The best callback I ever experienced was for Noises, Off! They called back 3 women for the role of Brooke/Vicki and I was lucky enough to be one of them. When they called us back they said it would be a closed callback (also an Assistant Director that I was very close with would be present) and we were told to wear "whatever underwear you feel comfortable in". Since Brooke runs around almost the entire show clad only in her underwear, they wanted to see who was really comfortable and who was not. I said I was fine with the request and they penciled me in.
Skip to callback night. When I left the house, all I said to my husband was "Well, if they choose me this show is going to go in a direction I guarantee it has never gone in before". I put on my flasher coat and went to the audition.
So there the 3 of us were in the "callback room" (i.e. the local rec center's daycare room; in community theater you audition at a lot of strange places), curtains drawn, finger-paint pictures on the walls and Legos on the floor. The director said "Okay, go ahead and show us your underwear". I threw my coat off and stood there proudly with voluptuous hips (these are necessary in the body structure scheme needed to hold up my fabulous booty) and a red and black pinstripe corset (adorned with my "Itty Bitty Titty Committee official member badge) and black underpants with my knee high lace up punk rock boots on.
The next girl (the lovely Wendy Meetze) was tall, blonde, tan, and wore a matching fire engine red bra and panty set. I almost said "Well shit!" out loud. My second impulse was to whip out my phone and text my husband "Well, I'm boned." I didn't do any of those things though, those are both very unprofessional things to do and definitely frowned upon. Definitely.
The last girl was wearing some kind of knee length nightgown and tights. Tights?! Really?! I hate tights, here is a video of the last time I had to wear tights for a show:
Ultimately, I decided to do what I usually do which is to go super-saiyan and give 150%. We were then asked to run around in circles, jump around, and in general make a mockery of anything that might resemble exercise. They asked me if I needed to take my boots off before this "comfort level test". Hahaha--I laughed at them! (I didn't, I just said no in a polite voice) and I then proceeded to do a routine involving jumping jacks, aerobics, and some bad-ass cartwheels (like a boss). Wendy did some fancy-ass yoga Zumba Pilates dance shit (#talented). The 3rd girl, however, was clearly NOT okay with anything that was going on at all. She had some nice ballet-style moves, but she looked like she wished the floor would open up swallow her. I kept thinking "Why did you tell them you were okay with this callback when you clearly are NOT?"
Anyway, when it was all over we put our clothes back on (note to self:next time wear clothes and not just a coat) and we all shuffled off back home. About an hour later I got a call from the director. He said he didn't feel that I was right for the part of Brooke (go figure-- dammit Wendy you talented and sexy blonde!) but that I had really shown some balls by going all out for the callback. He offered me the part of Poppy and I took it. I was probably the ballsiest Poppy ever cast in this show and I loved every fracking minute of it.
The moral of the story? You just do you. When I get called for an audition or a callback, I bring the character work I have done, but I also bring myself-- take me or leave me.
They usually take me.