Do you have someone in your life who is obsessed with your every audition? Probably in your family, if you’re like most folks, there’s someone who loves to ask: “How did that audition go?” “Did you get it?” “Why didn’t you get a callback?” “Why didn’t that agent sign you?” And if they’re putting a supportive spin on it, there’ll be something like, “Don’t they know what they’re missing?!?” tagged on at the end.
Well, these folks aren’t doing you any favor, since one of the things YOU need to do, to survive this business, is to divorce yourself from being results oriented. It’s hard to do, because so many other career paths offer linear results. That means most of the people in our lives are used to a “point A to point B to point C over the course of X number of years” experience, and they look at our lives expecting something similar.
Of course, we all know that getting down with the whole “every day is different, who knows where the next dollar will come from” vibe is a big part of our journey as creatives. We also know that it’s important to prepare ourselves for the “I’ve had some progress, oh, YAY, here it comes, my big success, oh wait, I can’t get an audition, what the heck happened” backslide.
Goodness! Forget those well-meaning folks who ASK about our journey! How do we prepare ourselves for such chaos?
I was talking with an actor whose family is filled with those well-meaning folks who ask about every audition, every mailing, every meeting. Oy. I asked her, “When you’re on the phone with your mom, do you ask her to tell you about that week’s Excel spreadsheets, expense reports, and PowerPoint presentations?” Of course, she doesn’t ask about those itty-bitty details, and instead asks about “bigger picture” things like, “You were up for a huge promotion after three years with the company. How’d the interview go?!?”
Think about that. Our families ask us about every crazy detail of our lives — doing nothing to help us detach from being results oriented ourselves — when what’s actually appropriate is a question about those larger benchmark experiences like the shift from co-star to guest star, from guest star to recurring, from recurring to series regular, from supporting to lead, from lead to NAME. Asking about every little building block on the road to those bigger leaps isn’t encouraging, it’s crazymaking.
Auditioning, mailings, and meetings are the day-to-day of your career just like showing a house to dozens of families is a real estate agent’s day-to-day. You would never ask your dad how the 18th showing of the weekend went, when he’s got some new house listed and it’s hard to sell. What you’d do is celebrate him when he gets promoted from agent to partner in the realty firm. One house is never a make-or-break in his career.
Nor is one audition a make-or-break in yours. Get that? Yes. Get that!
Start NOW (because it won’t get easier as the stakes get higher) and teach everyone in your life not to be results oriented. Oh, and teach yourself that now too. 😉 You’re in this for the long haul. You have zillions of auditions ahead of you. Focusing on the punchline of every little experience is just going to make you hate the whole ride. Love the ride. The ride is not about results. It’s about the RIDE. Wheeeeeeee!
How’s your ride goin’? Comments are open below. Let’s hit it! 😀
Originally published by Actors Access at http://more.showfax.com/columns/avoice/archives/001542.html. Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive.