Getting work in the entertainment industry
They say you're as only good as your last job. I say you're as good as your last audition.
Real talk: Booking work in the acting and modeling industries is tough and often few and far between, unless you are in the top few percent who work consistently with large payouts. My last paid acting job was at the end of last year, with tons of recent callbacks and avails to date (I'll get into that in another post). Not working can be frustrating, but having the right attitude will change your entire approach to this strange world of Hollyweird.
Waiting for that next acting or modeling job can be frustrating. Having to explain to your family and friends why you're not working all of the time can be a daunting task, as well. It is mentally taxing. You begin to question if you're good enough, if this is worth it, or if there's something you're doing wrong. But when I read an article on Backstage.com and watched Inside The Actors Studio with successful actor Bryan Cranston, it changed my entire perspective and approach to the entertainment business and the process of auditioning.
Auditioning is your job. Getting the callbacks, avails, pins, and bookings are the bonuses and icing on the cake.
Auditioning is your chance to rock it while still remembering it is not about you. It is an opportunity to show them your best work, and that's it! Expect nothing else and move on with your day. Your mentality to approaching these auditions is critical. Of course, be prepared and on time (I've come a LONG way from showing up to these auditions thinking I was prepared when I really wasn't), know your lines & make strong choices (or have your book, if it's modeling), and find ways to have fun at your audition. Highlight your strengths, and work on your weaknesses. Let go of that NEED to get the job. Remember, casting directors WANT you to do well. No one is against you in that room (I still need to remind myself of this sometimes).
I've found that the auditions where I don't care as much, let go of that fear of needing or wanting the job, and just being present, are the gigs that I book, or at least get callbacks and holds from the most (remember callbacks and holds are GREAT! You did what you were asked. Beyond that point is out of your control).
Honestly, there is no concrete formula for success in this business. I have found that the key to surviving and persevering is to stay mentally astute, let go of that annoying habit of needing a job, and find other creative endeavors to complement your business & time (that also drives and fulfills you). For me, writing and the social media world have been fun outlets for me to get creative, have fun, and let go. Spending time with friends, family, and doing what I love (working out, seeing live music concerts, etc.) also helps. Some people find part time work (myself included) too. And with that, I've learned let go of the need to book the job at auditions. And it shows.
As Bryan Cranston said, there's real power in coming into an audition to just ACT, do your best, and walk away. Remember, you are there to help the casting director, producers, whomever and give them whatever it is they need. I'm getting better at applying this philosophy every day.
Here are a couple of clips from Bryan Cranston that hits the nail on the head. You can watch more snippets here.