Whenever You’re Ready

By Craig Ainsley | Drama
A heartbroken actress goes to an audition.

Rachel is an actress headed into an important audition, just as she’s dealing with some difficulty in her personal life.

But as she auditions, her real-life pain begins to bleed into her reading, leading to a strangely bizarre yet cathartic tour-de-force performance that explores her latest heartbreak.

Director Craig Ainsley’s comic short is compact and self-contained in both physical and storytelling scale, but it travels through immense emotional terrain. The brand of comedy explored is awkward yet strongly rooted in real, genuine hurt, making for funny, intelligent but uncomfortable viewing.

Each beat and turn in the arc. of the character is well-crafted, resting on a terrifically searching, honest and funny performance by actor Rachel Stubbings, who carries the majority of the film’s dialogue and emotions with a deft blend of genuine emotion and crack comic timing. She elicits great empathy and compassion, underplaying her raw hurt while allowing for it to bubble up at just the most touching moments.

“Whenever You’re Ready” derives its wry, subtle comedy from the gulf between our inner turmoil and the carefully smooth surfaces of “real life” that demands we submerge our feelings in the name of making a living and keeping others comfortable. But the feelings have a surprising way of coming out, and when they do, the result is riveting, unsettling and highly memorable.

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