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I hope this post finds everyone happy & healthy on this beautiful sunny boxing day.
So as always its almost the start of a new year, which also means the start of a new contract.
Back in August 2011, I auditioned for Universal Studios Japan. I have auditioned for this company in the past, once back in 2003 & in 2010. I always made it to the end of the audition and from there i was put on the final consideration list, however i had never secured a contract with Universal Studios Japan.
Until this year….
I received a phone call from the casting director of USJ one morning back in November. He offered me the position of a Super Swing Stunt A Performer. Which is pretty much the best positon in the park.
I play “Helen from the stunt show “Waterworld” and i play “Sarah Connor” from the “3D live Terminator show”. I also occasionally perform in the night parade.
The contract goes for 13 months from February 2012 to March 2013.
So What Does A Stunt Performer Do?
A Stunt Performer jumps off high towers, rides jet skis around, gets in lots of fights & sets themselves on fire!
Sounds like a fantastic way to spend the next year!
I was so excited when i heared the news, as i used to work at Tokyo Disneyland in Japan and absolutely loved living there!
Lots of people ask me what kind of things i have to do in auditions. So i decided to write about the USJ stunt audition and what goes on.
The Audition Process
The Universal Studios Japan casting team travel the world to look for the best performers. Some of the audition cities include:
Sydney, Gold Coast, Melbourne, London, Orlando, New York, Toronto, Las Vegas & Hollywood.
The 2011 Sydney stunt auditon had mainly guys & only a few girls. However in Melbourne in the previous year it was full of girls with only some guys.
It is a little intimmidating when you first walk in the audition room as there is a lot of Japanese officials dressed in business suits & there is a few Americans & some Aussies who run the audition. There is also people from the costume/wardrobe department there who measure up the succesfull candidates.
The audition consisted of lots of cardiovascular & strength work.
We stared off with some shuttle runs at maximum speed, performing a push up at each end – about 10 laps. Then it was straight into some push ups- all on feet X25. We then did some stunt rolls- shoulder rolls, dive rolls & some jumps/tricks off the mini tramp. Next was tumbling where we could perform one tumbling pass of our choice.
After the first component, most of the people auditioning were let go, with only 6 people remaining.
Next we we put into pairs.Since i was the only girl left, i was partnered with a guy. We then learnt a choreographed fight scene, which we had some time to practice, before performing in front of the audition panel.
After fighting came the acting where we had to learn a script with our partner & perfom for the panel. I found this part the most difficult as acting is not really my thing. I love performing but when i have to open my mouth in front of an audience is when the nerves come!
After the acting more people were let go. It was down to just 3 of us.
Next was pull ups- 15 for boys & 10 for girls. Usually i can do 8 pull ups on my own, but it must of been the adreneline or something because i managed to pump out 12 that day!
The 3 of us that were left had our photos taken & were measured up from head to toe. They like to measure us at the audition because then our costumes are already made when we arrive in Japan.
Next was the interview process which was a little bit scary. This is where they check if we are mentally ready & mature enough to live in another county without our family or friends for 13 months. Questions that are asked are things like “What challenges or obstacles have you dealt with in the past in your workplace?”, or “Why would you like to live in Japan?” I tried to answer the questions the best i could. The fact that i had already lived in Japan for 8 months back in 2006 made it a little easier to understand their culture & where they were coming from with the questions.
Lastly we were told that we made it to the final consideration list. The casting team still needed to travel to America to do many more auditions. We were given paper work which had to be filled out returned to Japan & were told that we would hear sometime in November/December if we would be offerd a contract.
So thats a little bit about how the audition works.
At the moment i am in the middle of obtaining a Japanese Visa & confirming flight details.
When i get to Japan & start rehearsals i will write another post to let you know how it all going.