I was at an weekend retreat recently and wanted chocolate. No surprise there.
What was surprising was that when I walked into the meeting room a bit later, it was like someone had read my mind. There were bags of Ruggedly Handsome Cowboy Bark all over the table!
It was actually called Ruggedly Adventuresome Cowboy Bark.
I was sooo disappointed. Buttttt, it made me realize that I see the things I want to see sometimes.
And so do you.
I wanted to see handsome chocolate because
a) who wouldn’t want to taste that? and
b) because I kinda wish I’d grown up in the south. Actually, I want to live inside of Friday Night Lights.
Boots? Country music? Ruggedly Handsome Tim Riggins? Yes, please.
But let’s talk about you and your dream of being an actor.
I know you.
And I know that sometimes, you make handsome-chocolate-like things up in your head.
You tell yourself you’re not worthy of being an actor or that you’re not good enough. Or that you’re too old, too short, too late...the list goes on.
Maybe you assume, before you even step in the audition room, that you’re not going to book it.
You might have said that out loud to friends. That way, when they ask if you booked it, you can say, “I knew I wouldn’t,” instead of “I’m so disappointed; I didn’t even get a callback.”
Are you trying to protect yourself so the rejection hurts less? Imagine getting your heart broken by Tim Riggins, like I did. Now that hurts.
Fear wins when you tell yourself self-deprecating things to protect your ego.
Please do not let fear win.
You didn’t book that job? Maybe it bruises your ego, but go talk to Mark Ruffalo who auditioned 600 times before booking his first gig.
See? You’re not the only one.
Here’s what I want you to do the next time you get an audition notice.
Pay very close attention to that “ego-protecting” voice in your head.
If you think, even for a spit second, that you’re not going to book it, ask yourself why.
Why not you?
You’re not allowed to answer things like “Because I’m too old,” “I haven’t book in a year,” or, “I’m not talented enough.”
It’s fake news. Unless you haven’t prepared...then, you won’t book it because you were lazy.
You have talent, despite the fact you haven’t booked in a year.
Did you know Clare Danes auditioned for two years before she landed Homeland?
So ask yourself the hard questions and then keep asking why.
Because if you can go into the room aligned with your character from the inside out, then you’re way ahead of your competition.
And that’s something you can control.
Speaking of being in control, here’s another thing you can do: Download my free 5-step Action Guide. It’ll give you a deeper dive into how to embody your characters so you can rock that audition and book the job.
And maaaaaybe you’ll even decide to eat a piece of ruggedly handsome cowboy bark beforehand for good luck. I hope you do.
Either way, you’ve got this. You’re getting a chance to audition. You’re in the room!
That’s a win.
If you want this career, and I know you do, then, no matter what happens, dust yourself off and try again.
This isn’t your first rodeo and it won’t be your last.
Parts of this article were originally published in Backstage.