Giving Thanks

Okay, so I had a column topic all ready to go. I was going to do a little ranting about a couple of actors who have repeatedly pulled a no-show on me. Seriously, it’s only a couple of people, so it’s not like it’s an epidemic, but in a world where many hope to get in the door, it’s a huge bummer when someone accepts an audition appointment and then simply doesn’t show up. So, that column will come. Just not today.

Today, I’m moved to express a little gratitude about so many things that are right with this Hollywood world.

I recently attended an industry showcase that simply blew me away. I’ve seen a ton of showcases, so it takes a lot to really leave me tingling, but this one did just that. It was as much about the talent as the selection of material, the direction, and the community these actors created. And that point was really driven home during the reception after the show.

A talent manager who represents a few of the actors featured in the showcase worked the room, making sure her clients were introduced to the casting directors, agents, producers, and directors in attendance. The director of the night’s scenes made the rounds and graciously thanked the actors for having done such a fine job. The actors, rather than being “me, me, me” oriented, talked about what inspired them about working with one another. They wanted to talk process rather than product. They loved what they were doing and were so very pleased that folks who turned out had a good time.

It was unlike any reception I’ve been a part of, after one of these industry showcases. Usually, actors are uncomfortable, nervous, timid around the folks who’ve just seen their work. And this group had an air of something I loved being a part of: Gratitude.

One of the more touchy-feely books I’ve read this year, Excuse Me, Your Life Is Waiting by Lynn Grabhorn, focuses on the theory that fear cannot exist in a condition of gratitude. I LOVE THIS THEORY. So many actors approach auditions, meetings, networking opportunities, even their very lives from a place of fear and it’s really uncomfortable to be around. When someone enters the room grateful for simply being, it is a lovely thing. There is no fear. There is no “what if.” There is only, “Thank you for inviting me here today. I’m grateful to be here. Let me show you what I am passionate about doing: acting.” And that’s simply lovely.

So, what am I grateful for, as we come up on Thanksgiving, 2004? Well, there’s plenty of juicy personal stuff for which I am thankful, but let’s highlight the casting director type things for which I’m giving thanks, this year.

I am grateful to actors who show up on time, prepared, excited about life, professional, connected to the material, proud to share their gifts.

I am grateful to agents and managers who adore their clients and pitch them with enthusiasm for roles they’re right for, eager to introduce me to talented people I’ve not yet met.

I am grateful to directors and producers who hire me to do something so wonderful: watch talented people share their gifts and help determine which actors match up best to the roles for which they audition.

I am grateful to writers who create characters for actors to inhabit in worlds that first existed only in a mind’s eye. The fact that every film I’ve cast started first as a writer’s idea thrills me. To see the finished product on a screen; that’s awe-inspiring.

I am grateful to Breakdown Services, Showfax, and Actors Access for making scheduling casting so very easy (I’m such a geek and I really love the technological capabilities of pre-screening and scheduling actors through these sites).

I am grateful to the readers of these weekly columns in The Actors Voice. Your emails of support, gratitude, and challenging questions constantly inspire me and keep me thrilled that this forum exists. I am so happy to know you’re “out there,” reading.

I am grateful to live in a world where I am constantly reminded that success is possible. Every time I see anyone succeed, I am given the gift of the reinforcement of that truth.

I am grateful to live my dreams every day!

Thank you, readers, for allowing me the indulgence of a little public gratitude. I’d like to end with an invitation to a free public event I am hosting at 7pm on Tuesday, November 30, 2004, at Loyola Marymount University in West Los Angeles. Please click here for the press release. Hope to see you there! Happy Thanksgiving!

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 Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive.

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