Friday, May 20, 2011

Skit Spotlight: "The Audition"

Every so often I'll be highlighting a particular skit from my site, when I feel like it's the right time. Today we are looking at the skit titled "The Audition." Wanting to cross over into secular entertainment, a Christian actor tries out for the role of an action hero in a major motion picture. Torn between his standards and the desire to get the role, the aspiring "new Eastwood" finds that being a crossover artist puts him on the wrong side of the fence. Lasting about 10 minutes, and using three people (with one offstage on a mic), this skit is easy to do, and is a powerful witness about the price of compromise.

After being put through his paces in several types of situations to see how the actor can handle them, each one comically depicting typical Hollywood tropes, the hopeful actor stumbles when he is required to read profanity from the script in one dramatic scene. He protests, and draws the ire of the producer conducting the audition. Here is an excerpt from that scene:

Jake: To be honest, Mr. O'Neal, I'm... uncomfortable with some of the language in it. I thought that I could just substitute something less offensive and still get the meaning across.

Producer: The swearing has to stay, to make the scene work. Your character isn't a Boy Scout, he's a seasoned field agent. Now read it again, with the lines done right.

Jake: (Reluctantly, he starts again.) "Hold it right there, Brock. What's this... what's this..."
(He stops and lowers the script.)

Producer: What's the problem, Jake?

Jake: I'm sorry, I just can't do the lines with all the cursing in it. I don't use that kind of language in my life, and I can't bring myself to do it on camera with everyone watching. If I play a hero, the kids watching will imitate me, and I don't want to be responsible for that.

(Irwin has lowered his script in amazement as he hears this.)

Producer: (After a moment's silence.) You're... you're kidding me, right? (Laughs.) Yeah, you're kidding, showing me you can do comedy! (Chuckles.) That's funny stuff. But this scene isn't supposed to be funny. Now let's try again. Really let loose on him and show him you mean business!

Jake: I do mean business, Mr. O'Neal. I'd prefer not to do it with the swearing and blasphemy.

Producer: (Unbelieving.) This guy sounds serious. Is he serious, Irwin?

Irwin: (Turning toward the light.) I think he is, Mr. O'Neal.

Producer: I don't believe this. What are you, a Ward Cleaver or something? This audition ain't for a Superman movie, it's for Lone Wolf. He's tough, a man's man.

Jake: I have no objections against playing a tough man. One of the toughest men ever portrayed in the movies was done without saying a single dirty word. Remember Jesus in his recent record-breaking movie?

Producer: Jesus? (It dawns on him.) You're a Christian.

Jake: Yes, sir, I am.

Producer: (Under his breath.) Mohammad on a Moped! Why don't they screen these people better than this? (To Jake.) Look, kid, you got the look for a leading man in Hollywood. You carry yourself well and you could go far with the right contacts. But all the contacts in the world won't help, if you won't take a role just because you have some personal moral objection to it. You might as well forget about making it in this town with that attitude.

Jake: So you're telling me there are no movie producers with morality? You have personal morals, don't you?
(Irwin makes a sarcastic "p-h-h-t-t-t" sound through his lips as if amused.)

Producer: (Sharply.) Yes, Mr. Do-Right, I have morals, they just happen to be different from yours.

Irwin: (Snickers under his breath.) You can say that again.

Producer: (Darkly.) I heard that, Irwin.

Jake: Besides, Mr. O'Neal, it's not just the language. I was having trouble with the violence and sexual promiscuity the hero, so-called, endorses by his lifestyle. I can't go against my convictions.

Producer: Mr. Sheldon, thanks for...

Jake: Shelby.

Producer: Yeah, whatever. Thanks for coming to the audition. We'll look at your tape, and if the director thinks you have potential, you'll get a call-back. But personally, I wouldn't lose any sleep waiting for one. Thank you. Good day. Irwin, bring on the next one.

Jake: Now just a second. Let me get this straight... you're dismissing me just because I'm not a foul-mouthed, unprincipled heathen like most of the other actors around here? What about talent? Doesn't it count for anything any more?

(End of the excerpt.) By the end of the skit, Jake realizes his calling lies in a different direction, but one that can still use his talents. As he leaves, confident in his decision, the stage hand follows after him, wanting to know more about a life that can be led with integrity and such joy. The producer, left alone, goes into a fit which triggers a heart palpitation. The skit ends with him calling for help, but there is no-one around to hear him.

There is a soundtrack CD to go with it to supply the many sound effects needed, and will make it much funnier and effective. Preview it on the script page, or just click here.

Your actors and audience will enjoy this skit, which can be done with the script in hand, as this is written into the scene, as part of the audition. So go here to read and print out the entire free script right now!

Here is one testimonial email from a person that used it:

We performed "The Audition" on May 1st, at our Awana Awards Banquet at the Cornerstone Community Church in Auburn, CA.

Thank you so much for putting your site together and offering scripts with a powerful message. "The Audition" was incredible. I am no actor, yet even I was able to prepare and deliver the lines because most lines had cues from other actors. Very easy to perform!

Thanks again and God bless you.

-Bill Harben
Awana Commander
Cornerstone Community Church
Auburn, CA.

1 comment:

  1. AnonymousMay 20, 2011

    The Good Shepherd Christian Academy is doing "The Audition".

    This is an excellent site! I love the way you have taken modern Christian issues and placed them in a real context that is also fun and entertaining. I look forward to seeing the feedback I get on this sketch! I am always looking around for good sketches to use with students or church youth groups, and you have some excellent material here. Thanks!

    -Joseph Knapp