Casting Call - The Decameron *DEADLINE UPCOMING*

Working Title: The Decameron

Artist: Eva George Richardson McCrea

Application Deadline: 28th January (midnight)

Project Description: The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio is the starting point of this work. Set in 14th century Florence, the book is about ten young people who travel to a villa outside the city to escape the Black Plague. Over the course of 10 days and nights they tell 100 stories to pass the time. This new video work relocates the frame story of Giovanni Boccaccio’s The Decameron to new developer-led housing typologies. Aimed at young, educated and affluent workers these housing models blur the distinction between leisure and work and recast the home as a space of networking opportunity and capital production. In these new housing typologies personal space is exchanged for convenience, amenities and like minded individuals. They are models which seeks to normalise housing crises’ ‘in an age of loneliness’, by redefining the concept of home and living. The ideal home was previously imagined as private, long term, secure, and a reprieve from work; these new models of living redefine the concepts of living and the home - here living becomes a service that is provided, and the concept of a stable home is replaced by home as a subscription service. In The Decameron the characters play roles, adopt different identities and continually create and recreate themselves. The work will employ Character Based Improvisation (CBI) in the development of the 10 characters, who ‘live, work and play together’ in a collective living environment. A 5-Day CBI workshop will be held by Rob Marchand (http://www.cbiactorworkshops.com/about_robert_marchand/ ) in March 2024. This is an experimental work that engages with the conventions of drama, performance, theatre, film and narrative.

Roles: 10 Performers

Application Details

Application Requirements: CV + Self Tape (Please see Self Taping notes below)

Application Deadline: 28th January (midnight)

Send to: thedecameron2024@gmail.com

Time Commitment: 14 Days (estimation, may vary slightly)

5 Day Character Based Improvisation (CBI) Workshop with Rob Marchand

5 Day Rehearsal

4 Day Shoot

Compensation: €100 per day for CBI workshop days, €200 per day for rehearsal and shoot days

Dates & Location:

Audition Dates: Friday 16th and Saturday 17th February 2024

Location: Project Arts Centre, No.39 East Essex Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2

CBI Workshop Dates: March 4th - 8th 2024

Location: TBC

Rehearsal Dates: March 25th - 29th

Location: TBC

Shoot Dates: April 2024, Dates TBC

Location: TBC

Accessibility

We are committed to accessibility and want to make sure that this opportunity is accessible to all artists. Applicants with access requirements are warmly invited to email Rachel Botha at gallery@projectartscentre.ie to let us know of any access requirements you may have, in order to reduce any barriers in making your application.

The auditions will be held at the Project Arts Centre, it is an accessible space that has an accessible bathroom, if preferred auditions can be held online. If you have further access needs for the auditions we are more than happy to accommodate, for example you need: an ISL translator, live captions, a taxi to the auditions organised, time flexibility or a quiet space


DECAMERON PROJECT SELF-TAPING NOTES | Character A: Phoebe

We’d like you to audition for the character of Phoebe by recording a self-tape that is an improvised scene. There are character notes below and a suggestion for a scenario to play with. We will be using the Character-based Improvisation Process (CBI) to construct the final work. The focus is on character, building out from individuals to relationships to investigate the co-living experience.

The character: Phoebe (late 20’s, Uni educated, works in HR in big tech company)

A classic ‘eldest child’ she attempts to manage everything. Works in HR in a large tech firm and thinks she really has ‘a feel for people’ and ‘understands them’. Her desire to micro-manage situations stems from an intense need for control over situations and others. She loves to give advice, especially when it isn’t asked for. She believes in meritocracy and some warped notion of the American Dream. People have problems because they’ve created the problems; haven’t worked hard enough, worked on themselves enough, don’t have enough aspiration. She can’t see structural inequality, only personal failure. She has the tone of the floor manager of that restaurant you used to work at. Smiling and sickly sweet while writing you up a written warning for being late three times that month.

Actor: please think of a real person you have met and spoken with, perhaps worked alongside or was a friend of a friend, with the following characteristics:

A natural authority figure (in her own mind); micro manager; controlling; polite; appears kind; verbally manipulative; kill through kindness; scolds with a smile; is always being ‘reasonable’, ruthless when necessary; not good at dealing with other people’s emotions.

