Book the Room

I was listening to a lovely and talented actor friend talking about some good news. She had just come from a fantastic audition. As she gushed about all the prep work she had done and how excited she was for having gotten into this office (since it is, in fact, one she has been targeting — and marketing to — for months now), I just knew the punchline was going to be amazing.

She was going to end this story with news of a booking! I just knew it.

But no. And yes. She didn’t book the job, but, in her words, “I booked the room.”

That stopped me in my mental tracks. I had to pause a second and really take in the awesomeosity that was this moment. An actor I adore was telling me that she did something far more important and long-term focused than booking a role (although that would’ve been great too, of course); she booked the room.

She made fans out of those people. She got ’em acutely aware of her abilities as an actor, her type, her vibe, her smarts, her chemistry and personality, and they liked all of that. And the next time they bring her in (and they will), it’ll be on a role even better-suited for the whole actor she is. It’ll be one she’s more likely to book. And probably a bigger role than the one on which they were willing to take a risk with her, that first time in the office. Now she can count the folks at this huge, busy TV casting office among her fans (fans who GET HER) and they can — and will — call her in more appropriately and for an even cooler role on an even better project.

Most importantly, perhaps, this lovely mindset of hers is one that makes the stress of auditioning far less acute, I’d imagine. There’s never the goal of “get in that room and book the role! Show ’em you want the part, desperately. Get in there and don’t let go of how HARD you are working,” but instead just a very simple, very easy-going, very cool goal of, “book the room.”

Have fun. Show ’em your work at its best. Let them get to know who you are, how talented you are, and what they can expect from you, every time they invite you in. And then let it go.

That is how you book the room!


Bonnie Gillespie is living her dreams by helping others figure out how to live theirs. Wanna work with Bon? Start here. Thanks!


Originally published by Actors Access at http://more.showfax.com/columns/avoice/archives/001225.html. Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive.

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3 Comments

  1. j-c bateman November 20, 2015 at 3:18 am

    Dear Bonnie, I went into a casting one day, and the casting director remembered me from a previous commercial casting which I had totally wiped from my memory banks. I always do this, to avoid any spill over if you know what I mean. Anyway she said you really nailed that last casting and were first choice for the job too bad it got cancelled! I had no idea the job got cancelled but I’ll never forget that feeling it was as good as getting the job! All the Best jcb

    Reply
  2. Bonnie Gillespie Bonnie Gillespie December 4, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    I love that! It’s corny but it reminds me of the line in “Bring It On” when the hero team LOSES the championship. Someone asks the lead how it feels to come in second. (She, of course, had just learned a big lesson and had a great turn, as that was the point of the journey.) She responded, “Feels like first!” And I always think about that. Totally what BOOKING THE ROOM feels like, right? ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks, J-C.

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