So this is how I spent my last 24 hours. This week marks the end of the summer term at my school. I am planning a feature for my thesis project in the fall and am just starting auditions this Sunday. I wanted to hold auditions on campus since I was given access and permission by a department head. Well, you need five department heads to do anything like auditions or filming on campus. I spend three hours rounding them up Friday. In addition, I signed an agreement promising to satisfy my financially obligations with the school before the term began. Lastly, I was urged to forward my sides as soon as possible (which my casting director did by 2pm). It all seemed a bit extraneous but I was happy to comply because I understood that what I was requesting was unusual – well the timing was. I left school with a yes. I stay at school, did everything that was asked of me, was late for work – until the answer was yes.
I go to work till midnight. Find my phone in my car dead the next after noon. Back to work by 4pm. 7pm I get a call from “the powers that be” at school that my auditions have been shutdown. The reason: insurance, liability. lawyers. They have been trying to reach me since yesterday. I DID receive 14 voice mail messages and one page-long email dated from 3:46 PM today. Not one email or text message from Friday.
I am left with 18 hours to find a new audition space – at 7pm on a Saturday.
And I keep wondering how the yes could turn into a no, after the scrutiny of five separate department heads – including the chair. The only variable I can see from previous times I held auditions is that I sent my audition sides. My school has a policy of carte blanche regarding the content of the projects students pursue. And while I won’t comment on my own past experience with that policy, I have to confess that I find the timing of this reversal acutely suspicious.
I think my casting director put it best when he said, “Not only is that unprofessional, at this late hour, it’s just cruel.”
I won’t be shutdown before this project even begins. Please visit my Kickstarter page and learn about my project. It is a great project that will most certainly make a meaningful contribution to gay cinema. At minimum, help me send a message to institutions of higher learning that they should vigorously support their students in their artistic development, regardless of the subject matter.