This person can be used as a ‘base’ for your characterisation of Phoebe. (Sometimes physical aspects are useful for determining behaviour.)

Requirements for the scenario:

Before you start the scenario, record yourself – out of character – directly to camera, saying your name and age and name of the character you are about to play.

It’s important that you have a scene-partner – we won’t know the potential of your Phoebe if it’s done as a monologue. It’s also important that you establish with your scene partner (before going into character) how Phoebe knows this other person and a simple sketch of their history. Finally, please do not rehearse this scenario and turn it into a scene! Your immediate in-the-moment impulses as Peggy are priceless and give you the artist full rein of creative expression!

In terms of acting style, naturalistic, lived-reality is the benchmark: the character doesn’t need to be ‘performed’ and nor should you feel there’s a need to create drama within the scenario: we are looking for a snapshot of the character at a certain moment in time – as you see her.

An improvised scenario for self-taping:

Here’s a situation we’d like you to put Phoebe in:

She’s in a café alone, perhaps giving herself some chill time - on a break from work, perhaps. She’s feeling that things in her life right now are pretty much as she would like them to be: she’s in early conversations about a raise in pay at work (she’s office-based, possibly HR if you know something about it); she’s got an on-and-off-again lover who is away at the moment. You decide what she’s thinking and feeling.

A friend or acquaintance that Phoebe hasn’t seen for at least a year comes by, and stops to chat. The acquaintance (gender doesn’t matter) is friendly, open, asks questions. There should not be any pre-ordained dialogue or shape to the conversation and it’s important that the acquaintance has things to say about themselves (experiences, successes etc) that Phoebe had no idea about. Equally the acquaintance might not react as expected to anything Phoebe says herself, he or she could have a very different, unexpected, take on things.

The scenario does not have to have a defined end: when you think there’s enough of Phoebe (and enough variety of moods and behaviours) on tape, simply stop.

Embellishments; the acquaintance might have worked in the same office as Phoebe – she knows that she got the acquaintance fired (this is never discussed with the scene partner) but does the acquaintance know? Similarly it can be a meeting between ex-lovers. Or any other relationship history you think might be interesting to explore for Phoebe.

It’s valuable if in the course of the scenario, Phoebe’s mood is seen to change. You decide why.

DECAMERON PROJECT SELF-TAPING NOTES | Character B: Frankie

We’d like you to audition for the character of Frankie by recording a self-tape of a scenario that you improvise (with an off-screen scene partner. There are character notes below and a suggestion for a scenario to use as a basis. We will be using the Character-based Improvisation Process (CBI) to construct the final work. The focus is on character, building out from individuals to relationships to investigate the co-living experience.

The character: Frankie (mid 20’s, arts degree – possibly unfinished, works in media)

A loud extroverted 2020’s feminist who works in media - podcasts and peripheral online sites, etc. that kind of thing. Podcasts where they discuss feminism and body positivity - but only a normative white feminist kind. Discussions about waxing, period mishaps and cringy Bumble dates but absolutely no sense of class politics. Is considering a career move into business coaching, giving life and business alignment advice to young female entrepreneurs. She’s generationally wealthy but Mum and Dad said she has to work for her own money, but it’s all a bit of a game because when Granny and Grandad die there’s a house there in her name.

Actor: please think of a real person you have met and spoken with, perhaps worked alongside or was a friend of a friend, with the following characteristics:

Assertive; independent; extroverted; insensitive; competitive; jealous, but hides it;

This person can be used as a ‘base’ for your characterisation of Frankie. (Sometimes physical aspects are useful for determining behaviour.)

Requirements for the scenario:

Before you start the scenario, record yourself – out of character – directly to camera, saying your name and age and name of the character you are about to play.

It’s important that you have a scene-partner – we won’t know the potential of your Frankie if it’s done as a monologue. It’s also important that you establish with your scene partner (before going into character) how Frankie knows this other person and a simple sketch of their history. Finally, please do not rehearse this scenario and turn it into a scene! Your immediate in-the-moment impulses as Frankie are priceless and give you the artist full rein of creative expression!

