I’M STRONGER THAN I THINK

So, I botched another audition … 😦

Before any audition, I always kinda downplay any excitement or gratitude regarding the opportunity. Thoughts of — oh this is just protocol, it’s a long shot, they already booked someone, you’re not going to get it, you have no credits, you have no experience, they don’t know you … help soften the blow when I actually don’t hear back from casting directors. Call it self preservation, but it’s gotten me through 7 years of constant neglect and false hope from Hollywood.

At least I thought so anyways. I didn’t realize the longstanding detrimental repercussions to my sense of self worth and self awareness.

So there are two parts of me: 1. the intellectual, measurable, on paper part of me, and 2. the emotional, can’t put my finger on it but can feel it part of me. I’ve realized recently that there’s a huge gap between the two. What I know and understand about myself isn’t equivalent to how I feel about myself.

Most of the time, I don’t like myself. A lot of the time, I feel I have nothing to offer to this world and my life is meaningless. I have no talent, I am ugly and stupid and there’s a ton of people smarter, prettier, nicer, anything-er than me. I am nothing.

This is the type of thinking that is the result of all my “self preservation”.  In the name of protecting myself and my sensitive ego, talking myself down from any opportunity, I am little by little chipping at any sense of self worth and self confidence I may have had.

And at the most recent audition, this self preservation led to self sabotage. I came in the room not confident, kept fumbling over my lines, and worried that that cuter, younger, smarter, more talented girl in the waiting room is going to kill it and I’m the old hack that never stood a chance. This thought literally manifested into my performance where I completely looked like a noob. After my performance, the director literally said, “Awww you’re so cute.” Ugh, KISS OF DEATH. “Awww you’re so cute” is subtext for “you can’t act, but hey consolation is you cute.” The casting associate asked, “how long you’ve been in LA for?” I meekly replied, 7 years, and his eyebrows arched which translated to: “you’ve been in LA for that long and you still can’t act?!” To add salt to the wound, that cute girl in the waiting room got a callback. I did not.

Look, I know it’s probably not as bad as I have described it. I AM being dramatic, but I am showing how far this negative thinking can go for me. It destroys me and its incessant voice is on loop ALL THE FUCKING TIME. To the point that it blinds me from the intellectual part of me.

On paper, through class time and the observations of my peers, I know I have talent. I know I’m good and have good instincts. I’m relatable, personable, intelligent and inspiring. It’s fun to watch me. And yet I’m so blind to these facts that when someone else, even a stranger, recognizes these features about me, I’m always so … SURPRISED.

This year it’s happened three times already. The first time was when I booked a lead role in This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing. I wrote about the experience in a previous post.  I was surprised that the director and co director trusted me to play a character, the most difficult character to convey, a character I thought very much unlike me, a character I had a lot of trouble understanding and relating, and yet … I killed it. I never even had the capacity to think that that was even a possibility of booking a lead role let alone do it well. They saw something in me that I wasn’t even aware was there.

The second time this happened was last month. I’ve been volunteering at a youth leadership camp for years and one of the traditions at the camp is for two staff members to do a two-person scripted scene. A scene that addresses the existential question of a life worth saving. Heavy stuff, a dramatic piece that I’ve always been intimidated by and never really had the confidence to do it. It was suggested that one of the counselors, a New York theatre graduate, super talented and so funny, should be one of the characters. But when this opportunity was brought to her, she said she would only do the scene if I did it with her … I was shocked. What???! Someone I respected as an actor and admired for her work and thoughtfulness wanted to work with uncombed, unpolished, rough around the edges me? She cray. She’s stupid. WTF? …Wow, once she said that, the idea appealed to me, her confidence in me gave me confidence and guess what? We killed it.

one rope patrick meyers

And then the third time happened yesterday. I took a spin class for the first time. I had no idea what it entailed, I had no idea how to adjust my bike and fit it to my strength, I had no idea I would sweat that much! I wanted to quit, I wanted to stop, I wanted to yell at the instructor to stop yelling at me. But then he said, “YOU’RE STRONGER THAN YOU THINK!” And he kept saying that along rock music I’ve heard on Guitar Hero. My knees felt weird and weak, there was too much resistant, I felt like I was pedaling against mud, against a wall, it felt hopeless for a good 2/3 of the class. But that instructor guy said it again, “YOU’RE STRONGER THAN YOU THINK!” So I kept moving my feet, pushing myself, pushing my legs and knees and eventually, I kept up and sped up.

