Don’t Be Afraid To Speak Up!

Last night I had the wonderful/stressful experience of attending multiple auditions within an hour. They were close enough in location that I was confident I could make both. I also gave myself enough time between auditions to make both…or so I thought. As it would happen, I got to my first audition to find out that they were running behind. I thought about asking the auditor how far they were running behind and telling him I had another audition to get to. But I decided not to say anything. The auditor was, after all, very busy checking people in and making sure they didn’t fall even more behind.

So I sat down and started filling out the audition form. I was soon joined by a friend of mine also attending the audition, who also had another audition to get to. She was scheduled to audition just a couple of people after me. However, she made the smarter decision to let the auditor know that she had somewhere she needed to be. Despite that it was now past the time when I should have entered the room to sing and perform my monologue, I still decided not to tell the auditor. He was, after all, very busy.

Fast forward to forty minutes later.  I still haven’t auditioned, I’m freaking out about missing my second audition, I’ve just learned my smart friend is going to be seen before me,  and I’m not nearly focused enough on my songs and my monologue– Speaking of which, did I mention that my monologue was in a British accent? HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO FOCUS ON AN ACCENT RIGHT NOW?

You get the picture. My friends, please do not be timid when it comes to auditions/appoints that lead to getting work. You certainly don’t need to run up to the table freaking out about how you need to get out of the building and over to Broadway and Belmont by 9:00pm. But it’s okay to politely let the auditor know that you have another audition. Worst case scenario, they say they can’t move you up. Whereas in my case, I kept my mouth shut and had to wait longer.

Please note, I did not run up to the table freaking out about my audition at Broadway and Belmont. What I did do was eventually inform him about my second audition (thought at that point I was already next in line). I did my pieces, jumped in a cab and arrived in the nick of time for my second audition. Now, if you ever do find yourself rushing to an audition, do yourself a favor – take a breath when you’re in the cab, train, car, and go over your pieces. Or simply take your mind off the audition all together to relax. Had I not done that, I certainly would not have gotten a callback for my second audition.

Universe, I owe you one.

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Never Sacrifice Happiness to Pursue Your Career

I got home a short while ago after working one of my survival jobs. In short, it was an awful day. I’ve learned that these days happen with this particular job and it’s frustrating.

I’ve found myself repeating these same phrases:

“I want this to be the last job I work before I become a fulltime actor.”

“The flexibility is just too good here. I’ll never find it anywhere else.”

“Yeah, the pay is pretty bad. But things will pick up eventually.”

“There are some days where I’m really unhappy. But that’s the price of being an actor.”

There are so many more that I’m sure I’m not thinking about right now. Regardless, there’s one conclusion that I thought of earlier, and I want to share it:  Never sacrifice happiness to pursue your career. No matter what you’re going for. It’s not worth it and it’s not fair to you.

As far as the whole “last job before I go fulltime” bit, that could be a reeeeeallly long wait. I can write a whole long list of things I need to accomplish before that happens. I’d rather be happy now. Yes, the flexibility is better than any other job I’ve ever had. But considering I can count the number of actors on one hand that work with me there, I’m willing to bet that there are other flexible jobs out there.

Also, why do I have to wait for things to “pick up?” I’ve been saying this phrase for years. To me, it’s like the whole concept that actors “can’t always wait for work to come to them.” We’re encouraged to create our own work. Personally, I find that idea intimidating. But when I think of some of the plays I would LOVE to be a part of that never seem to be put on in Chicago, I start to think, “What if I did try to put on one of these plays?” While I admit that Chicago has its flaws, it is a GREAT place to create your own work. And that’s something I’d like to start doing too. I’ll save that idea for another blog post.

I’ve also noticed other coworkers that are unhappy. Why do we do this to ourselves? In my last post, I wrote about how everything we do is our decision. No one is making us do so many of the things we don’t want to do.

Today I’ve made the decision to be happy while chasing my dreams. It’s a tough road…why make it tougher?