In a theatre, an older man and a woman seat in the front row, talking about the last singer who finished his audition.
Backstage, men sitting in plastic chairs read over the sheet music, practicing it and creating a silent beat with their fingers. Nicky Jam moves his head from left to right, imagining the rhythm.
The audition door opens. Three women say hello to one of their friends. Enrique Iglesias stands up, waiting to be called on stage.
In front of the judges, he begins to sing, glancing at his music every so often. After he’s done, he puts his hand over his face, believing he could’ve done better.
In the bathroom, Jam takes some time to read over the music one more time. Then, he sings on stage.
The male judge points to Jam, instructing him to sing. The male judge is impressed. Backstage, Iglesias thinks Jam is going to win the role. On Iglesais’ next turn, the female judge writes notes on his performance.
Back in the bathroom, Jam rolls up the music and puts it by his mouth, blowing into it.
Backstage, Iglesias puts his hands on his knees, waiting. Jam continues to practice. Three people past the men auditioning: a well-known theater actress, who is a shoo-in for the lead with her two assistants. She hands her phone to her male assistant who finishes the call while her female assistant looks straight ahead, carrying the actress’ dress. They both look up and gaze at her.
During call backs, Iglesias sits across a dinner table from the well-known actress. As he sings, he places his elbows on the table and puts his hands over his nose. She turns around, facing the judges.
Nicky Jam performs a different scene. They are different sides of the wall and he sings the song to her. She turns her head to listen but then looks up to the ceiling.
Iglesias puts his hand on her wrist to stop her. She looks at him and then walks out. In Jam’s scene, she leans her head against the door and then opens it. The male judge whispers to the female judge, who nods. They look over a headshot.
Jam pats Iglesias on the shoulder and Iglesias puts his arm around Jam. The male judge points and a young man pumps his fist. He raises his hand towards Jam and Iglesias for a high-five but they walk away, dumbfounded.
“Forgiveness” becomes a part of a musical within the video. Enrique Iglesias and Nicky Jam know they are up against some tough competition. They have seem the same men at various auditions, have heard them sing and then heard they were cast. While they were both waiting to be called for a play, Jam and Iglesias began to talk and became friends.
Jam had heard about the casting call from his agent and told Iglesias about it. During call backs, they started to get excited and realized for one of them, it could be their big break. Jam has developed a thick skin after multiple rejections. If he gets it, great. If not, there is always another next week. Iglesias’, on the other hand, gets wide-eyed with fear. For him, the audition means getting one step farther away from the restaurant, one dollar tips (if that) and reamed out by people for not standing by their tables at every second. He can’t work there anymore. He has to make it.
Unfortunately, neither of them get the part. Jam thinks the audition was a formality and the judges knew along who they wanted. Iglesias, however, thought it was going to be his turn.
Videos tend to have the person, at the peak of the career, attend photo shoots and pick out their costumes. They declare their success. “Forgiveness” takes the opposite view that gets forgotten: multiple auditions, false hope, worried mingled with determination and the rejection that occurs. It’s the rejection that will cause some to work harder (Jam) or chip away at their hope, eventually crumbling it (Iglesias).
Director: Jessy Terrero Year: 2015
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