So what have I learned from all this? That intellectual part of me needs to shout louder and longer for my emotional part of me to feel its truth. For its truth to really resonate within myself and manifest itself into my best self. Instead of surrounding my mind with negative thoughts in the name of self preservation, I must shout what I know about myself in the name of BEST SELF preservation. 😀

Also, I think I will be talking to my therapist to figure out a plan of action to sustain and maintain positive thinking and mental reinforcements of myself for myself and with myself. Wish me luck! ❤

 

 

 

 

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Half Birthdays Suck

Thursday, April 2nd, my half birthday.

Many people don’t really celebrate half birthdays. Many people don’t even know what it is. To be honest, I’m not much for birthdays, especially my own, so celebrating my half birthday was done for irony sake (the extent of celebration was really just a Facebook status for the day, “today is my half birthday betches! Wish me a f*cking happy half bday right now! rawr!”). It was also to offset my friend’s actual 30th birthday. Because I’m a jerk and it cracked me up.

But when I woke up that day and checked my email, I knew it wasn’t going to be a good day. 😦

My manager wrote me an email saying he and my theatrical agent were releasing me from my contract. The email was sent around midnight, April 2nd. For the same reasons my commercial agent let me go, I wasn’t surprised. And this blow didn’t hit as hard, because it wasn’t the first time. I get it. I totally get it. They weren’t getting me auditions, I wasn’t booking any of the auditions they did get me, no one was making any money, no one was winning.

But it stung. I couldn’t help but feel so helpless, so unwanted, so irrelevant. The thought of packing it all up and going back home to my parents became such a viable option all of a sudden at 9:30am.

But I had an audition that very day. An audition I got on my own. Thoughts of giving up mingled with cheering up thoughts — you don’t need them, you got this audition yourself! You’ve BEEN getting auditions yourself, you can still do it, Thi. Come on!

But my blueness affected my audition. I chose a dramatic monologue and in the middle of it, the casting director rubbed his eyes and yawned. As soon as I finished, he said, thanks, and I quickly got out of there. 2:30pm.

Thank god for my friends. My friend Krista was with me the entire day. And after that email, I wanted to do something for myself, to cheer myself up from such a rotten morning. I was looking at twitter and there was an article about the museum of Jurassic technology and how it was mysterious. The article featured a photo of plants that might’ve looked like it could’ve come from the Jurassic period. My mind was distracted so I took the museum as a museum for dinosaurs during the Jurassic period, or at the very least, have plants from that era.  In any case, I thought it was the best occasion to wear my dinosaur shirt.

dinosaurs

So there’s that saying, when it rains, it pours. The museum really had nothing to do with dinosaurs. It was more about archaic technology that was done in the early 1900s, before anyone really had any clue on what they were doing. Weird remedies to cure bad breath and stammering, different formations of cats cradles, a horn that grew from a woman’s neck. It was an eclectic mix of some of the first exhibitions. It was weird and so unexpected.

So here I am, fronting my cool t-shirt and Krista and I are walking around in rooms that are reminiscent of the twilight zone. While Krista was legitimately freaking out, I was cracking up.  Seriously. I was in the middle of the room, stopped in my tracks, looking from my shirt to these weird portraits of people’s dogs, I realize how silly the whole thing was. This museum really had nothing to do with dinosaurs, my dinosaur shirt was so irrelevant, even out of placed and yet it was the one thing that really made the clouds part and the birds sing. I was getting out of my funk. 5pm.

After that, I hung out with some of my closest friends in LA. It was a simple night, we drank, we ate, we talked and we laughed. I told them what happened and there wasn’t any comforting. I didn’t really need it I guess. There wasn’t a celebration of my half birthday either, barely an acknowledgment really (because it’s so silly! I’m not about self-aggrandizing!). It was just another day and I was going to be fine.