In terms of acting style, naturalistic, lived-reality is the benchmark: the character doesn’t need to be ‘performed’ and nor should you feel there’s a need to create drama within the scenario: we are looking for a snapshot of the character at a certain moment in time – as you see her.

An improvised scenario for self-taping:

Here’s a situation we’d like you to put Frankie in: she’s in a café alone, giving herself some chill time, on a break from work, perhaps. She’s feeling that things in her life right now are pretty much as she would like them to be: she’s in early conversations about a raise in pay at work; she’s got an on-and-off-again lover who is away at the moment. You decide what she’s thinking and feeling.

A friend or acquaintance that Frankie hasn’t seen for at least a year comes by, and stops to chat. The acquaintance (gender doesn’t matter) is friendly, open, asks questions. There shouldn’t be any pre-ordained dialogue or shape to the conversation and it’s important that the acquaintance has things to say about themselves (experiences, successes etc) that Frankie had no idea about. The acquaintance might have a position on issues – personal, political or social – that Frankie doesn’t necessarily agree with. Equally the acquaintance might not react as expected to anything Frankie says herself, he or she could have a very different, unexpected, take on things.

The scenario does not have to have a defined end: when you think there’s enough of Frankie (and enough variety of moods and behaviours) on tape, simply stop.

Embellishments; the acquaintance might have once been in the same social group as Frankie, causing Frankie to be competitive – but now the acquaintance is seen as no longer a threat. You decide how and why – and it does not need to be discussed openly (avoid exposition please).

It’s valuable if in the course of the scenario, Frankie’s mood is seen to change. You decide why.




DECAMERON PROJECT SELF-TAPING NOTES | Character C: Finn

We’d like you to audition for the character of Finn by recording a self-tape of a scenario that you improvise (with an off-screen scene partner). There are character notes below and a suggestion for a scenario to use as a basis. We will be using the Character-based Improvisation Process (CBI) to construct the final work. The focus is on character, building out from individuals to relationships to investigate the co-living experience.

The character: Finn (mid 20’s, Uni educated, works freelance in web design)

Upon first impressions Finn is really quite charming, presenting a dry cynicism that can make people laugh - but then you realise someone is usually the butt of the joke. His ultimate aim is to avoid he himself becoming the butt of the joke or the outcast of the group. He can be friendly and thoughtful but these attributes are more a performance of his own ego as the ‘needed friend’ than any sense of actual empathy. He's likely to be too self aware to fully let it show, but he's a bit of an Incel, the result of humiliating experiences with past girlfriends. He has a tendency to become clingy and possessive. Has a misanthropic outlook. Vaguely aware he might have hit rock bottom; he's the kind to get himself an online therapist. He started working in freelance web design and moved into the co-living in order to have a fresh start and meet new people. Probably calls his Mum every week and already fancies two of the people in the group.

Actor: please think of a real person you have met and spoken with, perhaps worked alongside or was a friend of a friend, with the following characteristics:

Angry; hurt; resentful; cynical; lonely; capable of charm; manipulative; dark sense of humour; will do you a favour - but not out of kindness, more to feed his own ego

This person can be used as a ‘base’ for your characterisation of Finn. (Sometimes physical aspects are useful for determining behaviour.)

Requirements for the scenario:

Before you start the scenario, record yourself – out of character – directly to camera, saying your name and age and name of the character you are about to play.

It’s important that you have a scene-partner – we won’t know the potential of your Finn if it’s done as a monologue. It’s also important that you establish with your scene partner (before going into character) how Finn knows this other person and a simple sketch of their history. Finally, please do not rehearse this scenario and turn it into a scene! Your immediate in-the-moment impulses as Francis are priceless and give you the artist full rein of creative expression!

In terms of acting style, naturalistic, lived-reality is the benchmark: the character doesn’t need to be ‘performed’ and nor should you feel there’s a need to create drama within the scenario: we are looking for a snapshot of the character at a certain moment in time – as you see him.

