointed venue all ready and prepared but for nothing for what was to come.

Do your best and you still won’t get selected.

I was silently asked to sit on a single chair in a room full of air. Except for a single chair, there was no other furniture in this room painted white from top to bottom. Two doors stood equally apart from each other, one leading to what I presumed as the washroom, the other which acted as the entrance and exit to this room.

It took about 10 minutes before a person I presumed to be the Director entered. His eyes talked business and so I readied myself mentally.

After some more silence and exchange of glances I got up to deliver my monologue but I was swiftly shushed down and given a script to read. My audition consisted of a simple line reading session with emotions. They didn’t even ask me about my monologue and when I tried talking about it they said, “Oh we don’t need one”.

A smile on their face does not mean you are selected. It just means they had a good laugh during your ridiculous performance. 🙂

I think I did pretty well although my whole audition was based on improvisation, seeing the lit up the face of the Director I think aced it and expected a good response, but a few days later when I received a simple text message I had a big rage quit. The message read:

“Aoa Mr. Arsalan. You are extremely talented and we have high hopes for you but unfortunately, your voice consists of too much bass and so we cannot deem you fit for any role we have.”

The nerve of them I swear.

My first audition was an open call and I had no picture and no resume – That’s how clueless I was. I thought I could show up ~  Adepero Oduye

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