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.