Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Staying on the path

I had an audition on Sunday for a theatrical production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” I went, but didn’t end up auditioning, which was really hard.

First, in order for this to make sense, you have to know that I am Queen of the World when it comes to sabotaging myself. I will pick a goal, start down the path, and immediately get sidetracked. (“Hm, this other path looks interesting. I wonder what’s down here? I wonder if it leads to the same place as the one I started on? Let’s find out. I can always come back to this spot if the other path doesn’t take me where I want to go.” Of course, six months later I’m back at the initial place I started, I take 3 more steps and oh, look! Another interesting side path! Wonder what’s down there . . . I’m like a damn 5-year-old! LOL) On the other hand, the times I have really focused and stayed on track, the force of my will became something fierce to be reckoned with.

So I made some goals from that list I had. The first two, which I put a fairly quick time frame on, were to get an agent(s) (commercial and theatrical), and my SAG (Screen Actor’s Guild) card. Here’s the thing: a lot of people have trouble getting their SAG card. Not everyone, certainly, but there are more than a few people who struggle for a year or two before they get it. And agents aren’t generally terribly enthused about seeing people who have no card, because it’s MUCH harder to book jobs that pay well if you don’t have it. So those two goals are big ones, mostly because of the time frame I put on them.

So here’s what I have to change in order to accomplish those two things:
I need to take a commercial class – badly. I’m really good at dramatic readings, but I really, REALLY suck at commercials. And agents generally sign you for commercials first, to see if you’re marketable and committed.
I also need to do a mass headshot mailing to various agencies. That means that in the next couple of weeks, I need to get my headshots and resumes printed in large quantity (100-200 of each), staple them all together, buy manila envelopes and postage, print a hundred (or so) labels, revise my cover letters (different versions so that when you mail to more than one agent in an office, it doesn’t look so much like a form letter), stuff the envelopes, label them and get them in the mail. It’s not hard; just time-consuming and expensive.

So those are the two major steps I need to be taking. I already started on the headshots, and the commercial class I’m going to take starts the first Saturday in June. I’m a busy kid. :)

Now. The audition. I submitted online, but there was no rehearsal schedule posted. Most of these things seem to rehearse in the evenings though and I knew I would be tired if I did that, but figured I could manage. When I got there, the rehearsals were most of the day on Saturdays and Sundays. Right in the middle of my commercial class, which I really need to take if I want to get an agent. There were also a couple of other things that gave me pause and I just had the overwhelming feeling that this was NOT where I was supposed to be. Here’s the thing, though: I’d been so excited for this audition, because ALL my training is theatrical, and I finally felt like I had an audition that I KNEW I could knock out of the park. I wasn’t nervous but I WAS excited. And now I felt like it was the wrong thing, and I didn’t know WHY I felt that way!

It suddenly flashed into my mind that doing theatre was not anywhere on that list of goals I had set. Getting an agent and going SAG were on the list (which this show would interfere with), but doing a theatrical production wasn’t. Especially since I have CRAZY theatre credits on my resume already; it’s not like I need any more of those. All of a sudden I had this visual in my head of standing at the top of that path saying, “Maybe this other path will get me to my destination, too!” So I went over to the coordinator, introduced myself and thanked him and his partner for calling me in. I explained that I had some major schedule conflicts, so rather than take up their time, I was going to excuse myself, but that I really appreciated their invitation to audition.

And I left. It was the hardest thing I’ve done in a while, but I know it was the right thing to do. I felt like I’d achieved some huge turning point or passed some test. But you know what? I HATE getting tested by the powers that be!


Carolyn said...

Good job!

Dagny said...

From the Dagny Philosophy of Life: Always address the matter at hand with rational thought and you WILL make the right decision! Ask yourself "What needs to be done now?" Answer the question honestly and then DO IT.

Marste said...

Thanks, guys!

Dagny - that kind of goes along with my motto in life: Make your choice and then shut up about it. Don't bitch about the consequences.

Do I adhere to it? Ummmm, most of the time?