Friday, April 6, 2012

This Ain't No Theme Park

If you're into rocket science or architecture, you're probably not going to find many inspiring thoughts on those topics here.  My guess would be if those things are your passion, you're probably not a regular visitor to this little blog.  But if you are reading this, chances are you're at least toying with the idea of becoming an actor.  Maybe you're right here with me in Los Angeles fighting your own good fight... or maybe you're all the way across the globe in Sydney wondering when will be the right moment to pack a suitcase and head to Hollywood.  Wherever you are, and whether you decided to go for it five minutes ago or five years, you're here because I'm telling you what it's really like on these streets.  I may not know much about rockets or how to build a skyscraper, but I can tell you about hustling after the dream in La La Land.  If you're just starting out on your journey, make sure you go into it knowing that this job is a tough one.  It's tougher than you can possibly imagine right now.  That's why I'm here sharing my reality so you don't have to imagine.  And as long as you keep coming back, I'll keep telling you about all the ups and downs on this crazy roller coaster.

Today's example:  I told you a few weeks ago that my incredibly talented co-star/co-producer for my play booked a role on a major network show.  (On a side note... I'm sick of calling him that, let's give him an actual name... we'll call him The Bibster.)  So The Bibster books this role on a single episode of a nice procedural.  He had a table read and shot it last week and everything went flawlessly.  He emailed me to spread the word that the episode was set to air next week.  My mom even started watching the show so she could be ready when The Bibster's character came on.

That's the up on the roller coaster.

The down?  He found out this week that his scenes ended up getting cut from the episode and will never air. 

Sure, he still kinda gets the credit on his resume, (and the paycheck for a day of shooting) but there's just something so heart breaking about losing the opportunity to show it all off.  In the beginning, we actors have to go so so long without having "something to show" for all the effort.  To my skeptics back home, I'm not doing anything unless they see evidence of me on TV.  Most people have no idea what a huge deal it is to even be called in to audition for a recognizable show.  Eight months ago, I wouldn't have been able to get close enough to a legitimate casting office to see inside with a telephoto lens.  But in the last couple months, I've been called in four times to major shows.  (Ironically, the role that was cut from the script before I was even able to audition was the SAME show that The Bibster booked.  I feel like the producers should now be required to come see our play.)  Starting to get in the door is such HUGE progress, but hardly any of your biggest fans (i.e. friends and family) will understand.

As if the difficulty to even get an audition wasn't hard enough, sometimes you go through the entire process, book the job, shoot the scenes... and all that work ends up on the cutting room floor.  Man, that's painful.  If you're entertaining the idea of being an actor for your living, before you make your final decision, make sure you're prepared for that type of a ride.  It's a roller coaster that would put Kingda Ka to shame.  Although any ride may have it's little ups and downs... if you're going to get on this one, you better have a strong stomach and an inner strength that's tall enough to survive.  Then, I guess you just hang on tight.

1 comment:

  1. I've had a big bookings where I've been cut after the fitting (later told my part was written out of the script but I still got paid). I've shot national commercials that have never aired! I've heard horror stories of actors getting fired at the shoot! Anything can happen and you can take that as a positive or negative. If you look at it positively (which you seem to do) you're gonna be just fine.