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8:26 am - Sun 2.08.2009
Auditions Are Game Changers...Except When They're Not

Auditions Are Game-Changers...Except When They're Not (Alternate Title - Winning "The Face Lottery")

In my last entry, I wrote that a nice thing about auditions is how they're potential "game changers".

It's exciting to think that, in one fell swoop, there's the potential for life to take a big turn for the better. That I've put myself in the position where it's possible for really good things to happen at any time.

Sometimes, I still get really jazzed by that.

I didn't have that feeling in Lansing. I enjoyed my friendships with Mark&Jane and Kevin K. - and still miss them terribly at times - I have very good feelings about the theater I did there (and still miss it terribly at times), and was proud of where I worked and liked my coworkers (Even if I didn't think I was particularly good at my job - as a bookstore clerk - and was bored to death much of the time), but I didn't see anything better, or even anything different, in my future.

There was just going to be "more of the same" as far down the road as I could see. For years, I'd felt "frozen in place" (For all the progress I'd made, life might as well have stopped when I was in my early 20s). And I wasn't satisfied with my life, by a long shot, but at the same time, I was terrified of losing what I had.

But the down side of going to every audition hoping it'll be the audition that changes things, is that most auditions aren't that audition.

Most auditions are just going to be auditions, particularly at my stage of the game (Auditioning for commercials and - occasionally - a line or two on a tv show).

And most of the time, whether you're good, bad, or indifferent, you're not going to get the gig (That's not being "negative", it's just the Law of Averages).

I went to my Verizon audition on Friday feeling pretty "jazzed"; it was a national, for one thing, which meant it had the potential for being a big financial windfall.

And the "breakdown" for the role (As a mailman) specified "'real-looking' characters, good comedic actors, great with improv".

(It used to make me nervous that JS would send me on things that specified "great with improv", when I had no real improv experience. But now I'm just pleased he has that much confidence in me.)

So I went in thinking that not only was I getting the chance to change my financial circumstances (potentially for the next couple years), but that I was going in for a funny role that would get national exposure.

At this point, I should have known better. But as they say, "Hope springs eternal".

The "role", requiring "good comedic actors, great with improv", was one line - "No movies today, Bill."

When I was in the room, I did the line twice, then was instructed to "take the charm out of it", and deliver it in a straight, matter-of-fact manner.

Afterwards, I realized this was another spot, like the majority of commercial things I audition for, that was going to be a "Face Lottery" - Anyone who'd been called in could do the line (You could do the line), so it would boil down to whose "look" they responded to.

Years down the road, that reality still depresses me, when it's basically just "the luck of the draw"; It's a "Face Lottery", and anything else you bring to the party is immaterial.

Yes, there's the possibility that a given audition or gig could make a big difference in my life, and that's exciting.

But that's mostly not the case - Most auditions are just auditions, most gigs are just gigs, and all you can really hope for is that, the next time you go in for something, you'll win "The Face Lottery".


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