Prelude to a Big Break

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Posts Tagged ‘screen test

I’ll tell ya: Last night felt good. There was a Kings game (they’ve got the best record in the league and are a perfect 6-0 at home). I drank a little rum at the game and started between 4 and 620 sentences with the phrase: “If I book it…” I can talk like that with my brother Robbie. He gets it. And he knows that I’d entertain his semi-delirious ramblings for 4+ hours in a nanosecond. Later, it was onto a dive bar. We played beer pong and I hugged a lot of people. I’ve got three photos on my iPhone from the screen test… showing them to people is dreamy. In a week with two Friday’s, no Tuesday, 1,400 crunches, 120 handstand pushups, 17,000 air miles, the biggest day of my professional life, a Kings game, six straight victories at the beer pong table and a whiff of Christmas (!!!) in the air… My favorite moment was watching these two for three periods. That’s just how I roll.

Written by Stephen Amell

November 7, 2010 at 9:31 am

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The screen test is done. I will wait patiently for everything else to begin. What a life I live.

Written by Stephen Amell

November 3, 2010 at 9:34 pm

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So long friends. I don’t mean to sound dramatic, but I don’t know anyone in Auckland, New Zealand. (Unless, of course, someone from Auckland is a regular reader. Show yourself!) You’re not going to believe this, but I’m out of words at the moment. The gravity of this screen test mixed with an outrageous outpouring of positivity in the aftermath of CSI: Miami has formed a cocktail that may have temporarily crashed my heart. At 10:15 (LA time) tonight I depart, arriving at 7:00 am (NZ time)… Wednesday! Screen test Thursday. Flight Friday at 11:00 pm (NZ time) arriving at 4:00 pm (LA time)… Friday.

I am Marty McFly. Tuesday is my jilted lover.

I am an actor working for a life-changing moment.

It’s waiting in New Zealand.

Written by Stephen Amell

November 1, 2010 at 7:54 pm

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Happy Halloween Internet Folk! If you read regularly or peruse my then you’re familiar with this guys propensity to analogize (almost) everything with sports. You could even argue that if I didn’t feel the need to incessantly produce sporty-tweets that require the reader to be watching the game and thinking the exact same thing as me, I wouldn’t be lagging behind * by (approximately) 10,900 followers. (It could also be because he’s famous.) Anyways… I can view anything through the prism of athletics. If you didn’t know, now you know.

Before football games in High School everyone has their own behaviour pattern. Some guys walked around and joked (this irritated me), others threw up (good on them) and some dudes sat quietly at their locker staring straight ahead like they might turn into at any moment. Me? I yawned and fought off the urge to fall asleep. This has always been my natural reaction to big moments; I just become incredibly sleepy. Mixed in with this (admittedly curious) state is a “body evacuation” of sorts that crescendo’s as we get closer to the event and seems to defy all logic. (Draw your own conclusions. Or just realize that I’m talking about pooping.) The former part of this equation has gripped me. I’m tired. Last night I went to a Halloween party as an elephant with a giant, phallic trunk sticking out of my forehead. The costume was a huge hit. You’d think this would be invigorating. Nope, I was just tired. At midnight Ele-Steve vanished like only a giant land mammal with retro Nike sneakers on can. So long, party.

7 Days is misleading. The test is probably Thursday (5 Days) and I lose a day flying to Auckland (4 Days). The test deal is done. I can do 10 hand-stand pushups. I am utterly ready. And now, through the fog of my adrenaline induced slumber I need to wrap my head around a life-altering moment.

* – Everyone in Hollywood assumes that Robbie and I are brothers. This week we decided to just go with it. Both of us were half-joking, which means we were also half-not-joking. (Family!)

Written by Stephen Amell

October 30, 2010 at 8:09 am

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I’m going to New Zealand on Monday night. My brain is going 8,000 miles a minute. I went to a spot called just as I was getting the news. Sat in the audience with Marilyn Manson (?!?!?!) while A. Some dude did electric slight of hand tricks, B. There was juggling with stun guns, C. An illusionist and his puppet man took pole position in my nightmares for the foreseeable future, D. The world’s oldest showgirl tap danced (effectively) on her 87th birthday and E. The host of the show (Mr. Dead) shed his namesake to reveal he was a World Champion hula-hooper. Now that’s entertainment.

