Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Acting Blues aka No Auditions, No Bookings, No Nothing

Feeling blue....

I admit that I feel down if a day goes by in which I don't get emailed/called for an audition.  I feel down if I go more than a couple of weeks without booking a gig.  Whether it be a student film, a feature, a promo, paid or unpaid, anything.  I hate being like this.  When this sort of thing happens it doesn't  discourage me from my career; I won't let it.  I get how this business is.  It just makes me feel blue.   I am constantly checking my email.  It's obsessive.  Some days I will check it literally every 5 minutes or less!  I am addicted to my iPhone.  When I check and there is no news it saddens me.

This is craziness!!! I can rationalize in my head and know that I have come so far in the past year and a half.  I can rationalize that I work in something nearly every two-three weeks usually as a lead or supporting role.   And the last two things I did were paid.  (Not  much, but I was still excited.)  And this week, I am scheduled to shoot a promo video and that is also a paid job.  If I am not in a production or submitting myself for a production, than at least I am updating my resume, editing my reel, or lately, blogging and reading other actors' blogs.

So why do I feel so blue?  Why do I get like this?  Just because I go a couple, er, a few days without getting a response to one of the many of headshots I send out everyday?  Yes!!  And it's not good.  But I am trying to be honest and more personal with my blog so I want to write about this.

Maybe I get this way because I am an extremely impatient person. Although I know an acting career can take many years, I fantasize about the day when I will be able to go part time at my day job.  And then the day where I will be able to quit right away without even giving a notice because I landed a big part and am needed on set right away. Sigh:) When I do work in something, it is extremely hard to go to my regular job the next day and stay focused.

I am trying to work out these blues by writing this entry.  Maybe, I feel that everyday that goes by without an audition notice is a setback.  Or maybe it's because I like to be in control and with acting it sometimes feels like you are not in control at all. Which isn't true by the way. I have learned that you can have control in this business (mmmm sounds like a future blog post) and the things you can't control you just have to let go. Maybe it's because I am getting older.   I do wish sometimes that I pushed more for this career when I was younger.  But then maybe the best things in my life (meeting my husband being the very best one)  wouldn't have fallen into place correctly.  And I know this.  Or maybe my energy gets drained from working full time AND pursuing acting which in itself is basically a full time job.  And when I'm tired I can feel down.  I just can't wait for the day when I can put all my energy solely into my acting career.  I guess it is ALL these factors that lead to my feeling blue.

Don't worry.  This doesn't mean I'm depressed.  It doesn't mean I'm discouraged.  It doesn't mean that I have self pity and I certainly do not want pity from anyone else either.  I don't even need sympathy (although empathy is welcomed:)).  Everyone has their own things to deal with in life and this cannot compare to many of those things.

I am writing this to share the ups and downs I go through personally as an actor.  I am writing this so I can figure out a way to deal with this issue.  Yes, it has been a few days since anyone has called me in for an audition.  Well, what happens if one day I go for months without getting any responses?  I have heard of this happening to many actors and the thought scares me.  How will I handle that?

If this blog post seems all over the place, it is because I am brainstorming as I write.  I am trying to prepare myself for anything.  To come up a plan.  Figure what things I need to work on to get to the next level.

The basics are in check:

I'm happy with my current head-shots. They look just like me and say what I want them to say about me.

Film reel. Check. Commercial reel. Check. IMDB page. Check.

I'm happy about the casting opportunities that are made available to me even without an agent.  I'm good about submitting to castings constantly throughout the day.

I'm not stressed to join the union or even get an agent yet.

I'm pleased with the work I have done and the things I have learned with each experience.

But as I'm writing it is becoming crystal clear where I am lacking.  And this is something I have known for a long time.  The  two things I need to do more, especially in the down time, are take more classes and attend industry showcases.

I know.  Taking classes seems like a no brainer.  But I am going to admit that I haven't taken one in a while.  Like a year.  As I said, I'm trying to be honest and real here.  The thing with classes is that I am ten times more nervous in front of a teacher and fellow students then I am in front of a casting director or director.   I feel more comfortable, confident, and free at an audition, in front of someone whom I have never met, someone who could potentially give me my next part, then I do in class.  I don't know why.  That's just me.  I would rather learn from playing a lead role in a student film then by taking a class.  But I know classes are important.  And many are taught by casting directors so they are a great way to be seen by industry professionals.

All this being said, I am signed up for a free commercial class Monday night with acting coach John Pallotta.  Hopefully this will motivate me to take more classes.  I will let you know how it goes. Somehow writing this down makes me feel determined and empowered.

The other thing I mentioned was attending industry showcases.  Basically you can pay for a one-on-one interview/audition with top agents.  It's perfectly legit and a lot of actors find success this way. So why haven't I done this you ask?  I don't know.  I mean,  I'm pretty confident with all I have to offer this industry.  I just get very overwhelmed at deciding which ones to go too and sometimes feel like I don't know what I'm doing.

Which makes something else very clear.  I need to do more research on these people.   I think that will be my new thing starting this week.   I read an awesome blog last week written by casting director Bonnie Gillespie and she mentioned writing everything you learn about each casting director in a notebook.  So that's what I'm gonna do.  Buy a notebook and use this one strictly for notes on agents and casting directors.

Now I'm excited.  Now I feel better.  I feel proactive.  Because I've written this down I feel motivated to follow through these new ventures wholeheartedly.  And I feel it can only lead to positive things.

But I still need to practice patience:)

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