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...