Hopefully the title…really got your attention. And hopefully it got your attention for the right reasons. Now I’m not assuming, nor presuming that you do WANT to take it personally but with all due respect, in general, to the humans within my actor community…after over 25 years in this crazy business…it do think that it is a common sub-concious thought. Why? Well it begins with the mere fact that IF we’re lucky enough to book 10% of the jobs we interview/audition for…we’re considered exceptional and even if it is down to 5% in today’s world (and I’m only talking about scripted Film/TV) that is even professionally acceptable. So we’re talking that between 90-95% of the time…we DON’T “get it.” By definition when those are the truth in numbers…our self-esteem would likely NEED to create a reason to try and deal with those numbers…and often times, we make it out to be personal so that there isn’t anything you can do about it…or so that it “cements” the frustration you may have.
Former veteran HBO Casting Director, Amy Jo Berman, wrote in BackStage West a brilliant look at the casting process and she listed 26 Reasons why you didn’t get the part: (too tall, too short, too pretty, not pretty enough, too fat, too thin, too blonde, not blonde enough, too old, too young, too serious, too funny, look too much like the lead, don’t look enough like the lead, you’re taller than the lead, you’re shorter than the lead, you remind the producer of his sister-and he hates his sister, you are too ethnic, you are not ethnic enough, you were the first one to read that day, you were the last one to read that day, you’re more like the best friend than the lead, you’re more of a lead than the best friend, you’re too character-y, you’re not character-y enough AND you look like the director’s wife and he had a fight with his wife right before he left the house this morning).
Just the other day I read for a MONSTER Guest Star on a very popular TV (a show that I’ve now officially read for over last season and this season…4 TIMES). Holy crap, when am I gonna book this show, and why haven’t I to this point. I mean I KNOW I’ve done a terrific job every single time I’ve gone in. So my agent, being the funny man that he is, calls the CD and keeps me on speaker while he jokes with the CD that he’s going to have to “put a contract out on one of the Producer’s” as it seems that will be the only way that they’re going to HIRE me. The CD laughed, and simply stated back that “he” (being me) had done a “very good job” and that (he) being me, ALWAYS has done a “very good job” but that for this role…they just liked someone else “better.” Folks…that is the LIFE of being an actor.
Sometimes you think you’re gonna go with a 5’1″ blonde and the next thing you know you find yourself talking to a 5’8″ redhead…and you’re not even sure why. The reality is, as I’ve always said, casting…is similar to dating. What you may be interested in at 5pm on a Tuesday, will be a long way from what you like at 8pm on that same Friday…and then what you didn’t like two weeks ago…will be EXACTLY what you want on a Monday next month. If this is something that you cannot handle or that “severely” affects your psyche to the degree that you either become addicted to bad things or that you’re constantly in a state of “questioning your existence” or depressed then by all means…PLEASE only perform for the love of performing…and stay away from it being an activity for which you desire to be professionally considered, auditioned and potentially paid. Being a professionally paid performer is NOT for everyone…and finding yourself WANTING to take “not being cast” personally…is a real good indicator…that this may not be for you…as a business.
Always on YOUR side: @TheKevinE