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Why you should buy stock in ice cream

October 3, 2011

These past few weeks, I’ve been concentrating on three big auditions and two big grant applications that were due. Writing grant applications is great because it really forces you to pare down your words and think clearly and rationally about the project you are pitching……big auditions, though, seem to have the opposite effect, causing irrational thinking. I have the very bad habit of projecting in my mind all the imagined ways that this gig will be amazing while on my way to a callback.  I don’t like to schedule events when I’m waiting to hear about a job, because I’m afraid that saying yes to an invitation for something that falls in the rehearsal period will jinx my chances of getting the job. And I’ll admit, I’ve budgeted the income I would get for a commercial gig in the lobby of the casting office. It’s a terrible habit and one I’m working to rid.

But worse, I think, is the irrational thinking I often do…. even after I know I don’t have the job. I became aware of this illogical behavior when I was finalizing one of my grant application.  The final question of the application read something like this:

“If you do not receive funding from XYZ Arts Council, will you still go ahead with your project and if so, how?’

And I thought: Why don’t actors get asked that question at auditions? Because, you see, I’ve got an answer.

Imagine the scene:  You are at callbacks, and finish a scene with a reader. There’s a great vibe in the room, the director gave you some adjustments that you incorporated well, you felt you understood the character, you connected with the reader, the producer laughed spontaneously at your comic timing and it’s all just AWESOME. But of course, this is still just a callback.  The director thanks you again for coming in and as you are about to walk out the door, says, “oh, hey Tara, we were wondering, if we don’t give you this job, will you still do this job, and how?”

And I’d answer (in grant-application-speak):  “If this artist does not secure this gig, the artist WILL continue to do this job.   The artist proposes to do the job she does not have in this chronological order:   if this artist does not receive a phone call or email regarding this job within the next day, the artist will re-play the audition and callback obsessively in the artist’s mind, even when talking to loved ones about other matters, causing annoying inattentiveness. The actor will develop this further, by going over the details of the callback in spoken word with loved ones, with the subtext of asking for reassurance from them that the producers are probably just busy or idiots for not calling yet. Upon the passage of an unreasonable amount of time (1 – 5 weeks, depending on production schedule) the artist will give up hope of being called by the producer, but will continue to work this job, by searching the theatre’s website for casting information to find out which more talented actress has been cast in this role. The artist will then look for reviews of show or, if in the New York Area, the artist will torture herself by going to see the show under the guise of “research.”  After seeing the show the artist is not in but is still doing, the artist will go to Cold Stone Creamery.”

6 Comments leave one →
  1. October 3, 2011 10:05 am

    Thanks for the laugh, lady! What a funny way to make a great point 🙂

  2. October 3, 2011 10:52 am

    Love this one — Hilarious and astute!

  3. California Triple-Threat permalink
    October 3, 2011 1:53 pm

    I can totally relate! This is especially awful when I’m up against friends- I stalk their facebook profiles to see if they got the phone call I wanted. ugh!

  4. October 3, 2011 9:32 pm

    From one redheaded actress to another…totally feel you. It helps me (a little) to remind myself that there are about 1.2 billion different unknown variables involved in the casting process. Glad you found my blog so I could find yours! 🙂

  5. October 3, 2011 11:17 pm

    Not getting a call from a casting director is worse than not getting a call from the guy you met at last night’s bar. BOO.

  6. October 13, 2011 7:53 pm

    Thanks all for the replies! What a great community your are building Kate!
    And to all of you who commented.. I hope you all get all the calls you’ll ever!! 🙂 Keep me posted !

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