I’ve been sweating news on whether or not I’m making the trip for the official screen test since last Thursday. You see, initially (like… when I started this countdown) I thought the trip to New Zealand and the screen test was a done deal. Nah. Last Thursday I learned it was contingent on an excellent performance at the work session this past Tuesday. Yesterday I discovered that the executive team was shrinking the field of contenders (it’s already very small) before the actual test. (Seems financially prudent, don’t you think? Flying to New Zealand isn’t cheap. You know what else wont be cheap? The bar-bill I rack up when this is all over.) My agent called me with the good news right as our group was nabbing the first cocktail of the night. of me getting the call outside of Magic Castle. So… In the end I had two days to relax a little. Now? Back to stretching and crunches and handstands and too much water and not enough calories. It’s the f*cking homestretch and I’m in the game.

One last note: The response I’ve gotten from this blog has been sensational. People seem genuinely invested and interested in my success. Over the next few days, if you want me to have good luck all you need to do is learn The Haka. It’s the least you can do.


Written by Stephen Amell

October 28, 2010 at 9:21 am

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11 Days!

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Hello friends. Late last night I had an email exchange with my friend Christian. (That’s Christian, for short, and Christian Lander: Author of , and , for long. Did you enjoy that name drop as much as me? I’m considering perusing his Wikipedia page for more tidbits.) Christian told me that he’s been keeping track of my blog, but protested over the amount of “vaguery.” (Great word.) To this I say: Sorry. I can’t share as much as I’d like for fear that I’d jeopardize my standing with this project. So, to disspel some of the vaguery…

I auditioned for a show as part of a worldwide search. These searches are something that I participated in often while I was in Toronto; always seemed like a far-fetched idea that wouldn’t lead anywhere meaningful. My perspective has now shifted. The first audition was October 7th. I did my homework… and THEN SOME. Great audition. My manager gave me notice later that day they liked me. Six days later my agent called me with news that I was a “serious contender.” In the beginning, this was my goal. I even wrote as much. (The 5th thing, in “5 Things.”) Seven days ago my agent & manager delivered the news that I would be screen testing for this show on another continent. The screen test was contingent on a “work-session” with the shows creator. That work-session was this morning. Man! Did it ever feel f*cking great! Now we wait for more news.

This is multi-purpose platform I’ve got here. Part cathartic, part ego, part exhibition, part practice… It’s original inception was to give aspiring actors a window into the industry from somebody with a modicum of success. In that spirit, I’ll share a story from the work-session today: Auditioning for someone who created the material you’re reciting is a special, special treat. You don’t need to speculate as to what a certain line means, you can just ask them. They know. For our session this morning there were 3 scenes. After my initial reading, he had notes. So I grabbed my audition sides and wrote each of them down as he dictated. I studied them. I asked follow-up questions. When what he meant was perfectly clear to me, then, and only then, did I proceed. On the surface this seems logical, so lets dig deeper. Casting directors, directors, producers and creators want you to be successful. If you’re what they’re looking for, they don’t need to look any further. This seems logical too. Lets dig deeper. You have to know (can’t believe I’m saying this…) in your heart that people genuinely want to help you succeed. So before you worry about memorizing the lines or how you’re going to stand, there must be a moment of emotional commitment. I will put my best foot forward, this effort will be recognized and coached towards its zenith. This commitment is paramount because failing is so goddamn easy. All that failure needs is a person frightened of realizing their potential. Trying takes guts. So let other people help you. And when they do… listen to them. Don’t rush. Don’t nervously mutter “yeah” after everything they say. Listen. Take your time. Leave the room without any regrets.

Today was the most nerve-wracking, pressure-packed audition of my life. It was also my best.

Written by Stephen Amell

October 26, 2010 at 2:06 pm

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17 Days!

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Hello friends. I’m very excited. At the end of yesterdays post I alluded to a job that felt “close”. I will be screen testing for this job in 17 days. Let’s plan together!

