Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Horse, Of Course

I had a big commercial audition today.  One of the first through my new agent, and also one of my first after becoming a SAG member, so I'm really the new girl on the big-league scene.  It was my first time in this particular casting studio and while I honestly don't care what people think, I'll admit I was a tad nervous that I'd actually look like the newbie.  Silly things like, I didn't know the layout of the place, so I probably looked lost for a second while searching for the studio with my commercial.  Or I was the only one that put my SAG ID number down on the sign in sheet (like we're supposed to, but no one actually does, I guess).

So I sat down to wait and study the premise of the commercial.  After a moment, I took a look around at the other actors.  Everyone was professional, reading the material, looking comfortable and successful in these big leagues.  No one was complaining about their agents, no one was bragging about things they've booked.  No one smelled of desperation.  It was just comfortable and relaxed business as usual.  And judging by the agencies listed on the sign in sheet, it was.  These guys were the real deal.  And I smiled to myself because my heart wasn't racing; I felt relaxed and happy and comfortable.  I knew I belonged there too.

As that realization settled within me, it was my turn to go.  Lots of commercials have you do group auditions where multiple actors head in and perform the entire spot together, though everyone's auditioning for different parts.  This one was a group of three... and we were supposed to be on horseback, galloping through a field.

Now picture us... three adults perched up on three stools holding reins strings attached to a horse c-stand in front of us.  Three adults sitting in a studio in Los Angeles bumping up and down like we're running the Kentucky Derby, heeya-ing and whoa-nellying like we're in a John Wayne film.  I felt like I was five years old again, running through the yard on my stick horse, imagining that outlaws were after me in the wild wild west.  (God, I love this job!!!)

Now I've mentioned before that you have to walk in and just commit to what you're doing. That's not a bad lesson for anyone in life, but it's particularly important for us actors.  Stop judging and just be present and go with it.  Without full commitment, that stool would have been just a stool and those strings would have been just strings.   It's our job as actors to make them more than that.  Give the stool and string a greater life than even they imagined they could have.

With the commitment, and letting go of the judgement, comes the fun.  You should be playing and having FUN in your auditions!  I would love to book this role, but whether I do or not, I had a BLAST getting to play it for the five minutes I was in that room.  Remember... for those five minutes, the role IS yours.  Enjoy it and get lost in the moment.


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