By Chau Tang
Cleveland State University hosted their second casting call at the film school on Saturday, Sept. 15 and Sunday, Sept. 16 from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. In the cool air-conditioned building, students could be seen waiting their turn in the designated waiting room. The space was large enough for multiple people to practice their monologue before their audition time slot. At 10 a.m., there were approximately 10-15 students checking in and chatting with their friends. Excitement filled the air, and it could be seen on students’ faces. They spoke passionately about their monologues while discussing what movies they had come from. The anticipation of waiting in line for their turn to audition created varying responses among students. Some actors spoke to each other and would laugh wholeheartedly, while others sat in silence to check their phones.
“It’s required for students in Intro to Screen Performance to audition, and certain classes participate in the production of the event,” Valerie Temple, Administrative Coordinator for the school of media arts at Cleveland State, said. “This actor’s database is used for the film school’s use only—generally, unpaid positions for student productions, for class assignments, and capstone projects, but it is a really great experience.”
The database can have an actor’s profile and personal information which allows them to not only keep their reels in one place, but it can also be used to build up their resumes. Even though the majority of those who auditions are Cleveland State students, the casting call is open to the public and to all majors.
People who were interested in auditioning had to go online to sign up for a time slot. Those who auditioned showed up approximately 10-15 minutes early to fill out forms. There were also people available during this time to take the actors’ head shots.
“If this audition was not a requirement for students, they were allowed to choose a monologue that resonated with them. For the Intro to Screen Performance class, it’s an assignment that they would work on their monologues in class prior to their audition and perform their [class] chosen monologue,” Temple said.
Even though auditions had a 10 minute block, the actors only presented their monologues for one to two minutes. When people walked in the studio, it was pitch-black, but film lights and video cameras illuminating parts of the room. The large room was filled with chairs for people to observe if they had chosen to. Before actors presented their monologue, they were instructed to hold up their number, state their name, and what monologue they are presenting. After the audition, each actors’ face was either smiling widely or shocked, almost as if they had seen a ghost.
“I thought [the audition] went well. I didn’t forget anything, and since it’s dark in there, I didn’t see anyone,” freshman film major Tessa Smith said. “It was a requirement but I probably would have done it anyway. It’s like a mock interview, but it’s a mock audition, so you can prepare for what auditions would be like.”
While there was a wide range of reactions, Cleveland State’s film students are excited to see what comes out of it.