Okay, so thank you so much for the prayers and for those of you who checked in with us afterwards. I'll try to give you a short version of what happened yesterday.
So we showed up right when they were opening the doors. C met us there. I had with me, Z, J and O, as well as their cousin, K. K's older sister, L, joined us, too, even though she was too old to be cast in this movie -- she went along to see what all the hubbub was about.
First, we had to fill out an application for each child. I was a bit baffled because they must use the same form for all-age applicants. There was nowhere on there to indicate parental permission or that the applicant was a minor and required parental sign-off. So I had each child sign his/her own application and then I signed below and indicated my relationship. (I had a permission note from our niece's mom -- my sister -- but they never asked for it.)
Anyway, there were probably 50-75 other people there. They had casting calls for adults, too, but I was focusing on the kid portion. There were probably 30 kids auditioning and this was the second session for this movie (the first was earlier in the day).
We snaked around through the chair line they had set up (which was really quite disorganized, but somehow it worked anyway) and eventually got to the front of the line. I provided the casting director's team with each child's application and beautiful head-shot and body-shot (photos) as requested. They filed those with the applications and then we wrote each kid's name on a white board with our phone number and they used a cell phone to take a picture of each child holding the white board.
Yes, it was very reminiscent of a mug shot. Odd.
Anyway, for this movie, they were clearly looking for African-American children to match the storyline. I still don't know what the movie is, but I think it must have something to do with running through a forest. I'll explain later.
So they quickly took pictures of J and O, who are not African-American by any stretch of the imagination, but then they paused on Z and K. They are both biracial and have luxurious creamy brown skin. They are also both tall, athletic and darling (yeah, I'm biased, but so what). They pulled them aside and asked them to stay for taping.
So C took the younger kidlets out to the lobby of the hotel where we were and I stayed with our "African-American" beauties in another long line. Z started getting a little hyper and feisty (he's a boy), but overall, the kids were really patient for all the sitting around waiting we had to do.
At this point, we were going on more than two hours in one, not-large, crowded room. Not so much fun, but plenty of people watching activities to enjoy.
By 6:20, C came and relieved me in line because I needed to get J to dance class. So he stayed with Z and K, while I took L home (O stayed there till a hostage exchange could take place with K later) and J and I headed off to her dance class -- arriving just in the nick of time.
The rest of the tale is my interpretation of what happened based on what C and Z told me about their experience.
Soon after I left, K and Z were called to do their taping tests. According to Z, he was asked to pretend to be in the forest -- hanging out, hunting/fishing -- and then suddenly he hears some kind of animal. He needed to react. He said they liked his reaction of surprise and they high-fived him for "good acting." K told my sister that she was asked to do something similar, which makes us think that maybe the movie may involve something like this scene. That, and the fact that they need athletic, soulful kids, which says to me: "running in nature."
Following their acting test, they had to talk about sports they've been involved with so they could move the camera all around them and see how they respond to it. They really congratulated the kids on being able to hold a discussion without being distracted by the camera.
They told C that they might be called back the next day for more. But, it's after six now and we did not receive any calls. So either they went with other kids or maybe we'll hear from them on a later date.
In the meantime, it was exciting just to have a couple of our group get pulled aside for a second look. I didn't even think we'd make it that far!
The good news is that we've broken the ice. Now we have an idea what it's like to attend an open casting call and maybe we'll be braver to try them down the road. We have some friends who have starred in movies filmed here in New Mexico and there are open casting calls regularly. They call New Mexico the "new" Hollywood, I guess. I've read it, but not once have I heard someone actually say that.
Disney's The Lone Ranger is filming right now, just a stone's throw away. So who knows if we may run into Mr. Depp around town one of these evenings. That would be something!