Saturday, March 17, 2012

167. NYU Callback Weekend 2012 - Guest Post by Brittany V. Green (Part Three)

(This post is a continuation of Ms. Brittany V. Green's audition experience at the NYU Grad Acting Callback Weekend 2012. Click HERE to read PART ONE. Click HERE to read PART TWO.)

Brittany V. Green

NYU Callback Weekend - Day Two...cont'd
by Brittany V. Green
March 11th, 2012

I walked into the audition room for what would be the last time in this whole audition process. I felt comfortable, happy, and ready to show them who Brittany is. They all smiled at me and said hello as I came in. I happily did the same. Janet [Zarish] told me before I sat down that she’d like me to do another piece for her (they were really workin’ me people!) This time they wanted me to do my Shakespeare piece. (In total I showed them four pieces during the entire audition process.) I said yes and began. 
Afterwards they gave me adjustments. They wanted me to make it more personal to who I was, and leave the "classical aura" I brought to it behind. I thought for a moment… "How does Brittany like to work?” I told them… "one moment" and stripped off my blazer, scarf and shoes. ( I love working barefoot.) I took a deep breath and began my piece again… this time having a break through. The piece I had been doing over and over for so long touched me in a different way this time, and I allowed myself to go there. And then I was done. When I go “there” it always takes a lot out of me. I felt like I had to catch my breath a lot. Janet looked up at me and said…” Good adjustments.” Janet then asked me to come have a seat…then said “as you leave your old way of doing it on the floor” and pointed to my clothes…we laughed. I then made my way over to the chair to have a seat. 
We chatted a little and then I was asked about the colleague I knew, who I put in my reference section on my application [an NYU grad acting alumni]. For a moment…I thought about the valuable note “be yourself.” So I looked them in the eyes and said… "Look I’m just gonna keep it real with you guys…" and began to explain it all...  
I said,...At first I did not like the idea of grad school. I felt that upon arriving to NY I was ready to work. Also, many people discouraged me from applying. But (the alumni I’d been talking about this whole time and who is now starring on Broadway) my colleague pushed the idea. She kept talking about the benefits of it and pointed out the advantages of grad school especially for a young black actress. I met her through a mutual acting friend who told me I reminded him of her and that I needed to meet her, so I did. And thankfully we kept in contact and God placed it in her heart to drive home the benefits of having an MFA to me. She also talked about what NYU had to offer specifically. One thing that really spoke to me was the fact that they specialize in YOU the actor. They are not bound by a certain technique, or way of doing things. 
I told them that in my undergrad, upon entering, I had a lot of passion and vivacity but not as much discipline or training. (Or “I was a hot mess,” as I phrased it.) I was lively but sometimes all over the place. My undergrad tamed me, taught me, and helped me mature to become the woman I am today, but in all that taming... the things that made me unique began to get put on the back burner. One of my professors from my undergrad told me she thought I'd lost my “spunk.” She asked me if I remembered a time when I called up the office before classes started and asked to be put in the Sophomore voice class, because I’d taken my English credit in high school already. I had no clue then that acting classes worked cumulatively, I was just ready to get ahead! I told my old professor that I’d completely forgotten all about having done that! I was more outspoken and daring then. 
I let the NYU staff know that now that I am no longer ignorant to the technical aspects of acting it’s time to bring back my spark! I told them that I love creating my own work and that the Free Play performances I saw were absolutely amazing and I am dying to sink my teeth into something like that. I told them that I loved the confidence every student had upon graduating.... Knowing exactly who they are, bold enough to take on anything thrown at them, and being well-rounded individuals. 
I told them sometimes I feel like I have a split personality…one minute I’m so confident, bold and well-on-my-way…and the next I can be the complete opposite, beating myself up. I told them I wanted COMPLETE confidence in my work and in knowing who I am. I told them I envisioned a “Super Brittany” and that I’m dying to meet this woman. I let it be known that I was excited, and ready to create. I told them I had enough formal shaping, now it was time to fine-tune what BRITTANY has to offer! 
That was the basis of what I talked about,... besides going in detail about what I thought of the Free Play and discussing my financial aid situation. 
NYU is the right school for me because they aren’t afraid to fail in order to create and learn. They aren’t afraid to take risks, be bold, be themselves and take chances (and even mistakes!) They teach the actor how to embrace their unique tools and THAT is what I want to expand upon. And THAT is probably why so many casting directors love to get their hands on these students. 
I didn’t care about a fancy space and perfectly polished presentations. I loved the urban feel, quotes and pictures on the actor’s lockers, marks in the floor from years of hard work, the lounge area where I’d probably be sleeping because I’d be up all night working on projects, and MORE.  NYU  gets down and dirty!  
The conversation seriously felt like I was talking to one of my home-girls. I took the “be yourself” thing very literally. I told myself, "If I am who I am and they don’t like me then I’m not meant to be here." But all in all, I felt good about my interview. I was proud that I let go of the need to impress and was open and honest. I was happy with what went on. 
I left the room and joined the audience in watching a current student’s cabaret performance. When it was over, I was exhausted mentally, physically, emotionally, the WORKS. I went home, and once again thanked God for EVERYTHING and went right to sleep. 
But it still ain’t over!

Wow, Brittany! It takes a lot of courage to reeeeeeally be yourself in that kind of a high-stakes "interview/audition" situation. The "safe" route would be to try and impress them by trying to be the "actor" you think they want to see. But you stripped down (both literally and figuratively)...all those walls...showing your TRUE heart and your unique perspective and your child-like passion for the craft. THAT'S BRILLIANT! And I am sure it felt GREAT!

And now you KNOW that if they invite you into the program...they are inviting YOU, because that's who you chose to reveal to them in the room. You showed them YOU. And that's the BEST you could have possibly done!!!

And (on the other side of the coin) since you shared with them your true self... even if you're not invited into the know that's going to be the very best thing for you. Because if you wouldn't be able to be YOURSELF in that program and be accepted, then that's not the place you'd want to study anyway...NYU or no NYU...You've GOT to be free to be yourself in order to grow as an artist!

Sooooooo proud of you!!! I hope you consider this audition a HUGE SUCCESS, no matter what the final outcome.

Please, keep us posted! Wishing you all the best.



"What matters is to live in the present, live now, for every moment is now. It is your thoughts and acts of the moment that create your future. The outline of your future path already exists, for you created its pattern by your past." - Sai Baba

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