 

Progress

So two weeks ago I had an audition for a commercial. I was sincerely grateful for it because I had gone through a drought and was feeling incredibly useless. It had been over a month since my last audition. Unfortunately the audition was on a very inconvenient day.  I found out on a Thursday afternoon that I had an audition the next day at 4:40pm.  I had work that Thursday night (at the restaurant) as well as the next morning (at the assistant job) up until half an hour before my audition time slot, so that left little time to prepare for the audition (research the company of the commercial).  Also, because of this audition, it threw off my plans Friday afternoon. I had plans for tea with some girlfriends at 5pm across town and obviously wasn’t going to make it in time with the audition and rush hour. Bottom line: I was not mentally prepared nor present for my audition.

Friday morning hits and it’s a hot day. My mind’s preoccupied with the upcoming events and I leave my make-up that I’ll need for the audition in the car while I’m at work. Work’s done, and I get in my car to make myself pretty for my audition but I find that all the make-up has melted. Yup. Let’s add that my skin is super dry and I have a sty. There’s a glop of Vaseline in my bag and I rub that over my dry ass skin. Gross I know. So now I’m not physically prepared for my audition. At this point I’m thinking, well I have no chance of booking this, so whatever, let’s just get this over with.

Now, I know the title of this post is “progress” and so far it seems that I’ve done the opposite. Patience alright? There were some pluses. I had researched a little about the company of the commercial and knew what colors to wear during my audition, light blue, grey and white. (You want to wear their color palette and not their competitors. i.e. if you audition for Disney, do not wear orange, because that is the color of nickelodeon. bizarre industry, right?) I also arrived early to my audition.  Unfortunately the audition process was more of a cattle call and I didn’t get seen until 5pm. at that point, I just wanted to leave and go to tea ASAP. I didn’t even care anymore.

So it’s my turn to audition and after slating my name on camera, the camera guy asks me this question: what do you think our society, as a whole needs to focus on more?  Ok, so the role I’m up for was ‘student at night school’ so I couldn’t get education out of my head. But education is one of those issues that has been focused on, so what was I going to say? I blurted out this: “the teacher’s union. Yes education is a popular issue, but nothing can really be done unless the teacher’s union is broken up and we hold someone accountable.” ugh. Even in hindsight I loathe my answer. It is something I believe in, but at that time it just came out so lame. I’m sure it didn’t really matter what I said but how I said it, so I tried my best to say it with as much conviction as I could to overcompensate the lame answer.

Next, there was a desk with a notebook and pencil set up. I was to sit down, look forward at an x at the wall which was to be my teacher, take notes, and let my mind wander off in the distance with an optimistic look on my face. This part was easy because by then I just didn’t give a fuck, so I just did what I was told as quickly as I could to get out of there.

With the thought of having no chance of booking the job, I was super surprised when the following Tuesday I got a callback. WTF. I thought I blew it, but I guess they liked what they saw.

At the callback, there’s an actual ‘teacher’ and she asks the question, what are the four presidents of Mount Rushmore? I’m at a desk by myself and I have to raise my hand and answer the question. I had no prior knowledge what the question was going to be. So I raise my hand as instructed and the teacher picks me and then I realize, I actually have to answer this questionDo I even know the answer? So my mind’s racing, I’m nervous, and I say, “George Washington, Abe Lincoln, Jefferson, and … John Adams?” teacher says, “close. Here’s a hint: one of them is a Roosevelt.” I say, “Awl, Teddy!” and she says, “Yup, that’s it! Thanks!” and scene. End of callback.

Ok, so cool. I did the best I could and honestly at that point I had no idea what to expect. When I thought I did badly at the audition, I got a callback. After the callback, I thought I did fine, so going along with the pattern, did that mean I wasn’t going to book it?

Sunday afternoon rolls around and I get a call from my agent. He says, “alright, it’s down to the wire and now it’s just a matter of what direction they want to go. They want you to be “on available” (basically that means on standby) this coming Monday and Friday in case they choose you and you can come in for a fitting and the shoot.

Now, sorry to break it to you guys, but I didn’t get called in on Monday, so I can assume that they won’t need me on Friday, which ultimately means I didn’t book it. However, I’m in good spirits because wow, that’s like the third round. That’s the furthest I’ve ever gotten on anything. I’ve never really gotten past a callback until now. So booyah, there’s your progress, betch.

