Rhyme or Reason

Auditioning is the bane of an actor’s existence. Or so many actors will tell you. It can be a humbling experience, where an actor can find himself doing odd things (possibly over and over, in different ways) all in the goal of being liked enough (essentially) to be cast, aka hired for a job that will likely last either hours, days or possibly months, and in few other professions does one have to put themselves out there for such personal judgement and dismissal, and certainly for so little financial reward.

I fondly recall auditioning for Best Buy’s “Idea Box” (something they had for a while – a blue box for customers to write and deposit suggestions) and I was up for the part of the mascot. (I’m not kidding.) A blue, foam box that didn’t even speak. I didn’t get it.

I also didn’t get the part a few weeks ago when the director paid no attention at all to me at the callback for a commercial.

I didn’t get the part a few months back on a film I really wanted. Then later they came back to me, offering me the other part in the film, playing against the guy who got “my” part. I ended up liking it better that way. So that time I didn’t get cast and I did get cast.

You act your little heart out and sometimes you’re hardly noticed. Sometimes you’re noticed and you still don’t get the job.

In most things, there is no rhyme or reason to casting.

Earlier this week I went to a callback for a play, and it was a very different experience. I guess first off, it’s a play and not a commercial. Sure, there’s that. (Of course, I was once called back for a play and wasn’t really noticed because they meant to call someone else. Perhaps I’ll tell that another time. I digress.) This time, not only was it a lot fun, and not only did I just play around a bit and try to have fun with it, but I didn’t feel like I had to lay myself bare to be loved or noticed.

First off when I arrived I noticed there were more than a few faces I’d have expected to see there, and this was a good thing. The lobby was overflowing with talent, and (strangely, or not) most of that talent I hadn’t actually worked with before. And a few of them I couldn’t wait to work with. This puts me in a good mood, as I feel I’m in good company.

Next, when I get a chance to go in and read a scene, there were three auditors and only a slight tinge of nervousness on my part, which lasted the briefest of moments. I’ve known those three faces for anywhere from about fifteen to twenty…some years. I’ve acted with all three. I’ve directed all three. I’ve produced alongside two of them with three different companies on many projects, and I’ve been directed by one of them on numerous productions.

If that tinge of nervousness didn’t immediately disappear I’d have a real problem.

So why was it there at all?

It was an audition. It was a test.

test (n): an event or situation that reveals the strength or quality of someone or something by putting them under strain

Failure is always a possibility.

Yes, that sounds negative, but I know enough to like to be real about it.

I’m looking forward to working with all that talent.


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