Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Color Me Disappointed. For Now.

I play nurses, doctors, & reporters. It's kind of my thing. I was excited about this particular audition because it was different. At the end of the scene, my character would pull a gun on the cops and get shot. Yes, I was auditioning to play the bad guy. Fun!

My imagination ran wild - a propmaster would have to show me how to handle a fake gun! I'd get to see my stunt double get hooked up with squibs! I'd get to act badass instead of professional! In other words, I really started to want it.

Which made the disappointment that much greater when my audition was cancelled. The part wasn't getting written out of the script. I was just being uninvited to the casting session. Many possible reasons why - the director might have had someone in mind, they could have changed the ethnicity of the role, or perhaps they needed to trim the casting pool to the most experienced actors and I didn't make the cut. I'll never know why.

When I heard the audition was cancelled, I did the first thing anyone in my position would do. I scarfed down a BLT with avocado AND french fries AND a ginger ale. Then I ate a cookie.

Moments later, while sitting at my computer regretting my food choices, I took a deep breath. I wouldn't get to be shot by TV cops, but you know what? It was an honor to be nominated. I beat out a ton of actors to get the audition in the first place. The casting office knows my name now and that means something.

Then I thought about how lucky I was to have this day job that was going to let me go to that audition. In fact, I was lucky to be pursuing my dream, period. I thought about all my wonderful friends and colleagues who believe in me. And I calmed down. I focused on gratitude and got over myself.

Total time? 30 minutes.

I didn't always have the ability to bounce back this quickly from disappointment, but learning how to do it has been one of the keys to my success. Being an actor means constantly looking for a job and getting rejected. Disappointment is part of the game and if I can't roll with that, I might as well make spreadsheets in a cubicle for the rest of my life.

Now I'm not saying you can't be disappointed as an actor. Annoying and frustrating stuff happens all the time in this business. Get angry about all of it! Absolutely - have it out. Preferably in the privacy of your car or home.

But dwelling on disappointment, letting it squash your spirit - there's no room for that if you want to be a successful actor. Because the truth is there's plenty more opportunity down the line. The engine of Hollywood continues and the next audition is just around the corner.

So my prop gun / stuntwoman / bad guy dream role will remain a dream for now. But it will come along soon enough. I know it.

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