 

The 4 Agreements

The 4 Agreements by Miguel Angel Ruiz

Agreement number 4. Always Do Your Best – 

Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

Agreement number 3. Don’t Make Assumptions –

Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

Agreement number 2: Don’t Take Anything Personally –

Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

Agreement number 1: Be impeccable with your word –

Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

*******

Above I got from my friend’s Tumblr: 7 Days Theory.  They are a menswear digital publication with the occasional inspiring quote/post/idea (it’s pretty cool actually).  I reblogged their 4 agreements post on my tumblr for a couple of reasons.  The main reason was that they were giving away some cool t-shirts and to qualify to win, you had to reblog one of their 10 posts.  Why I chose this particular post to reblog was because it got me to reflect which ultimately led me to write today because really, what would I write about if I wasn’t reflecting?

-Sigh- lately I’ve lost my mojo 😦 nothing really excites me in regards to my career.  I’m going through a lull for sure.  Haven’t really been getting any auditions, and with the one I got a couple of weeks ago, I totally violated all 4 agreements above.  Let’s explain how.

It was a commercial audition for a big chain company.  If I were to book it, it would have been a great help in my financial situation.  However I didn’t get it.  Why? It was a call for an all-Asian cast.  Two boys and two girls.  In the waiting room, we were paired up with each other and were given paper copies of the storyboard concept.  When I read through it, I immediately violated agreement number 2 and 3.  I took it personally and assumed the company was racist.  Basically the concept started out with a group of Asians (2 boys and 1 girl) studying outside on a grassy place.  They are bored and unmotivated.  Then, a friend (Asian girl) comes with a tray full of drinks (the featured product).  Everyone grabs one and takes a sip and all of a sudden everything is transformed into ORIGAMI.  Girl sees origami cranes fly by, boy #1 sees origami flowers bloom, boy #2 has an origami frog jump into his hand etc. etc. etc.  You get the idea. Now if this was to run in Asia, fine, I get it.  But it was to run in the US. By violating agreement #2, it prevented me from doing my best, consequently violating agreement #4.  I didn’t do my best.  In the audition room, the director is directing me to see all these origami creatures with wonderment and awe, and I couldn’t help but start off my look with bewilderment and embarrassment.  Not only that, all my training with improv went out the window, I forgot to be specific, I forgot to work with the other people in my group, I violated agreement #1.  Instead of speaking with integrity, I didn’t speak at all and provided no insight, no suggestion on how to help the group’s performance because I was trying to hide my annoyance with the whole ordeal.

Here’s the thing: I deserved not getting it.  In hindsight, looking at the other people that I was paired up with, they took the audition enthusiastically, really contributing ideas and making the performance specific and their own.  If it wasn’t for them, I would’ve looked like a complete ass, but they included me and were really smart about it.  They’re all Asian and didn’t take it personally and didn’t assume anything.  They not only did what they were told, but really brought themselves to the table.  So, even though I failed miserably in this situation, I can always shove it off as a learning experience.

However, I must say though, this company was a big company.  They didn’t need a commercial to convince people to buy their products.  The commercial was just to let people know of their new products that they had to offer.  And yes, there are basis to stereotypes, but with a company as well known as this, instead of encouraging and perpetuating such stereotypes, they not only had the capacity to reach over a million people nationwide, they could’ve changed the stereotype. They could’ve changed the mentality of millions of people.  They could’ve broken the stereotype.  But they didn’t.  And that leaves me disillusioned.

It brings me back to when I was in college.  I majored in mass communications and I remember after learning all the manipulation and framing of content to control viewers, I was left not only disillusioned, but angry.  It totally discouraged me from striving to find a career in communications because I didn’t want to be a part of that.  But my friend said, “don’t be so absolute about it. Don’t just blow it off.  Get in it, own it, and then change it!”  He took a very active stance to the issue whereas I took a defeatist attitude.

So bringing it back to this whole thing, in order to change something, I gotta get in it first! And to get in it, I cannot be acting like this … at all.  So, as I write this, I am also yelling at myself: shut up Thi! Stop your bitching and just do it.

 

Querys and Ponderings

What am I doing?

