Sunday, October 9, 2011

Audition and Forget

Yesterday I got an email from the producers on an indy feature I auditioned for months ago.  An apology for not contacting me sooner, but that they had been busy with pre-production and script revisions.   They really enjoyed my audition and would like me to read for them again and discuss the role.
Classic support for the audition-and-forget advice.  My agent called me once, half confused, "Um, we totally forgot about this commercial, but you booked it!"  That was six months after the audition.  I've also had a message with an offer from a producer waiting for me in my voicemail when I arrived home after leaving the callback.  (Then of course, there are countless projects I never heard from again).  Audition-and-forget saves you from the nasty little habit of self doubt.
There really is no place for self doubt.  Yes, you have to objectively be able to evaluate your skill level and know what your strengths and weaknesses are, that’s important.  But once you’ve been through decent training and know you’ve reached a certain level of professionalism, it is absolutely necessary to cut out self-doubt.  Eliminate it, it’s useless.
I remember the audition for this film and thinking I blew it.  After a week or two passed and no word, I had written it off.  Kinda like the first read for a new big-time commercial agent a couple weeks ago.  I left feeling like I vomited commercial garbage into the camera.  I was so upset, thinking I’d wasted all the effort it took to get into that room, I felt sick for the rest of the afternoon (and let’s be honest, that weekend).  Then the next week, I got a callback.
Be on time, be prepared, be grounded, be camera ready.  That’s our job.  Walk into that room feeling solid on those four areas and do your best work in the moment and walk away.  Don’t let that silly little voice inside your head judge you.  Maybe it wasn’t a strong performance, fine.  Evaluate what kept you from bringing your best self into the room (usually one “be” from the big four) and focus on not allowing that same thing to interfere in the future.
It’s even more important when you feel you’ve knocked it out of the park and don’t get a callback or booking.  That’s when it’s easy to start to wonder if you’re really as good as you thought you were.  But resist the temptation towards the doubt.  You are that good, it just wasn’t your role!  My hair stylist says, “If the shoe doesn’t fit, it’s not your shoe!”
You may feel you could have done better, or that it was the best read of your life... and not get a callback.  Or... someone might email you months later and tell you the shoe is just your size.

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