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Be Nice to Everyone at Auditions

June 26, 2013

…and I do mean everyone.

Picture it, Chicago, 2012.

I bypass the audition room and head into the restroom for a pit stop before signing in and waiting to be seen. The bathroom is typically small of an old building, with doors opening every-which-a-way, which means there is a careful choreography to everyone in the restroom negotiating around the doors without getting smacked from behind by another one.

Out of one stall comes a Flustered Actor, clearly fretting over her pending doom audition. She is generally dismissive of everyone and her scattered energy is bewildering to bear presence. We all know where she is going, she’s an Actor, and clearly is Focused on her audition. She and her companion talk about the prospects at the audition and their pieces, being Artistically Self-Deprecating, because that’s what Real Actors do. She and her companion, gratefully, exit to get signed in at their Very Important Audition.

Out of another stall comes a Nice Lady. She is dressed artsty-ish, but it’s a creative building – she could belong to any number of the offices on that floor. In the tight quarters, she and I negotiate around each other for a space at the sink and exchange a pleasant, relaxed guffaw at the absurdity of the cramped space.

Moments later I am signed in, and soon called into the audition room. I enter the room to discover that Nice Lady is the person I am auditioning for, and I am immediately grateful that I have outgrown the need to show everyone how focused I am as an actor by wearing my auditions on my sleeve. Once upon a time, I was that Flustered Actor. I thought that real actors make sure everyone knows how focused they are on their craft. But really, real actors are focused on their craft, but they let the craft speak for itself in its own time and place.

Lesson learned: Always be nice to everyone – even the lady (or gent) in the stall (or urinal) next to you, they just might be the person with hiring power. After all, you don’t want to walk in the audition room and realize you just confessed to the person hiring actors that you stayed up too late last night and hope-to-god you can remember the lines you learned on the subway en route to the audition.


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