2014 is less than a month old and I’m sure many people have already abandoned the resolutions they committed to just a few weeks ago. Maybe they got overwhelmed by the frustration of not seeing visible results quickly enough. As actors, those visible results tend to be measured in bookings and almost everything else gets overlooked. If that’s going on with you, let’s take a few minutes to get back to a fair assessment of what’s really going on right now.
Numbers don’t tell the whole story.
How many auditions and bookings you’ve had so far is good to note, but don’t bury yourself in numbers. Look at the types of auditions you’ve gotten and how they came to you. See if there’s one primary resource, such as a specific casting director, a particular friend, or a casting site. Pour yourself into each one, no matter how small the role may seem upon first glance.
This week I spent THREE DAYS on a film audition that involved saying ONE LINE. I researched the role based on a real-life person in the music industry, listened to songs he produced, carefully selected my wardrobe, and scheduled a time to tape with a friend. Early feedback from casting gave me a second chance to tape the scene again so I turned to my Houston agent for help.
Relationships are a 2-way street.
What relationship decisions have you made this month? This includes who you invest time in and how you invest that time. It’s not merely about how you’ve been helped; helping others is something worth being grateful for. Taping a friend’s audition or recommending someone for a role are a couple of ways to invest in others.
This month I have taped auditions on two occasions for one particular friend. These were wonderful opportunities to collaborate and bring ideas on ways to enhance her performance. One of those ideas—putting her on the floor instead of a chair for a scene set in a rehab facility—really seemed to help her find the emotional depth and feeling of isolation in the character.
You never need to be perfect.
It’s natural to want to make every audition flawless, but it’s not necessary. Aim to be genuine instead, and ask for help and feedback as often as you can get it. Fearing criticism from friends, agents, casting directors and others is a fast way to NOT get closer to perfect. Learn to embrace the challenges that come with creative process and use them to your advantage.
Last week I went to a commercial audition in Austin and arrived early. I figured I would have time to rehearse the scene with the actress who would play my wife in the audition, but we met only seconds before going in the room. With no time to make a plan together, I had to rely on quick thinking and listening skills in there. Fortunately the director was present and he gave us a chance to do it several times with adjustments along the way. I must have given him a reason to be confident I was the right guy for the job because I found out today that I booked the role.
If you’re feeling underappreciated lately, it’s a good time to shift your focus. Consider what you have already learned and gained here in the new year. Remember, the best is yet to come and you’re the one who will make it happen.