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I spent just under 3 hours at an emergency care facility today. I’m fine. Really. It was an acting gig for a commercial photographer.

Well, it was supposed to be an acting gig, serving as a patient getting loaded into an ambulance. No dialogue to memorize. Easy enough, right?

I watched as the other people called to the shoot took a turn getting into a hospital gown. One was an actress I’ve known for several years, and the other woman is a full-time lawyer who does some acting/modeling on the side. Oh, she’s Russian too, and she reminded me a bit of Catherine Zeta-Jones, except her name is Victoria and Zeta-Jones is Welsh.

Anyway, Victoria and I chatted for a long time while we waited, mostly talking about our kids. Once it was her turn, I occupied my time on my laptop. I needed to edit today’s audition for a film so I could get it submitted to the director. Editing went quickly and gave me a little more time to await my turn to don the lovely hospital gown.

As Victoria was wrapped, I looked at the director and photographer discussing the day’s coverage. They seem to be saying they had all the shots of patients they needed. Then they turned their attention to me.

“It looks like we won’t need you.”

So my 2 1/2 hours of waiting to shoot came to an abrupt end. But there’s plenty of good news attached to it. I got paid. The entire amount originally offered! Yes, all I did was chat, edit an audition video and check Facebook on occasion, and I still “earned” the whole amount. Lucky guy, right?

I look at these instances as a gift in my ongoing adventures of trying to get an acting career to blossom in new and exciting ways. For every day like this one, there are 30 days (or more) when I am traveling to auditions I don’t book in Houston, Austin or Dallas. And those are days I actually GET TO AUDITION and wasn’t set aside because of my age, size, gender, color or any number of variables that I can’t control.

What I’m saying is taking the time to embrace “easy” days like this one, or any day I get a paid booking without auditioning, is a way to show my gratitude for the people in the industry who unintentionally help provide a bit of balance in an often imbalanced world. But the trick is, I didn’t “do nothing” to get paid. I had to earn the right to be here. That comes from continuously working hard, staying focused on my goals, and being a reliable performer so when an opportunity arises, there’s no question that I’m ready for it.