An improvised scenario for self-taping:

Here’s a situation we’d like you to put Finn in: he’s in a café alone, perhaps reflecting that he’s often alone and perhaps also looking at other (imaginary) people at other tables, couples mainly. You decide what he’s thinking and feeling.

The waitress (or waiter, depending on the scene partner available to you) comes over. Female scene partner version:

The waitress (let’s call her Sarah) must’ve been out the back when Finn came in – he hasn’t spotted her till now. But they know each other. They dated ever so briefly about a year ago – invent a scenario for Finn’s’ memory: three or four encounters, some really awkward sex, feelings of embarrassment and self-hatred on his part, something he may have disguised. It ended because she moved to Manchester for Uni or a job. Sarah stops by to chat. She is friendly, open, asks questions.

There shouldn’t be any pre-ordained dialogue or shape to the conversation (avoid exposition please) and it’s important that Sarah has things to say about herself (experiences, especially successes, etc) that Finn had no idea about. Sarah is clearly on an upward trajectory career-wise. Important that Sarah can have an independent, objective view about anything Finn says, she might not react as expected to anything Finn says - she could have a very different, unexpected, take on things.

Male scene partner version: Walter stops by to chat. He is friendly, open, asks questions. He was Francis’ boss two years ago: Francis always thought he was manipulated into resigning.


There shouldn’t be any pre-ordained dialogue or shape to the conversation (avoid exposition please) and it’s important that Walter has things to say about himself (experiences, especially successes, etc) that Francis had no idea about. Walter is clearly on an upward trajectory career-wise. Important that Walter can have an independent, objective view about anything Francis says might not react as expected to anything Francis says, he could have a very different, unexpected, take on things.

It’s significant that in the course of the scenario Finn’s mood is seen to change. You decide why.

The scenario does not have to have a defined end: when you think there’s enough of Finn (and enough variety of moods and behaviours) on tape, simply stop.

DECAMERON PROJECT SELF-TAPING NOTES | Character D: Nicole

We’d like you to audition for the character of Nicole by recording a self-tape of a scenario that you improvise (with an off-screen scene partner. There are character notes below and a suggestion for a scenario to use as a basis. We will be using the Character-based Improvisation Process (CBI) to construct the final work. The focus is on character, building out from individuals to relationships to investigate the co-living experience.

The character: Nicole (mid 20’s, uni educated, works in digital marketing)

An only child from a comfortable middle class background, things have always been somewhat easy so she doesn’t see the need to ‘rock the boat’ - but bubbling under her surface there’s a lot of anger and anxiety that she works hard to conceal. She’s often on edge, in a state of anticipating attack that her therapist links to her Mum’s aggressive behaviour towards her as a child. In group scenarios she comes across cagey and reserved. She’s often quiet in group scenarios but her eyes continually assess everyone and everything. She follows the conversations and in her head prepares potential retorts in case she’s caught off guard and asked to intervene. But unless provoked she remains quiet, body tense, scanning every situation. She finds these co-living spaces make too many demands on her privacy. Wants never to be put on the spot or obliged to make a choice, especially if it involves others and/or opposing groups: likely to react to this with indiscriminate verbal sprays – then vanish. Other people annoy her. As the only child of two only children, she never quite got to grips with interpersonal relationships and socialisation.

Actor: please think of a real person you have met and spoken with, perhaps worked alongside or was a friend of a friend, with the following characteristics:

Cagey; defensive; sensitive; unpredictable;

This person can be used as a ‘base’ for your characterisation of Nicole. (Sometimes physical aspects are useful for determining behaviour.)

Requirements for the scenario:

Before you start the scenario, record yourself – out of character – directly to camera, saying your name and age and name of the character you are about to play.

It’s important that you have a scene-partner – we won’t know the potential of your Nicole if it’s done as a monologue. It’s also important that you establish with your scene partner (before going into character) how Nicole knows this other person and a simple sketch of their history. (This is so that you do not need to dwell on it at the start of your improvisation.) Finally, please do not rehearse this scenario and turn it into a scene! Your immediate in-the-moment impulses as Nicole are priceless and give you the artist full rein of creative expression!

