WHAT’S IN MY BAG?
Oh, I'll tell you.
Well. It’s better to be safe than sorry. I’d rather have more than I need than desperate to find a last minute fix.
So an actor audition bag can mean multiple things. For me this is what I bring with me to the actual audition. It’s typically everything you usually bring, just maybe a few more things you didn’t really think about?
I usually carry my tote or some form of open bag. That way, if you need or don't need a headshot, you can get it out/put it away easily without making it a huge deal.
I wonder why I need those? Sides. Clearly. I typically keep them in my notebook that I did my preparation in.
Wallet! With things in it!
You need that. 9/10 you’re going to need your state issued I.D. to get onto the lot. They don’t just let randoms walk on. You would think your headshot would suffice, but no. I always try to street park but some locations (especially commercial appointments) tend to be in “the city” so neighborhood parking isn’t really ideal. Some meters don’t take cards and only coins. Have enough coins for at least an hour, just to be safe. Fact— Amex charge card (not credit) does NOT work at meters. It took me like 3 tries to figure that one out. Oh! I also keep Safety pins inside my wallet, because I'm unravelling on the inside... HA. Kidding. There's no telling if a blouse button is going to pop off.
In my everyday bag, I have most of these, but when I’m auditioning, I bring out the big guns. I have to be prepared for every and ANY situation. Makeup MacGyver. I always bring my brushes, powder, concealer, and I actually am the girl that brings her shadow palette, brow pencils, contour/highlight/blush and a few lip colors. I usually skip bringing my foundation and use my concealer for touchups. Oh, and lash glue! Look. You probably think I’m crazy, but if you want to walk across the Universal lot in August without much to touch up with other than powder and lips… you do you! :*
Unforeseen beauty things that I have found useful…
Small hair serum, small hair spray, small dry shampoo, ponytail holder, assorted hair clips, bobby pins (you might be asked to pull your hair back or up), comb/brush. I have this in a separate bag than my makeup, because obviously not everything fits.
Highlighter, pen and pencil.
There might be last minutes changes to your sides, so it’s always great to have your favorite tools at hand to make your audition easier. Also, someone might need to borrow them… and it’s not a lesson to teach them that they need to be prepared, but they might have been called in for a same day audition and just left their day job to come audition, (as may have you!) and they would love a pencil (they didn’t happen to have in their purse because they didn’t have a chance to really prep) to use to mark up their sides. That kind gesture will go a lot further than anything else. They’ll remember that you were kind to them when they first started, and then they’ll pay it forward to the next person who they see is just starting out. Let’s just spread the love, right? It’s not a competition. There’s room for all of us! Also… have a pen or pencil that you're okay parting with. Sometimes people who borrow things conveniently forget and you’ll never see your Uniball pen again. I’M NOT ANGRY.
Snack and a water.
Just L.A. traffic in general makes me pop a Kind bar or an apple in my bag no matter what. Sometimes your audition runs behind. I usually keep one of those or some almonds with me and a bottle of water to calm my nerves. I still get nervous when I audition!
Oh my gosh. I suggest flats over flip flops any day, but that’s just me. To me, flip flops are running to the beach, the pool or maybe pilates if you’re not doing anything else after. Plus, if it’s hot out, your foot will slide all over the place if you’re walking quickly across the lot to get where you need to go and then your feet are sweaty, and then you're wobbly in the heels. Just. No. These are great for your trailer! More on my on-set bag later! :D ** I also try to keep my heels or flats in a shoe bag, so I don't get the inside of my beautiful bag dirty.
Other things you might find helpful:
Flosser picks! “Hey, that almond snack you ate in the car got caught in your toof.” A small pack or a handful of tissues/napkins (emotions, watery eyes, sweat walking across the lot), mints/lysterine strips (bye coffee breath), I do NOT suggest gum. It just gets weird when you get called to come in suddenly (say they're going by call time and not order of sign in) and you need to spit it out... it's just, don't. Hand sanitizer, for the person who doesn't have a place to spit their gum out and they touched the pen to sign in with. *GRASSSSSSS* Deodorant (if it’s really hot out and that’s a concern), shout wipe (God forbid you spill coffee on your blouse, La La Land anyone? You know it happens!). Midol/tylenol, hand cream. You know. To make yourself feel nice.
Bring a few business cards!
Hey, chances are, that actor or actress sitting next to you is involved in the business in another way other than in front of the camera. If there is the chance to network and it’s appropriate and organically comes up, do it. They might be a makeup artist (like your's truly), a photographer, in an amazing writer’s program, or have a boyfriend who is in the director’s program at AFI, a server, or a casting assistant, the manager of a workout studio who might need a receptionist or new instructor and you’re a personal trainer, too! Like. It just helps. Again. I’ve learned the hard way. I wish I had my card on me a lot more times than not.
Adorable sunnies that don't have a nose bridge thingy!
I hate it when my nose gets red and marked up from my glasses. I tend to wear these in the car and walking into the audition, then go and touch up with my bag'o'tricks in the bathroom before I sign in. Plus, these make me look and feel like a movie star. So it's a win-win!
More other things:
Know your agent's phone number! It's likely on your resume or in your phone, but sometimes on sign in sheets they will ask for it, so have it just in case!
Lady products, just in case (do I really need to take a picture of that?) Hey, remember in SATC and Carrie couldn’t get a table then maitre’d needed help… and suddenly a table magically opened? Another actress might need to borrow something. If you were in a pickle wouldn’t you wish someone to help you out? We’ve all been there!
I always have an umbrella in my car and one inside the house. That way, if it magically starts raining the morning of my audition, I have an umbrella already to get into my car and not worry about my hair. Unless it’s actually raining, I don’t bring it with me.
And then, put everything away in your carry-on and roll it on the lot! KIDDING. I know, it does sound like I’m packing for a 3-day getaway, but I’m not. I just like being prepared!
These are just things that I bring with me to give me a little sense of security, knowing that for whatever comes my way, I am wholly prepared. And guess what, there might be someone sitting next to you who isn’t as prepared as you, and they’ll see you be so prepared, and maybe you’ll inspire them, and they’ll inspire the next person, ya know?
Anyway. I hope this helps for your auditions!!! And I mean, pick and choose obviously what you need, but I've just had people ask me what I bring with me.
HEY. HAPPY PILOT SEASON.
And I just realized-- I'm a Certified Bag Lady.
K, love you, bye.