I Just Want To Begin This Audition By Saying That I'm Still Not Entirely Sure What Acting IsCommentary • Opinion • ISSUE 46•44 • Nov 4, 2010 By Cliff Baum Hi, there, thanks for bringing me in today. I really appreciate the chance to audition for you all, and I hope you like what you see. Also, real quick before we get going, I just wanted to let you guys know that I'm still not totally clear on what acting is.Anyway, just figured I'd get that out of the way before I started with the acting.All right. So, just to clarify, at what point will I know that I'm acting? Is there some sort of trigger word I'm listening for or something? Like, am I acting now? Is this acting? Again, I'm still a little shaky on some of the specific details, so I appreciate your patience. I'll just start talking now, and then maybe just give me a thumbs-up or something to let me know when I'm acting.Ready? Great. Here we go.You know what? I'm really sorry, but I'm still not a hundred percent on exactly what's supposed to be taking place here in regard to the acting, etc. Let's kind of break things down and start with what I know. You're sitting down there, and I'm up here. That makes sense. Okay, now: I have a piece of paper with lines on it that I'm supposed to read. No, I'm asking you. Do I? Is that what this paper is for? Right, great, I figured. And so all of you are…actors? No, I'm the actor. Right. So actors and acting are all part of the same thing. Gotcha.One thing that's sort of tripping me up is, I'm looking at this piece of paper and it says these lines are supposed to be read by a Sgt. Michaelson. Yeah. See, that's not my name, though. My name is Cliff Baum. I mean, I can absolutely read Sgt. Michaelson's lines for you anyway, but I just want us all on the same page with that. Also, and this is more of a heads up for you guys, really, but were you aware that the lines here are things I've never said before? And, totally not a big deal, but it says I'm a soldier, and I'm not. Not at this point, at least. Just so you're aware.Which reminds me: If I start reading this piece of paper now, do I actually become Sgt. Michaelson? Like, will I still be him when I leave this room? Because I'd really rather be able to go back to being myself when the acting is over. Being a soldier is really dangerous, first of all, and I don't want to die in a war, and also it appears as though he was alive during World War II, which would make him really old, and I don't want to be old. I think I just want to keep being me, Cliff Baum. The actor. Assuming, of course, that I'm supposed to be the actor in this particular scenario. Wasn't entirely sure on that one.All right, I'm just going to list some people who I think are actors, and you tell me if they are: George Clooney. Robert De Niro. Kobe Bryant. Madonna. Sherlock Holmes. Michael…Smith. Elián González. A fire hydrant. What about the guy outside the door with the clipboard? Was he an actor? If so, I was very impressed by his acting, if that's what that was.To be honest, I'm reading the room and I'm thinking maybe I should start over. If it's okay, I'm just going to go back outside into that room with the five other guys who oddly kind of look like me and re-enter the auditorium like nothing ever happened. Or maybe I'll just get some lunch, and while I'm gone, you guys figure out what acting is and then let me know if I have the part. Sound good?No? That's all you'll need today?Fair enough. Well, here's a glossy picture of me with my phone number at the bottom. Now, keep in mind, that's not me—that's just an image of me. It can't actually act. At least I don't think it can. If it can, feel free to give the part to the picture, if you want, just be sure to call the number at the bottom of the picture and let me know if you do. Thank you kindly.Also, seriously, don't sweat it if you end up going with someone else. What I really want to do is direct.