In terms of acting style, naturalistic, lived-reality is the benchmark: the character doesn’t need to be ‘performed’ and nor should you feel there’s a need to create drama within the scenario: we are looking for a snapshot of the character at a certain moment in time – as you see her.

An improvised scenario for self-taping:

Here’s a situation we’d like you to put Nicole in: she’s in a café alone, giving herself some chill time, on a break from work, perhaps. She’s feeling that things in her life right now are pretty much as she would like them to be: she’s in the middle of a group project at work and she’s been able to coast, let others do the heavy lifting; she might have an on-and-off-again lover who is away at the moment. You decide what she’s thinking and feeling.

A friend or acquaintance that Nicole hasn’t seen for at least a year comes by, and stops to chat. The acquaintance (gender doesn’t matter) is friendly, open, asks questions.This acquaintance may have worked with Nicole in an office situation previously and knows that Nicole slacked off on a project, but didn’t say anything at the time.

There shouldn’t be any pre-ordained dialogue or shape to the conversation and it’s important that the acquaintance has things to say about themselves (experiences, successes etc) that Nicole had no idea about. The acquaintance might have a position on issues – personal, political or social – that Nicole doesn’t necessarily agree with. Equally the acquaintance might not react as expected to anything Nicole says herself, he or she could have a very different, unexpected, take on things.

It’s significant that in the course of the scenario, Nicole’s mood is seen to change. You decide why.

The scenario does not have to have a defined end: when you think there’s enough of Nicole (and enough variety of moods and behaviours) on tape, simply stop.

DECAMERON PROJECT SELF-TAPING NOTES | Character E: Dion

We’d like you to audition for the character of Dion by recording a self-tape of a scenario that you improvise (with an off-screen scene partner). There are character notes below and a suggestion for a scenario to use as a basis. We will be using the Character-based Improvisation Process (CBI) to construct the final work. The focus is on character, building out from individuals to relationships to investigate the co-living experience.

The character: DION (mid 20’s, uni educated, works in advertising)

Works in advertising for Diageo; gregarious and extrovert, socially at ease: he attracts people, men as well as women because he's fun to be around. Always manages to avoid taking responsibility when he does something wrong. Gives the impression of a verrryyy conscientious man, only too aware of the vocabulary of male privilege and toxic masculinity. He doesn’t want a steady monogamous relationship, preferring the freedom of polyamory, on his terms only. Skips away from commitment, gaslights people into thinking they’re being unreasonable. Can theorise himself out of any situation or any act of bad behaviour. Changes sides of an argument based on what he deems to be the ‘popular position.’ He actually doesn’t have that much to say but likes being the centre of attention and ‘popular’. Will undermine others surreptitiously, especially if they have authority.

Actor: please think of a real person you have met and spoken with, perhaps worked alongside or was a friend of a friend, with the following characteristics:

Gregarious, extrovert, chatty, loves his own voice, avoids commitment, gaslights people, little or no depth, changes sides easily, behind the bluster, a viper.

This person can be used as a ‘base’ for your characterisation of Dion. (Sometimes physical aspects are useful for determining behaviour.)

Requirements for the scenario:

Before you start the scenario, record yourself – out of character – directly to camera, saying your name and age and name of the character you are about to play.

It’s important that you have a scene-partner – we won’t know the potential of your Dion if it’s done as a monologue. It’s also important that you establish with your scene partner (before going into character) how Dion knows this other person and a simple sketch of their history. Finally, please do not rehearse this scenario and turn it into a scene! Your immediate in-the-moment impulses as Dion are priceless and give you the artist full rein of creative expression!

In terms of acting style, naturalistic, lived-reality is the benchmark: the character doesn’t need to be ‘performed’ and nor should you feel there’s a need to create drama within the scenario: we are looking for a snapshot of the character at a certain moment in time – as you see him.

An improvised scenario for self-taping:

Here’s a situation we’d like you to put Dion in: he’s in a café alone, a rare thing for him.

He’s had some kind of success in the office, besting a rival. You decide what he’s thinking and feeling.

