Saturday
Nov152014

It's Not Me, It's You

I often compare an acting career to dating.  Let's take the audition process:  You find out someone you're interested in is also interested in you.  You arrange a day and time to meet.  You prepare what you're going to say, get all dressed up, do your best to appear interested but not desperate, and 9 times out of 10 you'll get rejected for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with you.

Like sometimes, you just don't have a penis when you need to have a penis.  I'll explain...

I just got back into the commercial game and yesterday, I was scheduled for an audition - an audition about which I was mutha-truckin' stoked.  I confirmed my time slot, washed my hair, and took a look at the script.  Upon said look, I thought to myself "what the f*ck am I actually auditioning for?"  There were no females in this script and, as it happens, I am one.  I tried to put that doubt aside.  I memorized the copy and prepared myself to be prepared for anything.  This is why you take improv classes after all, so you're ready to go with the flow. Young dudes in flannel shirts and chucks are just an added bonus.  

All day, I couldn't shake the feeling that something was awry with this audition.  I kept waiting for an update, a clarification, something to ease my uneasiness.  Such an update never came, so I threw on some lip gloss and drove to the casting office.  As I was parking, my phone rang.  It was my agent calling to say the casting office made a mistake, switched the role to a male actor, and forgot to cancel me.  Sometimes you just don't have a penis when you need to have a penis.  We had a laugh about it, wished each other a great weekend, and I drove home.  When I hung up, I was a bit pouty.  I couldn't help thinking "What if I hadn't answered the phone and gone in? Maybe they would have let me read and I could have changed their minds."  

No.  Just like suddenly being into underground Japanese metals bands from the 80s isn't going to make that hot bartender fall in love with you, I'm not going to deliver two lines of commercial dialogue so cleverly brilliant that I make a casting director, production office, and network throw their idea out the window and offer me my "big break".  That's not how it works.  Not in acting, not in dating, not in life.  

You can't change what someone else wants.  You can't worry about being what you think someone else wants.  You can only be you.  Do your best, work hard, and be ready for opportunity.  This commercial wasn't the one, but the next one might be, and I'll be ready.  I'll be prepared, I'll plan a strategically timed hair flip, and I'll do my best.  That's what it's about.  

I also learned something very important.  Always trust your gut.  I knew something weird was up but instead of calling my agent, asking if I needed to be a dude for this spot, and moving on, I tiptoed my way through the day hoping I'd figure out what the f*ck I was actually auditioning for.  I didn't trust my gut.  Is the sexy bearded guy on Tinder between jobs and cars and apartments?  Trust. Your. Gut.  Swipe left and move on.  The next one might just be perfect for you.

Cheers,

Melissa