the Joys and Pains of...
the audition: Rejection
the 1st REAL blog post! here goes...
i've chosen this 1st post to talk about something all people/artists/humans go through at some point...
story: so, i'm in the kitchen making breakfast and i get a call i've been waiting many-a-day (over a week) for.. it's my agent. but... ...before she can even get a word out, i can tell from her "hello" that it's news she really doesn't want to tell me (which i love her for, because she's ALWAYS in my corner... i'll probably do another post about "representation", but let's not get ahead of myself). "after careful consideration, they decided to go another way."
...**long exhale, ever so slight cry on the inside**...
it happens to everyone, all day every day, but you never quite get used to hearing "no" from anyone, for any reason. and then all the inner thoughts come to the front of your mind "was I this".. "was i that".. "did i do enough".. "did i do too much".. "what more could i have done"... and on and on and on it goes.
...for performing artists, in an audition setting (especially right NOW, when it's "audition season", woof!) it's additionally traumatizing. it's honestly the weirdest thing in the world (I really can't believe we do it to ourselves) to stand in front of people and ask to be judged on a daily basis. to say "judge me".. not really based on any facts, but on YOUR opinion of what i'm offering.. it's kind of INSANE. regardless of that fact, we do it. it's the only way we'll work and we choose to work in entertainment: the "show me" sport.
to give it a bit more context: this was a series of big auditions for a musical opening "next season" (in the fall, after the 2016 Tony Awards). it was a "coup" to get the initial audition in the 1st place, because casting and the creative team (director, choreographer, musical director, producers) were being very specific about who they were seeing. so after a good initial audition, i got a callback and that went well. then another callback and that went well. then another callback and THAT went well. so here we are at the "FINAL CALLBACK". now i'm psyched! (i try not to attach any feeling to any audition before at least 1 callback) i feel great, i've been called back several times, i feel like this may actually turn out to be something. the FINAL CALLBACK is seriously, amazing. one of the best auditions i've ever been in attendance of. the talent was incredible all the way around: creatives felt it, casting felt it, we felt it. it was awesome... and then you play the waiting game.
and now we're back to present... i went through all the feelings.. but only slightly.
..i'll preface this by saying.. ..i've been working professionally for awhile now (i started out of high school) BUT. ..i'm by no means "known". and while i have established some great relationships in the field, i'm still learning... constantly learning (as we should always be doing) what works for me.
...all of this is to say, i'm at the point now where i prepare, thoroughly prepare for auditions (some way more than others ..don't judge, i'm working on that) and then let it go. as i told my agent, i did all i could possibly do in the room. i prepared the material i got, i sang my heart out, i danced my butt off. there is nothing more i could've done, without feedback or an adjustment, and i feel solid with that.
i think we have to get to that point, but... that takes time, thick impenetrable skin, and maturity. all of which completely depends on YOU as a person and of course, the circumstances.
i once watched a great Hollywood Reporter Roundtable interview that i found incredibly helpful. [<-- link! I cue'd it up to the quote, but the whole interview has great nuggets of wisdom.] In it, Kerry Washington mentions her "ideas" about auditions:
"..on a good day, i feel like auditions are just an opportunity for me to just do what i love doing for 15 minutes and be detached from the result. ..and that is the most it can be, as you're trying to solve somebody's problem: either by letting them know what they want or by helping them know what they don't want. but YOU are just in there, to kind of, see if you're the puzzle piece for them. ..and that's how i prefer to think about it, because then, you're not buying into this myth that, "I WANT WHAT'S YOURS!" ...what's yours is yours and there's enough for everybody. just do what you LOVE to do.."
i've thought on this immensely, taken to heart, and actively practice it.
it's taken awhile, but i use it as a mantra when it comes to the audition grind. [..it's much, MUCH easier said than done. Like she says in the clip, it's easier when you're in a good head-space, especially because it's a matter of working or NOT working. ...and rent is always due on the 1st..!] ..but it's helped me and i offer it as help to you. i don't think it means egos won't be bruised or you won't be caught up in ALL OF THE FEELINGS (and all the above is totally warranted and valid). to me it does mean, if you're truly prepared to the max (you must at least do that), with your skill set warmed and at your arsenal, and come into the audition room totally open for whatever is thrown your way... then you've done your part. you cannot change YOU. there's also so many variables that you have no control over and YOU are the only thing that sets you apart from the next person. if they do not want you after you've done your best, then they don't want you. (and who wants to be where they're not wanted?)
it's taken me some time, but that's where i am with it.
with all that said, being COMPLETELY transparent... it sucked! i was bummed, but not defeated. bruised but not beaten, because it's all apart of the battle that is being a performing artist and i wear those scars proudly...
... i'm in it to win the war!