A friend or acquaintance that Dion hasn’t seen for at least a year comes by, and stops to chat. (Don’t linger on the coincidence of running into each other again and avoid exposition.) The acquaintance (gender doesn’t matter) is friendly, open, asks questions.

There shouldn’t be any pre-ordained dialogue or shape to the conversation and it’s important that the acquaintance has things to say about themselves (experiences, successes etc) that Dion had no idea about. Equally the acquaintance might not react as expected to anything Dion says himself, he or she could have a very different, unexpected, take on things.

Embellishments; the acquaintance might have worked in the same office as Dion – he knows that he got the acquaintance fired (this is never discussed with the scene partner) but does the acquaintance know? In any case, the acquaintance is now better off in every way.

It’s significant that in the course of the scenario Dion’s mood is seen to change. You decide why.

The scenario does not have to have a defined end: when you think there’s enough of Dion (and enough variety of moods and behaviours) on tape, simply stop.

DECAMERON PROJECT SELF-TAPING NOTES | Character F: Emily

We’d like you to audition for the character of Emily by recording a self-tape of a scenario that you improvise (with an off-screen scene partner. There are character notes below and a suggestion for a scenario to use as a basis. We will be using the Character-based Improvisation Process (CBI) to construct the final work. The focus is on character, building out from individuals to relationships to investigate the co-living experience.

The character: EMILY (mid 20’s, Uni educated, social media management)

Friendly, but not really there. In conversations with others she doesn’t seem to be listening. Doesn’t ask questions about how things are going, what’s going on in the other person’s life. When others talk about things in their lives her eyes glaze over and she starts absentmindedly twisting her ring, or even checking messages on her phone. Her conversation starts and ends with herself: she tends to talk about mad situations that really aren’t that interesting. Has little regard for actually connecting with anyone. It’s possible that her online friends are more important to her than people in the same room. She is a serial user of people under the guise of friendship, borrowing, has stayed in people’s spare rooms, generally outstaying her welcome. It bothers her to be perceived negatively. Any perceived criticism is responded to with ‘why are you trying to hurt my feelings.’ Minute situations are perceived as catastrophes. She has a well-paid job in social media management, she just doesn’t know where her life is going. She likes animals and invests energy into the injustices of commercial dog breeding. Apparently she is set to inherit a large house by the sea. She moved into the co-living with vague notions to travel around South East Asia in the not too distant future, though it’s unlikely to ever happen. She may be running out of friends.

Actor: please think of a real person you have met and spoken with, perhaps worked alongside or was a friend of a friend, with the following characteristics:

Self-obsessed, absent, entitled; unaware; judgemental

This person can be used as a ‘base’ for your characterisation of Emily. (Sometimes physical aspects are useful for determining behaviour.)

Requirements for the scenario:

Before you start the scenario, record yourself – out of character – directly to camera, saying your name and age and name of the character you are about to play.

It’s important that you have a scene-partner – we won’t know the potential of your Emily if it’s done as a monologue. It’s also important that you establish with your scene partner (before going into character) how Emily knows this other person and a simple sketch of their history. (This is so that you do not need to dwell on it at the start of your improvisation.) Finally, please do not rehearse this scenario and turn it into a scene! Your immediate in-the-moment impulses as Emily are priceless and give you the artist full rein of creative expression!

In terms of acting style, naturalistic, lived-reality is the benchmark: the character doesn’t need to be ‘performed’ and nor should you feel there’s a need to create drama within the scenario: we are looking for a snapshot of the character at a certain moment in time – as you see her.

An improvised scenario for self-taping:

Here’s a situation we’d like you to put Emily in: she’s in a café alone, giving herself some chilling time, on a break from work, perhaps. Her boss has been critical of her work – she didn’t actually say Emily’s work was sloppy but that’s the essence of it. You decide what she’s thinking and feeling.

An acquaintance that Emily hasn’t seen for at least a year comes by and stops to chat. The acquaintance (gender doesn’t matter) is friendly, asks questions, but has something on their mind. (The acquaintance shouldn’t be in a hurry to leave.) Emily isn’t sure if she’s made a bad impression on the acquaintance in some way. Does she want to find out or doesn’t she care?