This past holiday I went home (to the bay area) to spend some time with my family. As my mom’s asking me how I was, I felt that there were still some doubts and worries regarding my career choices. Although she tried to “reassure” me, saying, “it’s fiiiine, I’m ok with it. It’s fiiiiine,” I could hear the strain in her voice as she kept repeating this phrase. Now, I know in a past post I had written that my mom is worried about me. I have no stability, I have not booked any roles, I haven’t had an audition in almost two months, and my income is solely dependent on my part time jobs. But in the last post, I was invigorated by the challenge and was incredibly hopeful to appease my mom’s worries.

Now I’m doubtful. What am I really doing? My mom’s mind frame got to me. I started worrying for myself. What if I never book anything? What if I’m stuck at the restaurant as a server forever? What if this dream only becomes merely that? A dream? Am I delusional to think it could happen for me? God, even writing this out makes my heart stop. I know this kind of mentality isn’t healthy, but it got there. Maybe I’ve been watching too much walking dead, but I had to think about zombie apocalypse/worst case scenarios.

This past week I went to a panel of casting directors to learn a few things about the business, and especially during pilot season. Again, I was reminded all too acutely that the odds are stacked up against me.

During pilot season, these casting directors…

-Get over 3000 submissions per role

-Hold over 100 auditions a day for that role

-Said that even if you are the top three choices, you have to not only repeat what you did (that could’ve been two weeks ago), you have to do it live in front of maybe 15 executives that hold your financial stability in their hands. Not only that but in the moment before, you were in the waiting room with the other potentials that either look like you or are better versions of you. One could even be famous!

It’s daunting. It’s intimidating. It’s nuts. I am reminded of an analogy that describes the whole audition process. It’s like a surgeon coming in to show if he can do heart surgery without any knife, body or table.

What the fuck am I doing?

But after every storm, there are still those rays of sunshine bursting through. As discouraging as everything may seem or even get to, the casting directors last words were moving. Essentially they said “do you.” if you wake up in the morning thinking about it, if you go to sleep at night thinking about it, if you really want it by the tips of your skin — then this is what you’re meant to do. Even if you don’t make money or be famous, you know that in the end, by just doing your passion, you will feel fulfilled. Everything else will follow on their own. Success deemed by society (accolades, recognition, money, fame) will come if you truly do you. Don’t think about what other people want. If you do your passion religiously, you’ll be good at it, and people will flock to you. Trust in yourself and your experience. Trust in your preparation and just say the words.

Ok.

I learned a lot from that panel. They really encouraged making your own content and with the ease of technology to share it. With that said, I’ve been working on a webisode of my own to feature me. It was an idea worked between me and my friend Daniel. He was the one that said, “It doesn’t happen overnight.” he was the one that encouraged me to just produce, to just make, to just do (so Ira Glass). So here’s the first video of my webisode. I’ll post a video up once a week probably round Friday or Saturdays. Just look under the video tab for new ones. “Tanks to technology ;)”!

 

Big Toe Big Toe

So this past weekend I took a movement and posture workshop.  Actually here’s some back-story.

When I was a young girl, I used to walk to school every day.  Back then we didn’t have iPods or mp3s to listen to (duh.  My little sister’s generation is so spoiled) so instead of bobbing to Radiohead, I used my imagination to entertain me during my 20 minute walk to elementary school.  I actually remember this vividly and I honestly believe this is why I walk the way I do today.  Anyways, on the sidewalk there are cracks that separate each block of sidewalk (cement? cinderblock?)  And I would imagine some punishable death if my feet were to touch the cracks.  So to avoid the cracks, I would either stretch my leg out to cross over them, or tiptoe around them, in either case, I would always land on my toes. Thus, to this day at 25 years old, I still walk on my toes.  I have been told that I have a bouncy walk.  Actually when I was a teen and was still walking to school, ppl would come up to me and actually ask if I ever got sad on account of my walk being to so peppy/happy.  Ugh.  I am human ppl.

Anyways, back to the workshop.  So I’ve always known that I walked weird.  I’ve had friends literally try to teach me to walk heal toe heal toe but that concept never got to me.  How much weight/time do you put on your heal vs. toe?  Anyways, the teacher for this workshop really stressed how important feet were.  You must ground your feet and have a strong core.  When sitting down to have a good posture, we must sit on our sitting bones, legs apart hip-wise, feet directly under our knees and toes pointing straight forward.  Now, I couldn’t get my feet directly under my knees with my toes pointed forward.  They would automatically (habitually) angle outward.  The teacher said if I kept this up, I would grow up to waddle instead of walk.  She told me that I must be cognizant of where my big toe was and to commit my mind to point it forward and train my leg muscles to support this stance (god, I’ve just become aware of how I was slouching).  The thing is, I never thought about how I was sitting, I never realized that I was slouching, with my back curved over my desk until that workshop.

