Movin’ on (up?)

There’s always something to closing a show. Whether it’s wrapping a film, closing night, or the end of the tour, there’s a combination of feelings that leave you a little drained the next morning, regardless of the experience you had doing the work, or the beverages you imbibed at the party the night before.

For me, I usually find that for the first week or so, I miss the routine and the people that make live performing so unique. I miss my role. I find myself mumbling lines from the play to myself in the checkout line at the supermarket, or to my family members. Your fellow actors, the crew, the theatre’s staff are all an everyday part of your life in a way that approaches family. You’ve made friends onstage and off. You’ve lived with another person (your character) for every minute of every day of rehearsal, through performance. Whether you admit to it or not, you miss them.

After that, regardless of whether or not I have a gig to look forward to, I wonder if that might have just been my last play/film.  Rational or not, I always have the sinking feeling that my career might just be at an end with my last project. It’s a difficult business in which to persist. Those of you with ‘secure’ jobs, just try interviewing for a new job every couple weeks (or, often, more frequently), pile up a stack of rejections in hope that one interview will hit and you’ll be able to work for a couple months. Rinse and repeat. It transforms how you consider your future.

Then, there’s the fire and determination to get back in the saddle/on the boards/in front of the camera again. Ask nearly any working actor, and they’ll tell you to get out of the business unless it’s the ONLY thing you can do. An unquenchable thirst needs to exist to do the work of storytelling in theatre in order to make the sacrifices worth the time, the stress, the heartache, and the effort of making a life in the performing arts.

Here’s to the next project!

Represent(ation)!

So, as some of you know, last month I acquired new representation for my work. I have a new agency in Topo Swope Talent, locally based in Seattle.
Switching representation can be a tough and personal thing, but as I was fortunate in my previous talent agency, they wished me well.
An agent does a few things for an actor, and at the same time, leaves a few things completely up to you:
An agent gets you in the room.
An agent makes sure you get the best pay for your time.
An agent makes sure the client pays you.

An agent DOESN’T guarantee you get a fair shake in the audition room.

An agent DOESN’T make you a better actor.

An agent DOESN’T allow you to wait around for opportunities.

For instance: In the last couple weeks, I’ve had several auditions. Some of which were set up and confirmed by my agent, some of which I pursued myself, and some of which came to me from casting directors who knew my work and offered me a chance to show them how I’m the right performer for the role. An agent increases your opportunities to be seen. After that, it’s all on you.

Cue the Rick Ross. As an actor, ‘Every Day you’re Hustlin”.

(Though maybe not in the same way as Mr. Ross, but with a similar spirit of élan and determination.)

Word.

A Dude among Models

So, I had an audition today. It was a pretty normal call in to Seattle, with a pretty innocuous audition listing. “Scruffy but handsome ‘man’s man'” who drinks a certain kind of beer. Little did I know that my scruffy would look awful in comparison to the other men auditioning.

I was auditioning against male models.

“Sure,” I think, “They look great, GREAT, but can they act?” I mean. I’m an ACTOR. The internal and external life of my character are on display here, I’m not just showing off my All-American good looks (Heh. That, right there, was me being optimistic.)

When the audition situation calls for you to just be yourself and have a chat, a la “in a bar” with two other really, ridiculously good looking dudes, it probably DOES only come down to a beauty contest. So, in this case, all that time spent in the conservatory, polishing my craft, honing my instincts and impulses, dissecting scripts, learning and sharpening my physical skills and vocabulary, studying the great playwrights and the great plays . . . all that might just not do me much good . . .

But, I see two outcomes.

In the first, I’m overwhelmed by the sheer physical confidence (and rightfully so, these dudes were really, REALLY good looking) of my scene partners, am underwhelmed by the premise we’re about to play, and fail to engage my own creative engine for the audition.

In the second, I take my own confidence from my training, my body of work, my un-shaven countenance, and really use my imagination to put myself “in a bar” having a conversation with my really, really handsome new friends.

I chose to have fun, and play. They probably didn’t even know I wasn’t a model.