8:41 pm - Weds 1.01.2014
In 2012, I spent a good chunk of the year feeling like things were not going as well as they had in 2011, in terms of how many auditions I was getting.
But when I got to the end of the year and tallied things up, I'd actually had more auditions than the year before (Not a lot more, mind you, but two or three more).
This past year, I had the very same feeling, particularly on the commercial side of things.
So earlier this evening, I added things up.
But this time, sadly, I was not wrong; I had 39 auditions this past year, as opposed to 52 in 2012.
The 13 fewer auditions represented 3 less on the theatrical side, and 10 on the commercial.
That's pretty painful - I can tell myself that two or three auditions, more of less, probably wouldn't make much of a difference.
But thirteen? That almost certainly represents one gig I didn't book, maybe two. And at the risk of sounding like a broken record, commercials are the money - They're the only gig I can book (As a day-player actor) that gives me any serious "breathing room" financially.
And as you might imagine, a 25% drop-off in auditions is...worrisome (Let's just say I'm hoping it's an aberration, but fearing it's a "trend").
So the audition numbers were...discouraging.
Likewise the fact that, for the second year running, I didn't book a national commercial, is similarly...discouraging (Have I mentioned lately how "commercials are the real money"...?).
But 2013 wasn't all bad...
I didn't book a national commercial, but I did book a regional (The 5th 3rd Bank spot), which got the year off to a quick start - I'd gotten the initial audition at the end of 2012, and had the callback three days into the new year.
And "13 fewer auditions means a gig or two I didn't book" aside, I actually booked five "new gigs" in 2013, two more than 2012.
On "the glass is half-empty" side, two of the three gigs in 2012 felt worth doing, acting-wise (Which I can only say about Brooklyn 9-9 this year).
But on the more pragmatic, "glass half-full" side - where one has to book gigs to make money for rent and food and such, and can't afford to be too "picky" - five gigs trumps three gigs...particularly when one of those gigs (True Blood)stretched over three episodes, and another (Brooklyn 9-9) was a two-day shoot.
In addition to the gigs I booked, I was "pinned" for two I didn't ultimately book (Only one less than 2012, where I remind you, I had thirteen more auditions to work with). There's no "big cash prize" for being "pinned", but it suggests that, even when I didn't "win", I was clearly "in the game" (And as I've said before, I've come to realize - with experience - that it's not just about booking one particular gig, but about making enough of an impression that they bring you back).
On the Shameless front, after worrying last year that the writers were "losing interest in my character", I booked four episodes this year, more than I've done in any season so far (in addition to the random co-star thing they turned into a "Kermit" bit). And one episode was a "guest-star", and only the second time I'll be in more than one scene in an episode.
(I'm shooting episodes 9 & 10 the first half of this month; assuming the usual 12 or 13 episode season, it's possible I could book another before it's all over, but I think it's probably better for my mental health if I assume I've gotten what I'm gonna get - I don't wanna "snatch defeat from the jaws of victory", as it were.)
In addition to the tv stuff, I also did a small bit as a zombie in my friend Cary's movie, The Borderlands, and participated in a play-reading (At the instigation of a WW member who's a playwright).
I tend to not do things like that, for various reasons ("Basic lethargy" being chief amongst them).
But Cary is a friend, and I wanted to be at least a small part of his project (And it was pretty cool, being made up as a zombie by a professional makeup person). And while I felt a little guilty about taking it, there was a little pay involved - Not to sound overly mercenary, but even a little money can push things into the "yes" column, because it can mean the difference between "not making much money" and "actively losing money" on a proposition.
And the play reading - while not a very well-written play, in my estimation, with a role I wasn't terribly interested in doing - got me out of the house, in front of an audience (Where I got some laughs), and meeting new people/potential contacts, and those are all worthwhile things.
(It's not my "default mode", but I'm thinking life is probably more interesting when you say "yes" more often than you say "no", so I'm going to endeavor to think more along those lines in the future.)
And here we are...
So what do I want from 2014, in acting terms...? Well, it's pretty much the same thing I want every year, basically "more, bigger, better"; I want more auditions, more bookings, more money, better roles.
I would like "big developments".
For 2014, I want what I want every year, which is basically for my career to get big enough that it actually changes things - In broad strokes, my life feels much the same as it always has (I don't have much money, I don't have nice things, I work a regular job and kinda do acting "on the side", I don't have many friends, and I worry about what the future holds). And, rightly or wrongly, I feel like a significant move "up the ladder" would pretty much make everything...better.
What I want out of myself this year, in acting terms, is:
1. To either be in a class of some kind, or performing, whenever I'm not actually working.
2. To continually be working on/thinking about doing better - In the audition room, and on the set.
3. To work on my "online presence" - Start the "actor blog" back up in earnest, make more videos, etc - in order to "keep myself entertained", to "cast a wider net" in terms of catching some decision-maker's eye, and to try and expand on my current "fan-base", which, at the moment, consists mostly of my friends on Facebook.
4. Work on developing a life/interests outside of auditions and bookings and such (That's both to "feed my career" - I agree with the notion that "Boring people are boring actors", and I want to walk into those audition rooms and be fascinating - and also to just not lose my mind to constant uncertainty and fear).
So here's to 2014 - As always, "It will be interesting to see what happens...".
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