Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Ways We Torture Ourselves

I consider myself to be a normal person.  Well... mostly normal.  I mean, I did pack my every belonging into my car, leave everyone and everything I knew in order to move to one of the largest cities in the world to pursue one of the most competitive careers in its biggest market where the odds were definitively stacked against me and my chances of success were less than slim to none.  So yeah, aside from questionable reasoning and a general disregard for practicality, I'm a pretty typical twenty-something American girl.

Except, I am an actor.  No getting around it, sometimes my actor-y brain takes over.  (Hence the decision to take up permanent residence in La La Land... both literally and figuratively.)

Still, I operate with a relatively normal brain most of the time.  I heard about a film that was shooting in my home state -- something that doesn't happen very often.  I have always wanted to be involved in projects that combine multiple loves, so a chance to basically shoot in the back yard of my childhood would be an absolute treat.  I immediately researched the production office, found their casting list and submitted for the second lead.  It was an incredibly low budget indie film and I knew they wouldn't have a lot of cash to spare on Los Angeles-based talent, so I was sure to mention that having grown up in the region, I could potentially work as a local hire.  They immediately responded with the sides and an invitation to submit a video audition for two of the roles in the film.

Not a problem.  Somehow between work, a casting workshop and an award show, I found the time to put my scenes on tape the following day.  I felt that one was a very strong role for me and that I might actually have a shot.  I even sent the link to my new agent to give him another opportunity to see exactly what his new client can do.

Then I made a mistake.  Dammit, I watched it again.  Most auditions are in person.  You walk out of the casting room and that's it.  Sure, you play it back in your head a few times, noting what you liked... what you wish you had done differently.  But the beauty is that it's in the room and you don't really have to face it any more.  You can just let it go. 

But when it's on tape, it's there.  You can go back and look at it again if you would like to torture yourself a little.  My actor brain took over and after a few more views, I started to over-analyze my own audition.  I started thinking it sucked.  Crap, I dropped the last words on that line.  Oh. My. God.  Kill me now.  I added that stupid little thing that seemed cute and "me" at the time, but now I feel vulnerable and silly and oh my god, I'm never going to work again.  Shit, and I sent this to my new agent.  Oh god, he's going to start to question why he signed me.  Jeez, one week.  That will be the fastest pick-up then dropped-by an agent in the history of Hollywood.  Crap.  Where's the ice cream?

Then I got a phone call...

It's the producer of the film.  He just watched my tape with the producer/writer/director team.  They loved it and want to book me for one of the roles.  Don't even need to see more or audition me in person, so ecstatic to have me join the film.  They'll put the offer paperwork together immediately.  The travel team will be in touch shortly to book my flight up to set for the first week in May.  Welcome to the cast!  My agent congratulated me and my great read. 

Sheesh.  Sometimes I wish there was an OFF switch on this brain. 

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