At 3pm on Tuesday, went to pick up the camera and tripod and FedEx the documents to SAG.
At 5.30pm we went to the Marriott to set up the room.
From 6pm to 8.30pm we had numerous people come in and read for us.
The first thing I learnt was that headshots do not tell you much about whether a person would fit a character or not. There was at least one person that I was so sure would be a fit for one character based on their headshot but ended up being a much better fit for a completely different character once I saw their facial expressions.
Second thing I learnt was that actors will read any given line so differently from each other that it doesn't even seem like the same line.
We got some excellent performances. Actors deliver lines so much better than non-actors. It was really amazing to see. And our SAG member - he had such a presence that when he walked in the room, I felt like I was meeting someone famous (super nice guy, though!)
During the audition, we ordered some food and when the waitress walked in, I was speechless because she looked exactly like what I imagined the female character would look like. So I got James to go ask her to audition. She couldn't then and there and we didn't really want to risk losing our first choice from the auditions and take a chance on someone who'd never acted. I think if we were more experienced at directing actors, we might have given it a go. I still want to give her the opportunity to be involved in the film, though, as she seemed excited about the whole thing.
But the actress we chose for the principal female role was a great actress, even though she didn't have the look we were initially thinking, so I think we made the right choice. If the waitress had turned out to be an actor, it would have been a cool "discovery" story, though.
So, basically, we have our three choices for the principal characters now. Two have verbally accepted, just waiting on the third.
Tomorrow I have to check with SAG whether I can get the agreement I need with them.