The audition script was in Chinese, which I do not read so well. The assistant casting director sat to one side of me, AnAn on the other. I first reviewed the script for words I didnâ€™t know.
“It means this (pointing to forehead)”
“Oh. [english] Forehead [/english]. And this?”
“Carve a sign”.
“OK. And this?”
“I can actually read these characters. What does SuanMing mean?”
“You have this in Western countries too. Usually an older woman or Tibetan person who looks at your hand, or sometimes looks at eggs or tea, and then tell you something about yourself. They can tell you what happens in the future too.”
“[english] Fortuneteller. OK [/english]
I spend about 1/2 hour memorizing the lines. Then I was taken downstairs to meet the casting director. The movie director (I think) was standing on the side. He told me to put my leather jacket back on…he liked the look. I stood in front of a camera, said my name, and told the camera a little about myself. The casting director looked like a younger Chow Yun Fat (Killer, Replacement Killers, King and I) Very cool. They were very warm and supportive. Then I said my lines.
Lacky cop1: Chief, look at this.
Chief Detective Anthony (me): These two have some kind of mark carved into their foreheads. I think we are missing something.
Lacky cop2: Maybe we need to consult a fortuneteller.
Anthony: Fortuneteller! Are you kidding? Then what are we here for?
[pause. Anthony examines the body] Look. Here is a dead man. I don’t need no god damn Mr. Fortuneteller to tell me that. [contemplate a second] Do you think there is a relationship with the time of death?
Lackey cop 2: I dunno Chief.
Anthony: Maybe if we add up the marks on their heads, it will spell out the killer’s name. Could it be that simple?
They thanked me profusely and said my Chinese was great. I think they were looking for someone who actually acted before. I kept getting the feeling that they were expecting me to do certain things that only actors know about. For instance, after the audition, I was supposed to hold my last facial expression for a couple of seconds. No one told me that before.
It was a really incredible experience though. I have not memorized lines like this in a long time, and I don’t believe I ever memorized a Chinese script (except when I had to recite a stupid poem with my class when I was attending BeiDa). I think I’ll go for more auditions here. Not for the lead role though – I will need to take some acting classes before I get a main part.