Monday, February 17, 2014

They're Out There, I Promise

The opportunities are there if you know how to look for them.  

When was the last time you had a great audition?  One that you knew you nailed, perhaps you even got a callback or two.  Did you make a great connection with the director?  Did the producer or writer give you great feedback?  What happened after you found out you didn't get it?  Did you just let it go and think, "oh well... better luck next time" and forget all about it?  You may have missed an opportunity to turn that great audition -- even though it didn't turn into a booking -- into a future audition.  

This weekend, I attended a performance of one of the plays I auditioned for a few months ago (but didn't get).  Although it was certainly a little painful to watch the actress who was ultimately cast stand in the light where I should have been, the evening was a success.  You see, I didn't go because I just had to see the show.  I went so that the people I auditioned for three months ago would see me again, remember me and perhaps think of me for whatever they're working on now or in the near future. 

The writer found me first and thanked me for coming to support his show... and made sure I knew just how close they came to casting me.  "There was a lot of discussion about you... I just want you to know that."  He even introduced me to a few new people with the qualifier, "This is Anony, she's an amazing actress."

It was almost worth it just for that positive feedback (I know how pathetic that sounds, but we're soooo starved of it in this world!).  But the best part?  We clinked our drinks to a successful show, and that same writer (who also happens to produce a ton of television) said, "We'll work together on something.  No doubt about it."

We set up a coffee meeting for later this week to catch up... and with that, a long-term professional relationship begins...

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Stay In Front of the Camera to Stay in the Fight

I was filming a little scene for fun last weekend with another actor.  I find that when I'm constantly working -- even when I'm not working -- on material the happier I am.  It's a lot of effort, and sometimes instead of breaking down and memorizing yet another script, I just want to veg out and binge watch The West Wing (which I'm discovering for the very first time right now.  I know.  How did I just find this now?!?)

But I need to keep myself working on something. Anything.  It's been god knows how many months since my last big shoot but I have to be in front of the camera multiple times a week.  If I don't have an audition (though I was blessed with a mind-melting SEVEN last week), I grab friends who's work I really respect, who make me want to be a better actor, and film scenes.

After the shoot, this actor and I traded a few in-the-trench stories and I noticed a pattern.  He and I both bumped up a level last year.  I booked a big play, collected my first co-star and filmed a week on a feature. He landed his first two co-stars and national commercial.  We both made some biiiig gains... then for the following six-to-eight months... nadda.  Nuthin'.  Zilch.  

I've heard of this happening to others.  I wonder if it's a thing.  To start booking, and really booking.  Like big stuff.  Then to go months without... I wonder if that's a common experience when you're edging your way into this business.  Either way, it's awful.  It just might be harder than the stretch before you land your first big one.

We also agreed that one of the most difficult things isn't the not getting after an audition.  It's not when you come close and know you almost had it.  It's not even finding out you totally had it, but then didn't.  

It's watching all the roles that you are absolutely right for go right by because the casting director won't even let you in the room.  Those are the ones that hurt the most. 

But I refuse to let it best me... so instead of sitting down to watch ten episodes of WW... I'm going to start working on my next scene.  

Happy shooting...

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Where Am I? Who Am I?

Single-cam comedy, multi-cam, network drama, CW dramedy.  Burbank to Culver City, back to Hollywood.  Eight pages here, ten pages there.  I'm Diane, then I'm Monica, Jess, Amy, Amanda, Cute Girl, Ms. Watson, College Coed, Private Baily's Wife.  Singing in Sherman Oaks in the morning, "washing" my hair Mid-City at noon, crying in Santa Monica in the afternoon...

It's craziness out there.  Yesterday I had to put a poor guy off for another week in setting up a first date.  I wouldn't be surprised if he got frustrated and lost interest.  Meh, easy come, easy go.... but that new CBS drama... that baby could change everything.