Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Even Though It Can Be Hard to See Sometimes, Trust That Your Effort is Still Working

There are times in this life that feel like endless waiting.  Like everything you're striving for is dependent upon the actions of someone else.  Day after day I review the breakdowns and submit for roles I could potentially play.  I email casting directors.  I have coffee, I ask for referrals, I call in favors.  I go on auditions.  I submit letters and cards and thank you notes.  I wait for a phone call, for an email, for a booking... for a big break.  Hell, I'll take even a little break.  But most days, there is nothing but silence in return.  It can be lonely sometimes, and it's a weird kind of lonely.  I have many amazing friends and a wonderfully full social life, but underneath all my laughter and energy over shared martinis there is part of me that is just waiting, thinking of my career and wondering if anything I'm doing is working.

Even though I may not always see exactly how, it is.  Sometimes it can be hard to remember that.  My boss asked me the other day, "Have you actually gotten any work from all these auditions?"  I swallowed the sting that question burned inside my chest and could only respond with, "No.  I haven't shot anything since April."  It's hard to not keep your heart from sinking a little bit when that's the only answer you can give.

But what my boss doesn't know -- and what I can sometimes forget -- is that where I am right now is ten times further than where I was this time last year... and that is definitely something to be proud of.  The outsider might view my last few months as a bunch of failed auditions.  (Five movies, three TV shows and six callbacks... but no bookings).  The outsider doesn't understand what a giant hurdle it is to even be seen for legitimate projects.  And it's a hurdle I'm starting to overcome.  I'm getting multiple callbacks for big name shows and decent independent features.  It's been rough on me to have as many callbacks as I've had recently, on bigger projects than I've ever worked before, but no booking yet.  But it's okay.  It's just a matter of time and persistence.  Nothing is wasted; all the work I've done is paying off.  Though my resume hasn't gotten any longer, I'm making significant forward progress.

Today I was called in for another co-star role on a single-cam comedy.  The same one that called me in for two roles last season, but I hadn't heard from them since.  I was starting to worry that they'd forgotten about me.  Apparently not.  I haven't seen them in about 10 months, but I walked in and he knew exactly who I was as if we had just met a few weeks ago.  We even laughed together when I botched a line and he teased me to "use my words."  Then after we laid down a good take he said, "Perfect."

I walked out and wandered around the Paramount lot for a few minutes, soaking in the cheesy feeling I get from just being in the proximity of big-time movie making.  It's so close, I can taste it.  I can feel it just around the corner, through the next door, coming out of Stage 24, bustling and swirling around me.  It may be crawling along at a snail's pace, but it's coming.  Many of my letters or emails might be falling into an abyss, but some of them are getting through.  As I left Paramount, I received an email from another casting director who gave me a callback recently.  He wants to bring me in for another project next week.

You never know who's desk your headshot stacked on, just waiting for your role to pop up.  They may not all be mine, but one of these days, it WILL be my turn.

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