What’s the point?  Linda’s (teacher’s name) workshop is really beneficial for actors.  I’ve always heard that we must own the room in an audition.  We must make an impression.  My acting teacher has been on my back about my posture.  I tend to lean back and I come off as casual thus not owning the room but fading into the wall.  Not memorable.

How this affects me: I stand and sit taller now.  I do feel a different energy when I’m standing tall vs. crouching or leaning because my body is tricking my mind into being confident.  Hell, if my mind is a wreck, at least my body isn’t and no one can tell (unless I start talking).  I need that steady stance to steady my mind in an audition or when meeting people.

How this really effects me: instead of thinking about the intangible concept of heal toe heal toe, I now think big toe big toe, making a conscious effort to point it forward (instead of outward) and really walking big as I own the room :]

 

 

I swear I’m not superstitious

So there’s this mustard cardigan that I love.  It’s soft, it makes me look cute, I feel pretty in it, and it was a bday gift to myself.  I love wearing it, but every time I do and do something relative to acting, my acting plummets and as I chastise myself, I secretly blame the cardigan.

Today was no exception!  I had an audition for a co-star role for a tv show on a cable network.  That’s huge for me!  Before, I was auditioning for prints, commercials, promos, students films, webseries, or low budget sag films, so today’s audition was the first audition on the next level.  The role I was going for only had about 3 lines and all I had to do was say the three lines to the reader as a  monologue.  I went over the lines with my acting coach, I practiced it in front of the mirror, I memorized it and tried it different ways, basically I did my homework.  And as I was about to leave for my audition, like literally had my shoes on, I felt the urge to wear my mustard cardigan for the above reasons.  In the back of my mind I was aware that I’ve had some bad luck with this cardigan in the past (tanked scene work, failed acting classes, etc.) but I pushed those worries away thinking they were silly because like the title, I really don’t think I’m superstitious.  I also kinda wanted to break the silly bad luck cardigan spell and really own the audition in spite of the cardigan.

Lo and behold, it’s my turn to spit out the lines to a big casting director.  I know these lines! But of course I flub… horrendously.  The audition is taped so my mistakes are not forgotten.  I rushed, I corrected myself in the middle of it, I started over.  Thi! Pull it together you idiot! I’m still reeling from it right now.  I did everything that a noob would do, threw out everything my coach told me, and just failed miserably.

Thank god for the casting director.  She was super sweet.  She knew it was a bad first take, so she let me do it again.  But before letting me have another go at the lines, she warmed me up and made conversation with me about my fluency in Spanish and how I did Greese in Spain.  That calmed me down and the second time around was much better.

Rawr!  I’m glad I got to form a rapport with the casting director, and hopefully she’ll remember me for future projects, but damn.  I’m finally getting auditions, and auditions for projects I’ve heard of, for paid projects (which btw I’m so grateful to my manager for getting me these auditions, he rocks), yet I can’t book because I eff up the part that I have control over.

It’s like this, actors don’t really have any control over booking because an actor can do the best he/she can and if he/she remotely looks like an ex of the director, most likely he/she won’t be getting the part.  But what actors can control in the auditioning process is the choices they make and the execution of those choices in front of a camera, a casting director, and x amount of people in the room.  In short, an actor can control his acting and play the role to the best of his/her abilities.  Thus, I’m severely mad at myself for not being consistent in the auditioning room and letting my nerves or my aforementioned cardigan get in my way.  Grrrr …

The Business of Acting

So lately I’ve been taking workshops and classes on the business of acting.  The main things I’ve gathered is making and building relationships, specificity, and a positive attitude.

