I got the notice on Mon morning that I would be going in for a pilot for a series regular. In layman's terms (how I relate everything to my computer tech dad), I had an audition for one of the stars of a show that might actually get to tv.
What did that mean? That I, the Struggling Actress was now auditioning for not only pilots ( MY FIRST!) but also for a starring role?
That I was in over my head, nervous as hell, and because of this, waaaay overacting. Great. Awesome.
Three scenes, nine pages. And it was for the role of a 20 something psychologist smarty pants. The female lead. For a CSI meets The Big Bang Theory hour long drama.
I could SO do this.
But I have NEVER auditioned for anything of this magnitude before. That's a lot of pressure. To be auditioning at that level and not know what the heck to expect. And I really didn't want to fail.
Imagine going to work at a fancy new restaurant and not knowing what the table numbers are or what's on the menu or how to work the dang computer to ring in your food. And you know everyone is going to be mad at you because you're not prepared to do your job and they waited months to get this reservation and there you are ruining their entire night. It felt like that.
I met with Billy, my acting coach because, Hello, pressure! And I needed to be calmed down by someone who's done this. I was so nervous that the character had to be charactery that I was completely off base with who she was. Not only do I talk fast in real life, but when I get nervous, ItalkmoreandmorelikethisandohmygodIwasjustabundleofnervesfromonlyfourhoursofsleepfromthe
I mean, wow, right?
After my first coaching, with the new mantra of "Talk slow, ground it, make it real," I began to feel better. I began to get it. And I began to think more rationally.
I was still nervous though.
The day of the audition, yesterday, I also had a commercial audition and my friend JenNik was there! Yay! I told her about the Biggest Audition of My Life and first, after congratulating me on it, she gave me some great advice: Treat it like it's class work.
The weirdest things calm me down. Treat it like class work. Of course. With class work, there's no pressure. You just try to put everything you've learned from the previous class into the new material and then just let it go and do what you naturally do.
I felt a little better. Still nervous, though.
Billy offered to give me a second coaching before my audition for free to help me go in feeling super prepared. And it was at this one where he said the things that finally killed all the bugs in my tummy.
They want Jennifer Aniston for this role. And they'll get Jennifer Aniston.They want to cast this thing with star names. I think SAG has a rule (don't quote me, though) where you have to audition a specific number of people for any SAG project. You could offer the role out but still have to audition people. You might think that sucks because you're auditioning for a role that technically doesn't even exist, but it's actually great; now the casting director knows who you are and she might not have known you previously. So if they're going to offer this out to a star anyways, why am I fretting? Why am I nervous? It doesn't even matter! I just need to show this casting director what I can do.
I once auditioned for a music video for the love interest of Jason Alexander, who was also directing. The casting director called me up and said, "Jason absolutely loved you so I am putting you on avail. But he really wants Marcia Brady. And he'll probably get her." And they did. This is more of the same and I'm fine with it. It's how the business works. You need backup plans just in case.
And ironically enough, in the waiting room, I heard the receptionist put an offer out to Missy Yager.
The production actually doesn't know what it wants yet. They are auditionig the lead and the character I went out for in two different categories: mid 20s to early 30s and mid 30s to 40s.
I got in there, and we were only doing one scene. BUT it was the scene of our choice. Woo hoo!You'll get in there and only do one scene, and it's the scene you hate.
These are technically known as pre-reads. They're not "real" auditions. They're just making sure you're not an idiot and can actually act. They're doing a million of them. They're auditioning half of LA for this same role Missy Yager could have possibly already said yes to.
But I went in there and I did it. I did it! Italkedwaytoofastofcourse but I left that office feeling pretty good and happy with the feedback: "That was really cute at the end" "Nice work" "Thanks for coming in." And even if those are veiled forms of "This role does not technically exist as of four minutes ago), I now have a series regular pilot audition under my belt.
And JenNik was right: I went in and it was just the casting director and me. No camera. No distractions. It was just like class.
And just like that, it was over. I went home. I felt good. I felt zen. I did okay. I did well. And now I know what it feels like so I can be better prepared for the next time.
Where I will not talk
f a s t.