Friday, August 07, 2009

The trend continues...

That is the trend of AUDITIONING, not the trend of BOOKING. I had seven auditions LAST week, and five more auditions this week. They are all going well. Honestly. Today's "90210" audition was AWESOME. They were casting the role off of the tape, so it was just myself, the casting assistant, and a camera. I walked in, we greeted one another, I handed him my headshot and resume, he looked at it and said "Wow! You've been on, like, every show!" I told him that the industry had been slow this year, but I was fortunate to have booked a lot of jobs, and hope the trend continues. He was fiddling around with the camera, so I took that time to prepare. Then he said the first line. I jumped in (even though I wasn't ready), and a few words in I realized I wasn't present, so I told him I needed to take it back. He said "Sure!" Did a quick rewind, and we began again. At the end, he said "That was very VERY good." and it sounded genuine (sometimes they'll say "that was good, thanks" as if by rote), but he sounded like he meant it. Of course he wasn't making the decision but, hey - I'll take that compliment.

But from 12 auditions, no bookings. I just heard that the average actor usually books 1 out of 50 auditions, and to make a living, you have to book 1 out of 20 (I think he was talking about commercials, because if you book 1 out of 20 TV auditions, there's a good chance that you are going to be in line at your local soup kitchen). I need to go back and look at my track record. Intellectually I know I won't book them all, but most go well, and more than a few are EXCELLENT. I feel like I should be booking those.

I have a friend who always tries to debate with me by using statistics. Drives him nuts that I just ignore statistics that don't suit my purposes. I'm not trying to be "the average actor," so I don't much care what "they" do. I'm trying to knock every audition out of the park. I may not be right for the gig, but I want them to know I can act, so I'll get called back when I am right for a role. As Mary Kay Ash (yes, that Mary Kay) put it: "Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn't know it so it goes on flying anyway." I'm not interested in hearing that I can't fly, okay? Now get off of my runway so I can take off, dammit!

I will say that auditioning as much as I have been lately just keeps me well-oiled and comfortable in the room. THIS is the work. Being in the trenches day after day, getting the call, getting the script, working on the scene, picking out audition clothes, driving around town (in legendary L.A. traffic, y'all), waiting, auditioning - THAT is the work. Getting the gig is the payoff. And it's totally without conceit that I say: I work hard, I am talented, I am good, and I am professional: I am supposed to book gigs. This is what I do. And if you are an actor, are prepared, are good, and professional - that's what you should be doing too.

So I'll keep plugging away. I have heard some really encouraging words from people this week. People who are inspired by the way I have had to build my career brick by brick (and keep doing it), and people who are convinced that great things are in store for my career. At first, I brushed off the compliments - then someone pointed out that I wasn't accepting their compliment (I hadn't realized it before), so now I really listen and accept rather than deflecting. I really am grateful that I have knowledge that is valuable to people other than myself. The navel-gazing I do... just all of the self-reflecting, and blogging, the introspection required in acting... it gets to be a bit too much "me, me, me" sometimes, and giving something back is a good feeling.

Alright, lots more I could say, but this has gone on pretty long already, so I'll shut up now.

'Night, y'all.


--Nicole

6 comments:

Angela said...

Sharing some Link Love! <3 I have linked to this blog on my post, Link Love 1. :)

MN 2 Hollywood said...

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." - Benjamin Disraeli

To be exceptional, one must work from the majority statistic to the minority statistic. If the average actor books 1 in 50 auditions, our goal should be to book 1 in 40... then 1 in 30... then 1 in 20... and so on. Eventually, we'll get to the position where we're no longer auditioning and roles are being offered to us, right?

Optimistically following your adventures, Nicole!

-Justen
mn2la.blogspot.com

Nicole J. Butler said...

@ Angela - Thanks for linking to me on your site. I wish you continued success on your journey.

@ Justen - I LOVE IT! Never heard that before, but I will be using it henceforth!

For me, looking at statistics just makes me anxious and puts me in my head instead of working from my gut. Of COURSE I want the booking. OF COURSE. But (the way I operate) my purpose can't be to "go in there and get the job" or it makes me too cerebral. My purpose HAS to be about plying my craft. If I am as talented, as diligent, as professional, and as prepared as I should be, the statistics will take care of themselves.

Onward and upward!

--Nicole

MN 2 Hollywood said...

I can't believe you just said "Onward and upward". I use that all the time! I always remind myself that I know a little more today than I did yesterday, and if I continue that trend, the details will work themselves out.

Nicole J. Butler said...

Yep, gotta keep it moving, but I like to specify which direction! ;o)

Michelle | When I Grow Up Coach said...

I am SO late to this post, but I have to chime in with my two cents. I feel like I've been following Nicole's Journey for a while, & what I see is that you are CONSTANTLY impressing CDs - enough so that if you're not booking This Gig, they're calling you in for another (& another & another) until something hits. You know that, until you get on the set, your job is to hit 'em out of the park. Which, from where I'm sitting, it seems like you consistently do. So, keep stepping to the plate & even if you strike out with getting cast, you're gonna be asked for another at bat.

Baseball analogy over.