There shouldn’t be any pre-ordained dialogue or shape to the conversation and it’s important that the acquaintance has things to say about themselves (experiences, successes perhaps, etc) that Emily had no idea about. The acquaintance might have a position on issues – personal, political or social – that Emily doesn’t necessarily agree with. Equally the acquaintance might not react as expected to anything Emily says herself, he or she could have a very different, unexpected, take on things.

It’s significant that in the course of the scenario, Emily’s mood is seen to change. You decide why.

The scenario does not have to have a defined end: when you think there’s enough of Emily (and enough variety of moods and behaviours) on tape, simply stop.

DECAMERON PROJECT SELF-TAPING NOTES | Character G: Elisa

We’d like you to audition for the character of Elisa by recording a self-tape of a scenario that you improvise (with an off-screen scene partner. There are character notes below and a suggestion for a scenario to use as a basis. We will be using the Character-based Improvisation Process (CBI) to construct the final work. The focus is on character, building out from individuals to relationships to investigate the co-living experience.

The character: ELISA (mid 20’s, uni education, works in payroll in family business)

When Elisa got fired from her fifth job in the space of a year her father caved in and put her in charge of payroll. It wasn’t that she was inept but after the fifth ‘personality clash’ her father got sick of hearing the stories and decided for the sake of everyone he would employ her in the family business in a non-person-facing role. Except for with Daddy, she really didn’t do authority. She had always felt overlooked, stuck in-between two other siblings in a busy household. Over the years tantrums turned to schoolyard fights and schoolyard fights into violent arguments as she continually plays out a dialectic of craving and repelling love and care. In every relationship - intimate or plutonic - she goes all in with passionate intensity. We are best friends, you are my soulmate, you are the worst friend, I hate you. When she receives a request - ‘would you mind throwing out that mouldy mash potato?’ - it is met with an acerbic response. Then ten minutes later after someone liked that picture her by the Eiffel Tower on instagram she is bouncing around the room and asking you if you like the colour she has recently dyed her hair.

Actor: please think of a real person you have met and spoken with, perhaps worked alongside or was a friend of a friend, with the following characteristics:

Passionate; Intense, Argumentative; prickly, insolent; turbulent, rapid changes of mood

This person can be used as a ‘base’ for your characterisation of Elisa. (Sometimes physical aspects are useful for determining behaviour.)

Requirements for the scenario:

Before you start the scenario, record yourself – out of character – directly to camera, saying your name and age and name of the character you are about to play.

It’s important that you have a scene-partner – we won’t know the potential of your Elisa if it’s done as a monologue. It’s also important that you establish with your scene partner (before going into character) how Elisa knows this other person and a simple sketch of their history. Finally, please do not rehearse this scenario and turn it into a scene! Your immediate in-the-moment impulses as Elisa are priceless and give you the artist full rein of creative expression!

In terms of acting style, naturalistic, lived-reality is the benchmark: the character doesn’t need to be ‘performed’ and nor should you feel there’s a need to create drama within the scenario: we are looking for a snapshot of the character at a certain moment in time – as you see her.

An improvised scenario for self-taping:

Here’s a situation we’d like you to put Elisa in: she’s in her office, between tasks, recently aware she’s made an error of some kind in her work. Another employee (gender doesn’t matter) stops by her desk and starts to chat. It might take a moment for Elisa to realise she is being chatted up. You decide whether she likes the person and how she responds.

There shouldn’t be any pre-ordained dialogue or shape to the conversation and it’s important that the employee has things to say about themselves (experiences, successes etc) that Elisa had no idea about. The acquaintance might have interests that Elisa doesn’t necessarily share. Equally the acquaintance might not react as expected to anything Elisa says herself, he or she could have a very different, unexpected, take on things.

It’s valuable if in the course of the scenario, Elisa’s mood is seen to change. You decide why.

The scenario does not have to have a defined end: when you think there’s enough of Elisa (and enough variety of moods and behaviours) on tape, simply stop.