A while ago I was talking to my brother about my acting career, and he told me that since acting is my career, it isn’t enough to be working a few hours every day at it, I need to be putting in at least 40 hours a week. I needed to make it my full time job to get jobs. I recently started to tally my hours spent acting, and this week I got my 40 hours. For the first time since I started keeping track of them. The theory is that by counting the hours, I will treat it like more of a job and actually spend at least 40 hours actively working on my craft and advancing my career, without fail, every week. Right now, I feel incredibly accomplished and inspired, which is a pretty good incentive to keep it up.
As for the things that brought me to 40 hours, they are pretty exciting as well!
On Monday, I had an audition for a Trebas production. I haven’t heard anything back yet, so I probably didn’t get the part, but I did find confidence. Normally, I go into an audition caring soo much and putting so much pressure on myself that I am nervous and leave the room not remembering any names and probably not recognizing any of the people I met in the room. I am not sure what brought this sense of everything will be okay, but I wasn’t nervous in the waiting room, I was just waiting, connecting with who I needed to be for the audition.
When I got in the audition room, I had to sit on a stool, which was definitely not the most flattering position with my outfit, but I did not let it deter me. Nor did I let it throw me off when the reader decided to read all of the stage directions. I am not saying I did a perfect audition. And I regret changing whenever I got a note instead of adding to what I was already doing, but I committed. I was confident in answering questions, and in doing the scenes. When I left, I had no idea if I was getting the part or not, but I still felt that I had killed it 😉
On Tuesday, I had class with Suzanna. It was the cold reading class, so no lines to learn, but I got to discover Rooney Mara’s character in the Social Network. It is a breakup scene, with a lot of trying to leave, which means I will need to find the reason why I stay. And I get to go through all kinds of emotions, and be pretty powerful with my last lines.
On Wednesday I hung out at McGill, doing a really fun program where I had fake wounds all over the place and was in pretty bad shape.
On Thursday I reread Audition by Michael Shurtleff, to prepare for the Ron Leach workshop, and prepared for all my Friday things.
After a lot more preparing, Friday afternoon I went to audition for a trailer for a feature, the kind you use to secure funding. I was really excited when I got the sides, because I really liked the character, but then I did some more research and saw it was supposed to be an MIP. As in only open to union actors. I debated whether I should email them and cancel, but they had booked an audition, even though none of my material says I am ACTRA, so I figured I would go, do the best audition I could, so that even if I wasn’t allowed to work on this trailer, by the time the movie came around I would probably be union and able to work for them. This meant I once again went in without pressure, feeling like I was just free to play, which is the best you can hope for.
Less than a minute into the audition, I found out that it wasn’t necessarily an MIP, that it depended on the actors they found, so it would either be all union, or all non-union. Basically, this meant that the pressure was on and there was a job on the line again. Surprisingly, I kept my confidence, which is usually more of an act I put on. This time, I had the script memorized, even when he told us we didn’t have to, and I made choices. And stuck to them. That is, until he explained the backstory and I saw that I was completely off, but then I took in this additional information, and I know that I have at least one fan. As I was leaving, the second reader told me I sounded really good in there 😉
I then had to rush to an actual paying job for a kickstarter video, where I introduce a product. Unfortunately, I acted a lot more confident than I felt this time. I have always been self-conscious about my voice, because I am afraid to share it on stage, and it crackles in ADR and it just isn’t my most accomplished feature. I was a few minutes late because I had trouble finding parking, my forehead was shiny and my hair was flying all over the place. I played it calm, cool and collected, made jokes about my hair and completely owned it, but inside I felt not so awesome. Acting for me was always so appealing because I got to be someone else, which got me out of my shell. Had this been an infomercial where I was putting on a show, it would have been a lot easier, but it was just me, conveying excitement and trying to convince people that they should buy something. It is an awesome product and the team was super nice and encouraging, but every time I saw the guy shake his head, I felt so bad for wasting their time, since it took me so many takes to get it right. In the end, I am hopeful they got all they needed, and I am often overly critical of myself, but I felt like such an amateur. I had to get my mood back up by the time I got to the workshop, which I will give a complete summary of in my next post, but for now, know that I am taking everything as a learning opportunity. And I don’t want to feel this way about my voice anymore. Ever since I got back from London, I have been doing the exercises Rodney told me to do for my voice, but I am not consistently doing them all every single day, which he specifically told me to do. So, I am recommitting myself to Rodney’s daily exercises, and working on my weaknesses.
I leave you with a promo picture for the Cohort, a webseries I am a part of, and wish you all an excellent week!
“Build up your weaknesses until they become your strong points.”