"The label you give yourself cannot impact external forces that are not motivated by your own psychology or influenced by a third party's pre-existing consciousness of you. We are all presented with reasons to struggle which come from completely external forces; to pretend that one is not struggling is either arrogance or an admission of defeat. To admit that one is struggling is a sign and a source of strength." - Evan A. Baker

Monday, September 13, 2010

Is This Real Life?

"Is This Real Life?" seems to be my slogan for 2010, and I'm not minding one bit!

Remember the audition notification I had for a network comedy less than 24 hours of signing with my new agency? The one that had EIGHT lines (!!!!) and then my new manager said I'll never go out for roles that small ever again? Well, I went to it!

It was at a casting office I had never been to before (because I have never gone out for network shows!) and the appointment was at 10 sharp. I get to the building the office is in and immediately have two choices once inside the anteroom. The door on the right looks like a normal door, the door on the left looks like a bank vault.

Thankfully, there was a sign saying "Hey! Casting is on the left door! Ring Buzzer!" So I do, I'm buzzed in, up the stairs I go, smiling like an idiot cause I'm a secret agent actress.

At the landing, I'm warmly greeted by an assistant and, wait for it, they DON'T need my headshot. They don't need my headshot! But the assistant says he'll gladly take it so the office has it on file. I'm beside myself and hand it to him, cause yes, this office should have it on file cause you never know.

A few more girls come into the waiting room and all I can think is: uh oh. The role is for "Waitress." She doesn't have a name. All I know is that she works at a hip and trendy restaurant. I take a slice from my own life and dress in all black with some small jewelry and light makeup and my hair pulled back so you can see my face. The girl directly across from me is wearing a glittering sequin top suitable for a night of clubbing and showing off the goods, the other is dressed in skin tight jeans and heeled knee high boots. Their makeup is heavy but pretty.

I am not like them. I am me. I learned in that instant that everyone is more glamorous on tv, including lowly waitresses. I need to up my game in both wardrobe and makeup. Aren't you glad I get to do all these things so that you learn from my mistakes? You're welcome!

So there I am, looking like I actually wait tables to make money instead of act and I find myself staring at these other girls for clothes and makeup details and tips and notice that my stomach is floating in my body like a soap bubble. I'm nervous! I don't get nervous! I mean, I do, but only when I'm grossly unprepared. But I AM prepared! I'm nervous because I feel like I'm out of my league. 

Ugh. I don't feel worthy. I'm THAT girl again. Blech.

Then I suddenly remember my manager's comment that this role, this unnamed waitress with only eight lines, is beneath me.

It's beneath me.

That, for some reason I am extremely thankful for, popped my soap bubble stomach and it found its way back in front of my pancreas, and I was no longer nervous. Hooray!

I am the first to go and the CD calls my name and puts her arm around me, squeezing a bit, like a hug, thanking me for coming. "Oh no!" I thought, "She thinks I'm someone else!" But instead of correcting her with a "No, no, we've never met!" I just say, "Thanks for bringing me in!" and go into the audition room. We do the scene. "That was great!" she says, which I know is synonymous with "You sucked balls! Leave!" but she gives me a minor redirection and has me do the scene again. (Which is always GOOD.) After we finish the second take, she asks me about my name as she walks me out and anytime there's chitchat after your audition is also a very good sign.

I walked back to my car feeling Zen. I had an audition. I did it.

And I learned a new fun way to combat nerves when thinking I'm unworthy (which I really need to stop doing anyway.)

I didn't hear anything and I wasn't surprised, but I still felt that I had done a good job but just wasn't right for that role. And now that office knows who I am.

Then I had my two week vacation! Yay! No cell phones or email for almost all of it!

When we drove back to civilization this last Tuesday, I had voicemail from both my agency and my manager from the previous Friday. The casting director for the show liked me a lot even though they had chosen someone else for the role I had gone out for, and would I be interested in a different character that worked the following week?

Is this real life?

I know full well that the new role could have been a one line role such as "Excuse me," but I also know that the casting director could've chosen a whole bunch of other actresses to do the role, but had liked me enough to remember me and want to book me. 

Unfortunately, I was still out of town for the day they needed me to work it, but still, isn't that great? Isn't that amazing?

The first audition I have with my new agency and although I wasn't right for that role in particular, I was offered another one.

I am feeling pretty fantastic.


  1. Yes, that is fantastic. If I told you that I saw both you and Tracy in the next few years breaking through all of the junk that has been and becoming stars would that freak you out? I'm not sure it's movies. It may be more like TV, but real parts. Lead roles in TV shows that fly. That right now you are both taking steps that will lead you to those places. If you can believe it, you can achieve it.

  2. Thank you Robin. An ensemble comedy has been my goal since I was in high school and still dreaming.

  3. I definitely know what you mean about feeling unworthy - but I love hearing how you rebounded so quickly and kicked some ass at that audition. Every friendly casting director is another open door! :)

  4. Way to go, sounds like I will be setting my DVR pretty soon.

  5. Fantastic, Lira! And yes, stop feeling unworthy!
    Watch this and see if it helps in the unworthiness department. Caitlin put me onto this and it's great!
    And for further reading this
    If you can read the whole e-book. It's amazing
    Again, fantastic news, well done and rock on!

  6. First of all, the bank vault door in cracking me up. How can that not be intimidating in itself? Second, who wears sparkly sequin shirts and knee high boots for a waitress role? Someone who knows their talent is lacking and rely on their "goods" to get them cast. (I'm being catty I don't care). You have natural beauty and talent so you never need to feel intimidated. How great it must be to ask yourself "Is this real life?" And it is!!!


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