I am an actor, I have learned that there are many reasons to try on ALL
hats. One of the most important hats of all: Producer.
- it’s a confidence builder: if you can produce a play/webseries/film etc then you can do anything
- you learn SO much being on the other side that can become valuable tools/skills you can apply to your acting career
- learning important life skills: time management, effective verbal
communication, effective written communication, assertiveness,
assuredness, organization, negotiation, etc
- you become a better actor (you get to watch the entire process of
the actors in your play or film, different actors = different processes)
- learn the ins and outs of submissions and benefit from others’ mistakes
- learn to be a better auditioner by being on the other side of things
- you become a more grateful and appreciative actor (no more last
minute comp requests to your already stressed-out producer, or no more
schedule changes to an already challenging film schedule)
- the people you meet and the connections you make
- getting your SAG card
- ensuring your face shows up on at least one film festival big screen
and not in the hard drive of yet another empty-promises
- bragging rights: Wanna come see my show? I literally made it happen.
So the first couple months of the year were wonderfully crazy busy,
mainly with cool acting stuff like shooting a new webseries, completing
an indie feature and producing a play. And then filming was completed
and the run of the play ended and just like that everything came to a
screeching hault. I got anxious. I got scared. I’d submit daily on LA
Casting and Actors Access and NOTHING. My boyfriend was getting
auditions left and right, which only highlighted even more how I
couldn’t even get one! When’s the Next Thing? Will there even
be a Next Thing? What do I do now? What should I do now? What direction do I take my career at this point? I need to DO SOMETHING.
With a little time (and breathing and good friends) I embraced my
newfound “free time” to take up the things I complained about not having
time to do before- like painting, dancing and
hanging out with friends, while continually submitting for
auditions, meeting with my writing partner and seeing theater (ok so
maybe this “free time” is dwindling…..). I also got a fun idea for a
blog post (coming soon!) to count the number of casting notices I submit
for versus the number of auditions I get. So for the past week I’ve
been diligently keeping track of all my audition submissions and guess
what? All of a sudden I’m getting called in. I’ve had one almost every
day. I’m juggling auditions between my day jobs (yes, that is plural)
and meeting friends, networking, seeing shows, working shows, directing a
show and now that painting I started a couple weeks ago is sitting in
my office unfinished. I’m TOO BUSY! So busy, in fact, that I completely
missed yesterday’s blog post.
But… isn’t that what I was anxious about? Having nothing to do and
not moving forward in my career? Well, the second I put my energy there
(in a positive way, not in a stressed/anxious/”something is wrong with
me, that’s why I’m not getting called in” negative way), shit started
happening, so, I guess I got what I wished for. It’s also a friendly
reminder to myself that I AM moving forward. I AM doing stuff. I AM in
milestones that got me so stoked it may or may not have brought a tear
(or two) to my eye. It’s important to celebrate ALL victories, big and small.
Getting the callback for the role of “Ceci” in Lydia at the Mark Taper Forum
I was literally jumping up and down with a
huge smile on my face and tears listening to the voicemail on my cell
phone that I got the callback. I listened to it like ten times. I LOVED
this play and this part. And, I mean, it’s the Taper!
Again, maybe a little jumping, maybe a
tear or two and a whole lot of smiling. This was one of my major goals
for 2011 and to get it so soon in the year was just icing on the cake.
I researched and researched the gazillion
theater companies in LA and fell in love with NOTE and despite not
knowing a soul in the company managed to land myself an audition and,
eventually, membership to the company.
My first audition for network TV- CSI
I was shocked, ecstatic, nervous as hell
when I got called in for my first real TV audition. Yeah it was for one
line and yeah the role called for a Korean teen and I’m half Japanese
who most mistake for Mexican, but it was an audition nonetheless!
Somehow or another (hard work, persistence, patience, networking
perhaps?– there’s some method to this madness) that casting director got
a hold of my headshot and decided to call me in.
First time driving up to a studio lot with my name on the guest list.
I felt so legit! I felt so official. It
was for an indie feature, and no I didn’t get the part but that’s
besides the point. I was called in and the audition was at a real
studio! It was like I got accepted to this elite club. “I’m on the
recently got an audition for a feature film. I was happy to get the
audition notice, as I’ve been having a sort of dry spell lately. When I
received the sides, they were somewhat challenging out of context and my
boyfriend suggested doing a little google search, because sometimes you
can find the script online. Well after a few quick minutes of googling I
found that not only was this a Fox feature film with a casting director
who has many impressive credits, it was for a major motion picture
sequel! (they used a code name in the initial breakdown– I did
not know CDs do that). The second I realized the casting office and
background of the CD, and finally, what this film actually was I became
But am I this nervous when I’m auditioning for a student film? No.
When I’m auditioning for community theater? Nope. For a friend’s
project? Not at all. So why should I be nervous for this? If I could
walk into that room with the same confidence and assuredness as I do
when I walk into any other casting room, that’s half the battle. I must
remind myself that I already beat out the odds when I was specifically chosen from the hundreds upon hundreds of submissions and chosen despite my lack of studio credits or a theatrical agent
for that matter. I must remind myself: it’s not a fluke. And
most importantly, as the awesome Bonnie Gillespie says in her super
kickass blog, I must remember to be “grateful for however far you get in the process, every single time. It’s a miracle anyone ever gets their “big break” in this town.”
Of course I prepared the shit out of those sides. Off book. Outfit
carefully chosen. Scene rehearsed sitting, standing, walking around.
Directions to the casting office triple checked. Headshot resumes
perfectly cropped, stapled and ready to go in my acting folder. I was
prepared. And this made me realize something else– the way I treated
this audition, very seriously, is the way I should treat those others-
the student films, the plays, the friend’s side projects. You have no
idea what any one of these opportunities may lead, so you
might as well make the most out of each and every one.