acting careers, actor's life, actors networking, australian actresses, creating a network, Dallas talent agents, heather williams, learning to act, Linda McAlister, start acting, taped auditions, Texas actors
I’m sitting in front of a computer in Houston right now but 12 hours ago I hoped to in a hotel room in Albuquerque at this very moment resting up for a day of shooting on a network series. Am I disappointed? Yes. But there was something victorious about today nonetheless.
At 9:35 am, Brianna from my Dallas agent’s office emailed me about an unusual TV audition. The role and the series weren’t the unusual elements. It was the deadline. She needed a taped audition from me by 12 pm. That’s a super fast turnaround for someone who doesn’t have his own professional camera equipment and studio space.
Ah, but the email did mention I could record the audition with my phone. Easy enough, right? It would have been except I didn’t have a reader and these two scenes definitely demanded the presence of a reader.
Here’s where having a reliable network pays off. Every actor needs those go-to people for help, especially on day’s like today. Take a look at the sequence of events laid out below.
9:50 am Texted an actress friend to ask if she could tape for me.
9:58 am Friend says she is unavailable. Texted second actress friend.
9:59 am Second actress friend tells me to come over in 30 minutes.
10:30 am Arrive at home of actress friend. Rehearse two scenes. Record both scenes in multiple tapes. Record slate.
10:51 am Edited audition emailed by actress friend to my agent.
I was moving so fast to get ready that I didn’t realize a critical bit of information at the time. Only 76 minutes passed between the audition notice and the taped audition email to the agent. That may be a personal record for me and it included actually learning the lines.
The lovely and talented friend who taped the audition, Heather Williams, has been a terrific resource for me on many occasions. But turning to her wasn’t my first choice because her multiple agents are keeping her busy with numerous auditions and bookings across the region. Rightfully so! She’s very, very good.
Now I wish I could say I booked the role. As you read above, I’m still in Texas and not in New Mexico. I thought this might be the role that finally puts me on network TV, even though I had less than an hour to prepare and used Vincent Kartheiser‘s portrayal of Pete Campbell on Mad Men as my only inspiration for the character. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be.
I think it’s these moments, when we don’t book the role, where claiming our victories becomes most important. Outsiders see winning and losing as whether or not we got the job. But if you can say to yourself that you met a major audition challenge head-on—in this case getting one taped that pleased my agent and submitted within an extraordinary deadline—then you’re already a winner no matter what the outcome may look like.