stepped stomped on my dick yesterday for the first time since pursuing acting as a profession. While chilling out with my woman yesterday morning I received a call from an unknown Toronto number. I answered and it was an impatient female voice asking if I was free for an audition the next day (Today) at 3:30. (It bears mentioning that said audition would have been my biggest audition thus far). I said I wasn’t and this voice proceeded to berate me and point out how stupid I was for not looking at the scheduled audition dates dates when applying for the audition. As I began to explain that I was spending the day with my girlfriend because it was her birthday, the voice hung up on me.
I found this rather vexing.
I explained the situation to my girlfriend who could tell something was amiss, and she said she didn’t mind spending her b-day in Toronto (we live in Hamilton) so that I could attend the audition. With this new development, I called said casting agent back and explained that my schedule had opened back up and I would come in if she would have me. She said I had already been replaced and made a point of emphasizing how replaceable I in fact was, citing the hundreds of other applicants for that role.
I think she hung up on me again.
Now I’m not sure if she hung up on me because I was kind of stunned about how malicious she was being about the whole thing, but it seems fitting given the trajectory of our discourse up to that point. I was troubled because naturally the first thing in my mind was, “Oh my God, I’m never gonna work in this town again.” I tried to keep my composure though because Chelsea already felt bad enough that me taking a day off from pursuing my dreams to hang out with her had indirectly led to the complete destruction of said dreams. As soon as she left though I called up my sister, Tanya (still sleeping, naturally) and complained to her about my horrible mistake of always making time for my loved ones.
So what could I do better next time?
I’ve mulled this one over for a while, and while I didn’t really do anything overtly wrong I could definitely stand to tighten up a few aspects of my game. Here are some recommendations to myself.
1. Always check the posted audition date against your own schedule. This is kind of a no-brainer but when most of the auditions you are doing are for indie films, the schedules tend to be more flexible and they will spend some time to work things out with you so they can get a goodly number of people in auditioning. A television show, not so much. In this case, if I had checked the posted audition date a little more closely I would have seen it was Chelsea”s birthday and either not applied or made other arrangements with her. But I didn’t. Shame on me.
2. Always say ‘Yes.’ I should have known this one from my improv training. I should have said, “Absolutely I can come in tomorrow and audition for your show,” then called her back and canceled if there had been any conflict. “No” closes doors; “Yes” gets your foot in.
3. An agent might have some uses. Call me naive but I don’t see a huge need for a principal agent right now; I’m checking postings every day (sometimes several times a day), following numerous casting directors via Twitter et al., and networking with fellow actors/directors/etc. Notwithstanding leveraging any connections they have that I don’t, I don’t see the big need for an agent at my current level.
On the contrary, I think I’m ripe to be exploited by someone who might want to bolster their ranks without actually going to bat for me and finding me jobs. I’ve heard of agents who insist that their clients don’t do any background work or look for work on their own and simply wait for a call. I want to avoid this whole mess and basically just make good product, which will hopefully speak for itself and give me a bigger seat at the bargaining table when it comes time to enter a contract. Again, if that sounds naive, its because I’m just figuring this shit out for myself as I go along
That said, yesterday’s SNAFU with the casting director illuminated one important function of agents: acting as a buffer between the talent and the casting director. Until the day I find my very own Ari Gold
I’m going to have to be prepared to deal with people who have little patience for flighty novelties like family time.
So as it is I will keep trudging forward undeterred by this recent setback. Aside from the lesson, the episode wasn’t a total loss: I got this casting director’s personal cell phone saved into my phone. Maybe if she’s calmed down some I can shoot her a text to see if she’s got any auditions I can squeeze into >:-)