Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Ones That Get Away

You will not get every role you want.  If you and your sanity intend to survive intact, that is part of the business you just have to learn to deal with.  I’m not talking about not getting every single role, that’s a given.  You quickly learn that you will not get most of the roles you audition for.  I’m not even talking about not getting a role that would be really good for your career, even though those are hard to lose too.  No, all of that quickly becomes somewhat routine.  It will just roll off your back because you’re auditioning for the next one in a couple days anyway. 

But every once in a while, a role will come along that you really really really really want.  Not because you haven’t booked in ages, or because it’s a good one for your career, but because you just want to play that role for the fun of it.  Like you picked up the script and the heavens opened up and golden rays fell upon your head while an invisible choir sang, à la Sword in the Stone.  The role you know you could knock out of the park if it were yours.  You may feel that the stars aligned, the character may as well have your name because it was written for you and you were born to play it.

…And you may have to watch someone else play that role.

A couple months ago, I came across a script for an indy short and I instantly fell in love with it.  Not only was it an incredible script with a very high production value, but the character just happened to be one I’ve always wanted to play.  Every ounce of my being wanted this role and knew I would be perfect for it.  I was so sure it was mine, I went home and spent hours playing with the script before I had even been invited to audition.

Guess the director didn’t think I was born to play it because I didn’t get it.  Bummer.  But I still loved the project, even if they didn’t see me as the lead.  So in an attempt to shake off the heartbreak and just move on, I signed up for the newsletter from the director so I could at least keep updated on the film’s progress and hopefully see a finished copy. 

I’m starting to slightly regret that decision... I got an email with photos of the first few days of shooting.  Photos of the other girl in what should have been my costume and location, stills of her reading what should have been my lines to my co-star.  That stings. 

But I do remind myself that it’s just part of the business and this one will most definitely not be the last like it.  I'm no genius, but I imagine it will only get more and more difficult as my career progresses and the stakes get higher and higher.  Someday we won’t be talking about an indy short, we’ll be talking about a Scorsese feature or a summer blockbuster.  You may want it like crazy, and you may have to watch some other name in the opening credits.

But the booking pendulum will swing my way just as many times as it doesn’t.  And for now, this feeds my fire to hustle after the next big one…

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