Auditions are fun. It’s like being a kid during holiday time again when make-believe is a regular part of the backyard activities. You’re enjoying yourself so much that, before you know it, it’s time to go home.
Today was casting time for Sexy Weather Girl in our new season of Gua Centre. My boss has approved a program format that I’ve proposed and essentially, it makes the show more concise, more dynamic in the editing and graphics, and a lot more sexier. The latter is where our new Sexy Weather Girl character comes into it. She’s supposed to be the temptress that wreaks havoc on the performances of our resident newsreaders Harry Ho (played by Hansen Lee) and Kuih Lopez (played by Razif Hashim) by being this sexy tease who loves to lead the guys on.
Anyway, I had auditioned Davina Goh the week before and she was good but a little self-conscious. This week, I personally invited Chelsia Ng (she acted in my previous drama series Kerana Karina), Belinda Chee (current 8TV Quickie co-host) and Sarah Lian, a fresh newcomer to TV, having just got back from the US.
I’m a big believer in sending the full scripts at least a day before and assigning a time for each to come in separately. I even included some notes on how they were to be like (‘imagine Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct‘) and what I wanted to see.
As fate would have it, facilities once again botched the timing of the show and we had to wait a good hour before they brought in lights. But the auditions went through like a breeze.
The girls were professional and easy to direct – what with everything being so straightforward. Yet the role was a little sexier than what they were used to, I guess, and I made lots of jokes as we went through 4-6 takes for each, with little additions and improvements along the way. I even played classic trumpet-only striptease music in their earpiece to set the mood.
Auditions really require a knack for coaching people, with positive reinforcement needed at the right moments and careful analysis a must throughout. It’s important to get all of them at ease from the moment they enter the make-up room right till they’re in front of camera. Actors may only get one shot to prove their worth and nerves won’t help them or the producer make the right call.
Yes, it was a tough call in the end but I feel Sarah Lian nailed it with her naturally husky voice and voluptuous figure. Plus she felt at ease in the role and even wore a summer dress to look the part. Once I composited her unto a beach setting later that evening I just wished I were there too!
Anyway, despite great talents to compete with Sarah had ‘it’. Plenty of times producers see it, sense it or exploit rehearsal techniques to bring it out. And then 12 years (for me at least) of experience provides a hunch that I simply will not ignore. She got offered the role straight away.
Casting plays a huge role in the success of a program and I’m glad to wrap this role up in a day. With Hansen and Razif, Sarah could complete a great new comedy lineup on Gua TV. The first episode will go to air on April 1st.