Tuesday, June 2, 2009

'The Fighter', VFW Hall, Lowell MA

MAY 23, 2009. 9:20 a.m., a full 40 minutes before the posted start of the open call, the line stretched around the building, and down a side street. The film was "The Fighter", the story of Lowell boxer Mickey Ward, and the casting agency was trying to find authentic Lowell residents, boxers, and 'trainer types'. I was about 100th in line, and that did not include the elderly and handicapped, or members of SAG or AFTRA, who were brought to the front of the line. I made it inside after about 90 minutes and was surprised to find that there would not be any camera time (no slate or group assessment) unless and until I presented my head shot and biographical information to one of two casting professionals who were looking - at first, for certain, specific looks. I had been considering 'dressing the part' - that is, in this case, wearing perhaps vintage 70's sweats, oversized shades, maybe a gold chain - trying for that disco-reject look that I envisioned members of a boxer's entourage wearing (especially in the late seventies/eighties), but I wimped out. It would probably not have helped - I didn't look the part. But you never know. I heard a middle aged man in front of me - after being rejected by the casting professional in his row, switch rows and tell the other casting pro that he had experience 'in the ring'. For most though - like me, the casting pro simply said "you're good to go", meaning thanks, but no thanks. Seated around the VFW hall, were a handful of 'boxer types' who had passed the initial screening, waiting for a more thorough assessment of their fit. When I left the hall and headed toward my car, there were still a hundred or so people in line.

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