Thursday, June 6, 2013

Anony Takes Another Step Up The Hill

So, today was a good day. 

I went in for my first guest star today.  Have we talked about guest stars vs. co-stars, etc.?  Ah yes, we have

This initial part of the climb that is scaling the peak of a professional career as an actor is fighting your way in doors.  There are so many hopefuls in this city trying to do this, agents and casting directors are absolutely flooded with potential clients and casts.  There are so many of us here that legit agents and casting directors just don't have time or money to spend on developing someone from the beginning of their career.  Why spend three years developing a fresh-off-the-plane newbie -- who will likely burn out and go home anyway -- when you can spend all that time working with someone who is already at least a little established with a few credits?  Why take that gamble and waste all that energy? You don't.  You wait for the cream to separate itself, rise to the top and start there.  

That means the first obstacle is setting yourself apart from the 30,000 other actors of your same age range and type.  Basically on your own, without help.  The criteria for setting yourself apart?  Landing legitimate projects at the guest star level.  Only then will you really start to be visible to the movers and shakers in this town.  For the last two years despite my marketable look and talent, I've been dismissed by agents and casting directors hundreds of times because I just don't have any guest star credits yet.  Until today, I wasn't even able to read for one, so logically I haven't been able to land one.  

Finally, I have an agent who ignored the raised noses of the bigger and badder agents at the office and signed me anyway.  He's proving to be worth his weight in gold for getting me seen for this character today.  Not only is it a guest star, it's a recurring guest star with a two or three episode arc. That's typically pretty hard for someone with my lack of credits to jump in on.  It was also a little extra intimidating because it was my first multi-camera comedy audition.  Multi-cam is the industry term for what you normally think of as sit-coms, and is one of the most challenging formats.  It's fast, incredibly technical and very hard to do. 

But it went well.  Really well.  I may not get it, my agent and I were worried I might be just a smidge too old, but the casting director was really happy with my read.  I got a few laughs out of her and she said I had a wonderful feel for comedy... I can live with that.  Even if I don't book it, I feel confident that she would bring me in again for another guest star.  That's what I strive for every time.  It is never ever ever about the one job.  

So now we just wait... er... I mean move on to the next thing.  These are the moments when it's so much easier to say it than do it.  No matter how well I think I did, or how right I am for the part, I can't dwell on the hoping that I get it.  

Doesn't matter.  With or without this particular role, I'm scaling this mountain either way.

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