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.