Saturday, January 25, 2014

Three Auditions part 4

I’ve been on what’s probably the weirdest audition of my life. It was for one of the movies – the one where the character speaks English. Since it was an English speaking part, there were a lot of foreigners trying out. There were so many white faces in the room, I almost forgot I was in Hong Kong for a minute. In Hong Kong, foreigner means white, so it was all white girls. That’s discrimination where I come from, but perfectly acceptable in Hong Kong.

It’s not just in acting. A black American can lose out on corporate and teaching jobs for not being white. Teachers are especially hired on how they look more than how well they can teach.

That’s all very normal in Hong Kong. The weird part was that they wanted all of us to read tongue twisters instead of lines. I guess they want an English speaker who sounds like Henry Higgins. That’s good news for me since I can do most of them – except “the sixth sick sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick”. I practiced “she sells sea shells by the sea shore” a lot when I was a child. Peter Piper and the imaginary menagerie are just naturally easy.

It was still pretty weird to see all of these actors reciting tongue twisters instead of reading lines. I don’t know how that tells anyone about whether or not we can act. It’s like they were only testing us to see if we could speak English – according to their definition. A bunch of white Australians, Canadians and Americans probably know their native language.

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