You have an audition, for something that matters to you, be it a commercial, V/O, feature, TV or anything else…and you’re finished, done, over…and they say “Thanks for coming in.” That’s it, nothing more, they smile you say “thanks for having me in” and you leave. On the walk back to your car, you relive the audition between…oh, 20-50 times. You remember every word, every thought, intent, choice, angle, movement and then you start seeing the reader or casting person…how they worked with you or didn’t and if anything “those in charge” did or didn’t do to give you a hint as to how you did. Please know, this is normal, common, and over the course of several years…could lead you to drink, be insane or worse…way worse. Coming on the heels of losing one of the greatest actors of not only our generation…I’m pretty sure you know what and who I mean. R.I.P – PSH.
Our job, is to ROCK, period. The job and life of an actor is “not being in charge” not being the person responsible for hiring. You need to get really really clear on that deep in your soul, and find some peace with it, really soon. I don’t care if you’ve been doing this for 50 years…or 5 weeks, get clear on it. We’re puppets, that is our job, that is what we do…ok. We take other people’s words and create our own music to which we then dance to for others and if asked to change the dance we do…and if asked nothing we LEAVE.
In all scenarios…if I’ve learned anything about life or working in this business it is truly to understand that is ALL situations in life…if you really do NOT have control of an outcome then you best stay focused on what you do have control of and not worry about the rest. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t send “Thank You’s” and do all of your business stuff. What it means is…stop guessing, stop wondering, stop 2nd guessing your choices. If this frustrates you then I have a recommendation, start making better choices, being more focused and do a better job …as an actor when in the room. Wherever and whenever that moment happens in your life/profession. There are no paychecks for 2nd place, but most of the time 2nd place is where most of us wind up…even me.
However, if you’re good…I mean really good, and consistently really good, you WILL get hired and it will lead to other jobs. You can build a career, you can make a living, you can build a reputation either in your home town, your local city, a minor/major market or even Hollywood. But what you cannot do, cannot afford to live with, is DOUBT. It is natural, I get it, but you just can’t…you can’t afford it. I had to audition for Castle 6 times, and Bones 6 times. I got audition 2-6, because I just kept going in and “rocking it” and walking out.
The if/when it is time that “what you do, what you choose, how you are as a character” in that moment…that you, your type and your choices MATCH what “they want” is a ridiculous set of subjective variables…you’ll never understand…and hell, they may not either. It doesn’t matter…really it doesn’t matter. When I finished my 6th audition for Bones, I thought for SURE…that I had booked it, but then the phone didn’t ring. I remembered that at least on 3 of the 6 auditions, I had felt the same way and yet the call never came. I was wrong, but I didn’t sit and wonder about it, didn’t wonder why or what I could have done better…I just know that I “rocked it” and it wasn’t not my job.
Nearly two days after I thought the call would come, the call came, and indeed…this time I was right. But in truth, I wasn’t really “right this time” it was just the “right timing” for me, my type and the choices I made with this material in this episode. That’s all. Ironically when getting to the set and having a brief chat with my Director, he said to me that when I walked out of the room, the decision was made “instantly.” They looked at each other and there was NO DOUBT, I was the “right guy” for THIS job. Ha, how funny that is, because they knew, there was no doubt, and yet we’ll doubt ourselves…literally TO DEATH.
Learn yourself, your soul, your mind, your heart, your gut, then train all of those things, do your research, know the show you’re going up for…and its vibe. Then make your choices, do your preparation, be cinematic…realize this may be the only chance to “play this character” in your life…and JUST ROCK IT. Leave the guessing to the pundits and move on with your life. This doesn’t mean be BLIND to being better, it just means you can’t control getting hired, and it will only harm you to dwell on it, regardless of the job.
Always on your side, @TheKevinE