Friday, June 22, 2012

Good to Know, But Still a Little TMI

This business has radically changed in the last few years.  I know, big shocker, right?  Right along with the rest of society.  There are the major ways, like faster casting and more comprehensive tools for being a competitive actor.  Gone are the days when a professional actor needed only a few copies of a black and white 8X10 to get their career going.  Welcome to the era in which you need multiple color shots (not only printed, but also digitally uploaded and available on subscription-only accounts on a trio of major electronic casting sites), demo reel (also available hard copy and online),, post cards, email, iPhone and enough cash in the bank to pay for driving all over Los Angeles on gasoline that's $4.00 per gallon (which is actually lower than it has been... yay!!).

No, those hard copy black & white days are over.  But that's okay; every generation has it's own challenges.  There are things we don't lose an ounce of sleep over that plagued the veterans we now look up to when they first started.  Every business is likely to evolve over time, and Hollywood is no different.  Even Hollywood isn't immune to the effects of the social media generation.  I think I'd even be safe in venturing to say that Hollywood has embraced the beast that is social media.  It is, after all, just another form of entertainment, and can be a very useful marketing tool.  I've got my "fan" page...  as does every film.

Or at least the ones in the ultra-indie tier, which is the level I am currently hustling.  It's good in some ways... I am able to follow the posts by the project and have a better handle on the casting process.  It used to be after an audition, you would just wait in silence, wondering if they will call, what was going on.  Often, the wait was indefinite.  They don't call you to tell you the other girl got it.  But now, I can just check in on Facebook to see if the movie page has posted the any casting updates.  One of the films I had a callback for in the last couple of weeks updated their status: 

"Most of our larger roles are cast (not all but most)..."

Meh, I figured that already since I hadn't heard from them.  But still, it is nice to see it in print, it gives some closure.  The ever-present, eternally optimistic little dreamer inside me can let go of hanging on to, "There's still a chance!"  It gives my overactive subconscious a definitive chance to move on with my life career.  There most certainly is peace in that.    

Still, there are some ways the transparency in the casting process can have a little sting that wasn't there before.  I happen to look up the page for another film for which I had worked really hard to prepare an audition.  It was one I felt I could play very strongly and actually excited me artistically... a luxury I'm not often afforded at my level.  They recently finished shooting and posted pictures from the set.   I saw the girl who was cast in my role.  I'm sure she did a great job, but I am human, and I still wish it would have been me.  When the movie is released theatrically, I will have to go see it.  I can already tell you I will regret it, but it's just something I have to do.

But that wasn't the first time I watched someone else play "my" role, and I bet all my future earnings -- doubled down -- that it won't be the last.  It's okay, there will be plenty of times when other girls will watch me portraying roles they would have loved to do.  It's just part of the business.  Learning how to cope with it is the difference between staying on the straight and narrow and out of the downward spiral into self-doubt and burn-out.

And that, my friends, is the difference between failure and success... and the latter is where I'm headed. 

Let's go.

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