Today was the biggest day in the show’s history to date – AUDITIONS.

I was worried about how energetic I’d be, given how late I stayed up last night making sure everything was ready, but as anticipated, the excitement of the day (and a venti white chocolate mocha from Starbucks) carried me through with flying colors. The plan was to see 14 people for the roles of Abigail, Tracy and Darren – not a huge number, but from what I felt, a great sampling of potential talent. But alas, it didn’t quite go down like that…

One actress called and dropped out the night before, citing a prior commitment. She was very nice and we had a great conversation, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was disappointed. I’d also be lying if I said I didn’t expect something like that to happen. I get it – we’re not big names (or widely regarded or respected, for that matter) in the local film community – so there’s not that “I have to work with them” sense of urgency that some others here in Houston enjoy. There’s been a tendency for the establishment to overlook, ignore and underestimate us – and though it does piss me off, it is what it is. It’s our job to make them wish they hadn’t.

Back to the actors – there were more non-appearances to come – and we were ready. When I invited each actor, I assigned them an audition time and asked them to confirm they were coming in. Nothing hard or time-consuming; at the very least, it’s professional (it’s not like I was inviting them out of the blue; each actor indicated they were interested in auditioning). Of the 14 actors invited, only 8 of them confirmed – including the young lady who called and dropped out. That told us right there to expect some holes in our schedule, though I held out hope that some of the non-confirmees would still show. Of the 6 non-confirmees, two showed up, and we were happy to receive them. More annoying, however, was that one of the confirmees pulled a no-show. Our reader put in a good word for the person, but the damage, as far as I’m concerned, is done. I’m big on respect, and that action told me all I need to know.

But I was extremely happy with the talent we did see – and with the feedback I received on the scripts. It’s one thing to think your own stuff is good; it’s a whole ‘nother thing to have it validated by someone else. Sure, they have a potential spot in the show riding on it, but they didn’t have to say anything at all, which makes me feel their comments were genuine. I’m relieved; sounds like we’ve got something good cookin’. I was so jazzed and got so caught up that I wound up reading with some of the actors myself. That was fun, squared. All in all, it was an awesome way to spend a few hours on a Saturday.

So, who’s Abigail? Who’s Tracy? Who’s our heel, Darren? We’ve yet to make final decisions, but they’re coming. And soon. The bad thing is there’s going to be someone really talented that gets turned down. But from my perspective, it’s a great problem to have. And it’s not like I’m not keeping people in mind for the future. Good talent is hard to find. We were blessed to tap into a small abundance of it.