Monday, November 17, 2014

The Audition Game

Auditions. Callbacks. Casting. It's a process that never stops being heart-wrenching. As an actor I'm used to rejection. I have to be. We all get rejected, over and over again, and spend a lot more time being not cast than cast. As my current show (First Christmas at the SCERA in Orem) goes into performances on Friday, I've started hunting for auditions again. I have four auditions lined up over the next two weeks, and each show is so different.It's anyone guess as to which one I'll end up doing, or if I'll be cast at all, because heaven knows that's not guaranteed.

Here's the thing: I hate auditions. I hate them more than almost anything else. They are evil things that violently assault your self-esteem and compress your value as a person into sixteen bars of a Broadway song. Even when you feel that you've nailed it, hit your selection out of the park, the anxiety sets in almost instantly. The rush of adrenaline lasts for three or four minutes, and then you all you can think about is,"Did I get it? Did I get it? Did I get it?"

If it were as easy as just saying, "I don't care if I get it or not. I did my best, and that's what matters" don't you think I would do it? I so wish I could do that! But if I didn't care, I would never audition. The ONLY way I can push myself to walk into a theatre clutching a headshot and my resume is to convince myself that I care A LOT. If I didn't tell myself that this show was the best opportunity to ever come along, that I belong  in this cast, that I am talented and capable and ready to blow away this director, I would literally never audition. So every time I hear about an audition I have to tirelessly talk it up to myself, and if it doesn't work out I have to immediately start back-pedal. The show wasn't right for me. The commute was too far. I'm still talented and capable even if they don't want me. Let me tell you, it is emotionally exhausting.

It's difficult because you never know why you didn't get called back or cast. And maybe it's better not knowing. Would I rather hear that it was because of my face or my voice that they couldn't picture me in the show? Is it better to be rejected for your acting or your dancing? It's all subjective; it could simply be that I looked like an old annoying roommate, or the director hated the show my song was from. You never know. Maybe it was your schedule, maybe it was your outfit, maybe you just weren't good enough. Maybe, maybe, maybe. You can drive yourself insane wondering why. You can't dwell on it, which is easy to say but harder to live. Because I care. I care a lot. My performing would suck if I didn't care. But there's always another audition around the corner. So every time I don't get cast I give myself twenty-four hours to sulk in bitterness before picking up the pieces of my ego and scheduling the next audition.

It's a rough game full of girls vying for the same parts and it never gets easy.

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