Building relationships: this is key.  Especially with casting directors/associates/assistants.  They’re not the gatekeepers to my success, they’re my biggest supporter.  I went to this workshop that talked about breakdowns.  A breakdown is when a project needs casting, it’s posted online, and actors can submit themselves (or agents/managers submit them) electronically.  Anyways, within 30 minutes, I saw a live post get over 1500 submissions.  Jeez louise.  I felt sorry for casting directors because they have to look through all those profiles, reels, headshots, etc. to fill in that one spot.  For actors, it’s a crapshoot … if you don’t know the casting director.  You’re just another one in the pile.  That’s why it’s best to build relationships.  If I can build a relationship with a casting director, he/she may even think of me for a role (that I’d be perfect for) even before the part is posted.  Thus, making their life easier and me with an audition.  They don’t want to look through 1500 submissions. Nobody does.

Specificity: I have to know what casting directors I want to know and which ones should know me.  I’m a particular brand. I look very young, so my brand is the quirky student/friend that can be seen in shows like vampire diaries and the secret life of an American teenager.  So, I have to target casting directors of those specific shows.  By being specific, I have a method of going about my career, instead of slipping my headshots and resumes in random car window shields.  Being specific also helps with acting.  When given a role to audition, you’re usually competing with many people that look like you and can read.  So, what makes you different?  The choices you make for that particular role.  The attitude, the mannerisms, the character.  An actor is not about reading and memorizing lines, but bringing a character from paper to life.

Positive attitude: if you can visualize it, you can do it.  And I can, most definitely.  Of course it’s hard to stay positive when the industry is saturated with bad people trying to take advantage of you and bring you down.  But it’s also up to us to let all that shit effects us or not.  There are a lot of good people out there too and fortunately for me, I’ve had a lot of people root for me: friends, family, and industry people.  There are enough roles for everyone!

I guess with all this in mind, it makes the whole career choice not as bleak and hopeless. I just have to trust in myself and the universe and everything will be ok 🙂

 

I have confidence right?

So yesterday I was in my improv class and I totally sank like the Titanic.  We were doing an exercise that I’ve done before, so I knew what to expect, but I floundered and judged my choices.  Listen, if I don’t trust what’s there, my own talent, why should anyone trust me?  Blegh.  I was sharing this with another creative friend yesterday and she said that that’s the life of an artist.  I go through bouts of thinking “god, my stuff is absolute crap” to “alright I can do this!”  What’s hard is to keep the confidence consistent.  Here’s the thing, I know I have the talent, so when push comes to shove, why do I get nervous and forget everything I’ve learned?  Why is there doubt?

The other day, I went to an audition workshop.  I had practiced the sides and had made interesting choices.  But when I was in front of the camera, I depended too much on the script and I could feel my hands shaking.  Did I suck, no not really.  But it wasn’t my best performance. Apparently, I exhale a lot.  Haha some people stutter, or say um’s and like’s. When I’m flustered and nervous, I exhale.  Usually it’s out of exasperation with myself but lately it’s my way of taking a pause while thinking of the next line.  In any case, I do it too much where it’s noticeable that I didn’t bring my game. -exhale- Hahaha that last one was out of frustration.  I asked my friend how to lose the doubts and she just told me to get over it.  Good friend.  Harder said than done, so I’m just gonna take a shot before an audition, scene, or class.  J/k she said that’ll just lead to alcoholism.  She’s right of course.

I think this whole lack of confidence came about recently because I’ve been watching some really good television shows, and I find myself intimidated by the actors.  I’ve been watching Downton Abbey and breaking bad.  Fabulous shows, I stay up late getting invested with the characters.  And to be honest I watch it for the great acting from Bryan Cranston and Maggie Smith.  They’re sooo great!  It gets me all excited to be an actor, to aspire to be like them.  Conversely, it gets me to think, “Who am I to be like them?  I’m garbage.  I should just quit.”  So why don’t I quit?  Because there isn’t anything else I rather do.

What’s the remedy to doubting myself from watching good television?  Reality shows.  Hahahaha, it’s a guilty pleasure because not only am I entertained but I am justified that I am not like them (i.e. the situation from jersey shore).  It helps to get out of my head and instead of judge myself, that energy is geared towards the foolish personalities on television like Snookie and the Kardashians. Just being honest.

But alright, I’ll leave this post with an upbeat note.  This whole confidence thing has reminded me of the song confidence in me from the sound of music.  I saw this clip on YouTube and I thought, cool if this can give Stewie, a baby, confidence, it can give me some too! Yay!