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Slog On

Yesterday I filmed three auditions. Three days before that I filmed two more. Two days before that I had a zoom call back. If auditions birthed momentum I'd have a passle.

There are two types of auditions. Film/television and live theater. To be clear, the three auditions I filmed yesterday were live theater. That may not make much difference to you but I'll let you in on a little secret. Equity (live theater) auditions are announced on the website and anyone can submit. Film/TV auditions are at the behest of the casting director. So, it makes sense to cozy up to as many casting directors as possible.

Therein lies the problem. I'm acquainted with a number of casting directors but the back of my head is constantly full of motivation. Is it because he/she is a casting director, or are they cool all on their own? This business is full of self promoters. God help me, I can't bring myself to join them. Narcissism is a bad look on, well, everyone. But it inserts itself into the lexicon of showbiz like the best friend we had ten years ago. Are they still a friend, or were they a friend?

Nobody makes it through life alone. That goes double for entertainment. I'm sure you can relate to the one hit wonders, flashes in the pans and meteoric stars streaking across the heavens, seen once then off to oblivion. A "success" rarely stays a success without concerted effort by a whole host of people. An unknown rarely gets known without the "lucky break." Of course, the lucky break is wholly dependent on someone else. It's collaborative. Collective. Communal. The break giver needs the breakee as much as the breakee needs the break giver.

Almost every casting director with whom I've spoken said something like "I want the next person through the door to be great." Because the next great person makes them look pretty darn good. (I am so looking forward to walking through doors again. Die, pandemic!) It's a breeder reactor. Break = success = work again = break = success = work again. The more we work the more we work. And, if you've met good people, work together. That's the prayer, at least.

The difference between the names you know and the names you don't are the breaks. But, breaks don't happen by accident. That's the big illusion. They happen by hanging around, working hard, persevering and being persistent. The only way to make sure you don't make it to give up. I'm sure you've heard great stories about overnight successes a decade in the making. We all have. Because every overnight success is a decade in the making. A decade of hoping against hope.

That's the elixir coursing through all our veins. Raging hope. Hope to produce. Hope to be noticed. Hope to succeed. Hope to do that which we can't not. (Don't mind the double negative. I wanted to do it). I don't pretend to speak for everyone in the biz, but I think we all share that in common.

I don't know how showbiz differs from other biz's. But I do know it's a slog. A beautiful, frustrating, tantalizing, cruel, unfair, glorious slog. A slog into which we willingly wade, to our ankles, to our waists and sometimes over our heads. For better or worse. And slog we must. Because the alternative is to give up. And that simply won't do.


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