Yesterday: My agent and manager tag-team-called me at 3:30. After the call I wandered around my apartment like a drunkard trying to spot his keys in a hay field. Called my Mom. Emailed me buddy. Dabbled on Google Earth. Wandered around a little more. Chatted with Lou. Then my friend arrived and we went to Bikram Yoga. Full disclaimer: I hate Bikram Yoga. It’s a gimmick; no different from the Atkins diet or Vegans. Believe it or not, I was cautiously expecting something to happen on this project. Did I know that it would jump directly to a screen test? No. But I did know that I will have to be in the very best shape of my entire life. So… I’m doing stupid Bikram yoga even though it makes my soul feel like your foot does when there’s a sharp object in your shoe. I’ve got 17 days. I will break myself down before I build myself up. And if I have to stand next to an Asian lady unabashedly showcasing her illustrious armpit hair, so be it. After the class I started into a healthy diet. Drank coconut water (Jesus…) and passed up Trader Joe’s fine selection of $4 wine (punch me in the groin region). It was time to do something for me. So I bought a record player and four LP’s for $1.99 each. Made me so happy. (There’s a photo attached to the bottom of the post.)

Today: I’ve got an audition this afternoon that I’m going to try and convert into a job. Then I’m going to exercise and probably eat a little frozen yogurt. Kings game. Baseball game. College Football game.

Going forward: If I break this 17-day-stretch down, it’ll look like so: First 5 days: Steady conversion to an exceptionally healthy lifestyle / Second 5 days: Aggressive exercise and a diet normally reserved for people that I think are assholes / Third 5 days: The 120 hours where I wander around Hollywood through all the Halloween parties sipping Club Soda and trying to start fights / Last 2 days: Travel & Test.

This is so freaking exciting!!! November 6th. A day before my Network Television debut.

(That’s me, Kenny Loggins and Kenny Loggins hair.)

Written by Stephen Amell

October 20, 2010 at 11:19 am

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Things are humming along in Hollywood.  Canadian Project tentative test deal / US Project Work Session / Same day audition / Subsequent Producer Session / Producer Session inspired by Work Session / Coaching somewhere in there.

Both producer sessions are lining up nicely for a test.  I’ve still got to make it happen, but these are warm leads, as they say.  The first one – in 90 minutes – was in my hands for two hours prior to my audition last night.  Read the script, found a lane, got my licks in.  I love Pilot Season.

The most important part of this equation is, undoubtedly, the 9 hours of sleep I got last night.  I still look like Ed Norton in Fight Club… whatever, I don’t care.  High times.

Written by Stephen Amell

March 3, 2010 at 10:05 am

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Got released from my Test Deal this morning.  As did everyone else.

Don’t have a bad thing to say about the entire process.  Liked the producers and the casting director; enjoyed working with the director; valued being on the Warner Bros. Lot in an official capacity; very proud of the work that I did.

Objectively, I wouldn’t take back a single choice.

Another test coming soon.  (Like, this week soon.)

Written by Stephen Amell

February 22, 2010 at 6:42 pm

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Screen test results. (Sort of.) — Update!

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UPDATE:

Not dead yet.  Not even close.

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Interesting day today.  For starters, there is a glitch with the Pilot that I tested for Wednesday.  ”Glitch” is a polite way of saying huge f*cking problem.

Going into details would be redundant and potentially damaging.  In lieu, I’ll say that I did a great job and I know there are people who want me to get the job.  The aforementioned problem has nothing to do with the actors.  It’s an executive thing that is effecting every actor for every role they tested.  Thus, I’m assuming that it’s over until I’m told otherwise.

I suppose this is the bad news.

The good news has a higher word count.

Auditioned this afternoon for another pilot and smoked it.  There was an ease and confidence before I walked into the room.  Some combination of repetition, subsequent comfort and the “test experience” had me feeling spry.  Fully expect a producer session next week.

The second section of good news relates to how I digested my bad news.
My reaction: “Okay.  Sure thing.  Next one.”

Finally, I got internet installed and a kitchen table from Target for $22.99 today.  If you don’t think this is a big deal, I think you’re an asshole.

Control what you can control.  In the case of the Pilot, that list looks like this:

  1. Pre-read: (Excellent.)
  2. Producer session: (Excellent.)
  3. Screen test: (Great / professional.)

Once the discussion centers around the executive structure as it relates to the show, I’m off in the wilderness.  You have to make this distinction; otherwise you’re no different than the retarded dog who barks at waves in Venice Beach.

Second full week here.  Second great week here.
Stephen.

EDIT: Very nice person named Shada did a “digital painting” of my headshot and sent it to me.  

Written by Stephen Amell

February 19, 2010 at 4:44 pm

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