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This Is a Crazy Profession…Be Prepared For Anything!

May 4, 2011

A couple of days ago, I found myself tired after a four-mile walk, just about to nod off to nap on a chair with my husband, when…

*Ring Ring!*

I looked down at my phone and one of my colleagues from the Wicked workshop production I’m involved in was calling. And on a Sunday? That never happens. I let it go to voicemail, not wanting to be pulled from a relaxing afternoon nap, but then realized that it must be something important for him to be interrupting HIS relaxing Sunday and called him right back.

“We have a table read for the first season of my production company’s newest web series going on at Shetler Studios in an hour and one of our lead actresses just cancelled on us. Can you make it??”

From makeup-less and half-asleep to at the studio 25 minutes away looking performance-ready? It was a challenge, but I’m always up for a good one of those and I was thrilled to be involved in a new project and eager to help out this colleague of mine, who always does so much good work for others.

How was I able to pull this off? I believe my success was due to three main factors:

1. I live nearby. I think this is key to not missing great opportunities sometimes (I recently had an extra Broadway ticket and couldn’t find anyone to go with me who could make it to the Theatre District on 45 minutes notice — sadface!). But if you can’t or don’t want to live in the middle of everything, be willing to spend some cash to cab it quickly. It’s worth it in my opinion to spend some money in order to build the reputation that you are an ass-saver and that committed.

2. I always have a few performance/audition outfits thought out in my head and clean so that in an emergency, I can just throw something on and know that it looks good. This goes for hairstyles, too. My go-to “bad hair day” or “post-four-mile-walk” do is a big ballerina bun on top of my head.

3. I have a job flexible enough to allow for last-minute shifts like that. I had impending dog business that afternoon when my friend called me, but was able to quickly improvise and reschedule. Also key.

All of these factors and a lot of luck combined into an opportunity for me to take part in this awesome table read:

…And then get offered a role in the series when it films this summer, hooray!

This is an absolutely crazy (and wonderful!) industry that we’ve chosen to be a part of. Be prepared for anything, and be prepared in turn to work  a lot and be greatly valued!

What is your craziest last-minute work or audition story? What are your best tips for being prepared?

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. The Practical Artist permalink
    May 4, 2011 9:35 am

    Bad situations (like the lead actress cancelling) lead producers to call on the ones they trust. If you can deliver in a sticky situation, your name will get passed off when a friend of that producer calls in a panic. What I’ve learned is, you tend to get more work out of last minute saves than a low-key show that went well.

  2. May 4, 2011 4:38 pm

    That’s awesome! Great story – love it!

  3. California Triple-Threat permalink
    May 5, 2011 1:28 pm

    Yay! Congrats on the role! I’m excited for you!

  4. May 8, 2011 12:07 am

    I love this – thanks for sharing!

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