Let me preface this blog by saying that I am not a pragmatist. I’m also not a realist. By nature, I am a bit of a dreamer. Whenever I think about something, (a job, a trip, grocery shopping), I am often swept away by unrealistic possibilities. I get carried away by thoughts of how every outing might change my life dramatically.
It would seem that this is the perfect personality type to work in an industry as crazy as entertainment. However, I have learned this is not the case. You have to ground yourself in reality and take control of your business. This sounds like a contradiction, but it’s the truth.
Actors are by nature dreamers. If you weren’t dreamers, you’d be attorneys or accountants. You have chosen a career with no guidelines, no path. A career in which and anything is possible. You’ve made a brave choice to pursue your dreams. Every actor’s path is different, and there is no “right” way to go about an acting career.
So, with possibilities being endless and with hours to fantasize and think, what can you do to manage expectations and keep yourself grounded?
I think it’s important to flip the script when it comes to auditioning. Change your mental outlook and approach.
For every audition, only one actor books the job. ONE! That’s not fair. The odds are not in your favor. So how do you overcome the fear of rejection and focus on the tangible? Yes, the goal is to book the job but what are your other goals?
Before auditioning, I would set those goals and write them in your audition journal. Then, you can leave auditions and reflect upon how you may have met your goal. This moves the emphasis away from booking and onto you.
I believe, an auditioning actor is a working actor. So the goal can be simple. Audition.
Often, actors never hear anything after an audition. That’s when the madness starts. So how do you look back on an audition and not swim in self doubt? You reflect upon your goals.
One goal could be to obtain an introduction to a casting director or producer you’ve never met before.
I cannot tell you how many jobs I’ve gone in for and haven’t gotten, but made a connection in the meeting that ultimately led to another job. People like to work with people they know and trust. Maybe the goal is simply to make a positive impression.
Producers have long memories. Maybe this wasn’t your role, but when they have a new role in mind, they might think of you!
Maybe your goal is just to flex your muscles….you’re an actor. The audition can be accomplishment enough.
Make a list of goals you wish to achieve and then achieve them. Attainable goals are the key to sanity in this insane career.