some respects Carol is one of the most important characters in EvenHand.
The opening scene features her, a woman who has been in a car
accident, and the same scene is reprised three quarters of the way
through the story. It's a point in time that reflects a particular
emotional state for Francis (one of our two featured police
officers), and it serves as an entry point for the audience. We
jump into the story in the middle and then backtrack, finding out
how Francis got there.
because it's an important scene and the very first one, I was particularly
determined to find someone good to play Carol. Kelley Saunders came in on the
first day and auditioned for the role of Lisa Mather, the wife of
the bad guy. She was excellent and I immediately asked her to also
read for Carol. Carol is a slightly bigger role than Lisa, and far
more pivotal in the telling of the story. Happily, Kelley especially
excelled in her impromptu portrayal of Carol, so she got the part.
leads me to part two of this journal entry: The Things I Have
Learned About Auditions.
are cruel and unfair by nature. Actors are given script pages for a scene
or two (or the whole script, if they're lucky) and with little or
no input from the director, they're expected to interpret a character in a 10 minute
performance. Actors, like everyone else, have colds and bad days
and other things on their mind. And the whole process could not have been designed
better to intimidate the performer, with the director sitting
inscrutably behind the desk, peering at the monitor and declaring
everything "good" and dismissing the actor after one or
two attempts at the scene.
if auditions were nothing but awful, we wouldn't have them; there
must be some good that comes from the process, as loathsome as it
is. Just so.
example, the conversation that surrounds the performance is almost
important as the performance itself, for it reveals the depth of
understanding of the actor (and the director). It also serves
to raise the level of intimacy of the occasion, making it subtly
more of a collaboration or expression of consensus than a naked
performance. And anything the director can do to put the actor at
ease is a good thing.
most importantly, I believe it is possible to tell from an
audition who is right for the role; which is not to say that
I expect anyone to nail a character on the first try. But, there
will always be someone who comes pretty close to capturing the
essence of a character in that short scene.
part of the process is judging not just the
caliber of the specific interpretation, but also whether the actor
fits into the "palette" of the film (see The
Crack House for more on that subject). Also important is how
the actors will work together and look together. Given the
criteria that goes beyond pure performance, the
"best" actor may not always be the right actor.
guess the bottom line is that it's a subjective process and all
the actor can do to influence the outcome is give their most
honest and natural performance. Then
it's up to the director to make a decision based on the
information at hand.
see the actors that have been cast so far, please visit the Cast
Next: FIDENCIO CONSTANTINO
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