I’M NOT GOING OUT! I SHOULD BE GOING OUT!
I hear this all the time. I have so many friends come to me, “I should be going out! I’m this, I’m that! I just finished this class! I’ve been with my agent for three months! Why am I not going out? I’m so good! I was going out a ton this time last year! All my friends are going out!! I just got new headshots! I just did a workshop with a casting director! I’m so right for their show!” Pump the breaks and I’m going to tell you why you need to stop complaining. I’m not being mean, I’m just going to give you a little reasoning. Bear with me.
I was guilty of this too and caught myself. I knew I had to change my mentality and honestly trust that when a role became available that I was right for (keyword!), I would audition for said role. This goes for any role, series reg, guest star, co-star, etc.
It’s not that your agent isn’t pitching you. Do you think they want you sitting there on their roster not making them money? It’s not that casting doesn’t want to see you. Do you think they want to spend hours upon hours continuously searching for the one person that can do the job that works tomorrow?? They want you to book it so they can go home and not stress about work! It’s not that your sparkly new demo reel with your two new network credits isn’t enough… It’s just…
THE JOB HAS TO BE THERE.
I can’t stress it enough. There has to be a job available for you even to be going out! You can’t be hired for something that doesn’t exist! That’s like, trying to get a job at a doctor’s office that’s already fully staffed and don’t have a need for new employees. Now that doesn’t mean they won’t take your resume, but just— hear me out.
When an opportunity does present itself that is specifically right for you, that’s when you know you will audition for it. However, there are countless reasons why you could or could not be called in. It likely has more with your essence, look, type, more than anything else. Ideally, casting is really open to all types, ethnicities, etc. Sometimes (often) though, it’s written into a story how specific a character is, including but not limited to (cue pharmaceutical side-effects speed speech): gender, ethnicity, stature, size, voice, type, leading lady/ character type, etc, the list goes on and on. Look, I’m 20-something Mexican girl (who’s a little ambiguous, I swear, whatever people are, they start speaking to me in their language, so I'm like, I can be so many things, right!), but do you think I’m really going to audition and book the role of a specifically written mid-40’s Asian man? I don’t think so. And I’ve accepted that. But, when there is a role for say… a Latina or any ethnicity, 20’s, female, open to all types…. and casting asks to see me, you bet I’m going to do everything I can to prepare and give them my best interpretation of the story. And even then, I may not go on to book it AND THAT’S OKAY!!!! Say it with me, "it's okay!" It's okay to be sad about it, too. I think that's normal and if you didn't feel a little sad you didn't get the job you prepared hours if not days for, then you might not being tune with your feelings and actors need those, so... But then, you watch the show later and see who they went with and they didn’t read anything like you! But they got it because they fit the role and made most sense of the character for the story. OR. THE ROLE WAS CUT! So it’s like it never even existed, but you did all the work in the first place, which is crazy, but it happens.
So don’t worry if your friend had three auditions last week and you haven’t had one in a month. Your friend isn’t you. You are the only you in the world, and you are the best at being you. No one can duplicate you. (Cue that dessert song!) So instead of worrying why you’re not auditioning, do your work, study, exercise, find things that make you happy, that you fill you with experiences that make you full and well rounded. And the most important thing is, be happy where you are on your journey and especially be happy for your friends. (I’ll elaborate later on friends and comparing yourself to others and how DANGEROUS it is!)
I’m pretty honest with myself and my type (more on how you can help find yours later), but I’m still optimistic yet very realistic. And you have to be if you want to be in this business. I’m at the point in my career though, and I wish I had started out like this honestly, that I would rather audition for fewer roles, roles that I am much more right for than to audition for a ton of roles that I’m kinda-sorta right for. Right? Wouldn’t you prefer quality over quantity? I would rather audition for things that I am more right for that I actually have a fighting chance to book as opposed to roles that might be a long shot. At least for right now, book the jobs you need to build up your resume. (I can’t wait to play an evil queen in my later years!) But I always say, beggars can’t be choosers. That’s why I’m still single. But book what you need to now, and then move on!
The truth is, you’re not going to audition for everything. You’re not going to be right for everything. And that’s okay because you will be right for something. You can’t play every role on a show or a film, that would be a one-man show (which are awesome!).
The great thing though, is that writers, directors and casting directors are doing their due diligence to make television and film more diverse to be reflective of the real world. So for those co-stars you need to build your resume like, cop, waiter, receptionist, nurse— they are being more open to both men and women, all ethnicities because it’s what’s real, and I LOOOOVE THAT. Like, what a great time to be an actor, am I right?
I hope this gives you some peace of mind. Being an actor is tough. It’s literally the one job in the world where your future is at the discretion of other people’s opinions and decisions. It’s nearly impossible to have control over anything other than your work and performance. Not everybody has the chance to really pursue their dreams and realize what they were meant to do with their lives. You should feel confident and happy and really impressed with yourself that you were brave enough to make the choice, to think long term, think of the big picture, and give yourself the chance to actually do it.
Any good books lately?? Also. CAN WE TALK ABOUT THE CROWN ON NETFLIX. OMG. I just binge watched it all weekend and was fascinated. Claire Foy is spectacular! I love, love loved it and all the challenges she faced as Queen. If you haven't watched it, do. It just, humanized and made all the royal family so real. Love love love.
Happy Monday! Go have an amazing week!! Chin up, buttercup!! Hang in there. You got this.