I grew up in Hawaii, and since I lived near the beach, it was fairly common to go surfing after school.
Well...everyone else would surf. I mostly just got bounced around in the shore break.
But one day as I was riding towards shore, a cross-current wave sideswiped my board and tossed me into the air. I did some sort of flip and – inexplicably – landed, feet first, unscathed, back on my board like nothing had happened.
I almost wouldn’t believe it was true myself, except that my friend, Matt, witnessed it.
It was crazy.
And quite frankly, it’s statistically impossible to ever happen again (especially since I don’t surf anymore).
You know what else is statistically improbable? That you’ll book every job you audition for. And in fact, it’s unlikely you’ll even book every 5th job you audition for.
I know you know this.
Every time you don’t book it, you feel deflated and wonder what you did wrong.
Then you drown your sorrows in an acai bowl, put on fuzzy socks and binge-watch Ozark...because it feels good that the Byrde family has bigger problems than yours.
What if, instead of basing your self-worth on whether, or not, you book a job, you focused on how you feel about the job you did in the room?
Many of the actors I coach yearn to believe that success is possible, especially when they’re not booking. And that they’re worthy of that success in the first place.
What if you could prove to yourself that you’re worthy and that just being yourself in the room is enough?
That’s where understanding and owning your strengths comes in. An actor I worked with recently said this:
“Our work together shifted my thinking about how I see myself. It was so freeing to realize that I do have strengths… I never believed that before. Now I’m more self-confident and it feels weird to say it, but I’m happier.”
So. Just accept it. You’re not going to book every audition.
But you’re not alone.
Even A-listers don’t book every job.
Did you know Seth Rogen auditioned for Dwight in The Office? Or that Bob Odenkirk auditioned for Michael? And Adam Scott auditioned for Jim?
Mind blown, right?
What about that Julie Bowan wasn’t even the 1st or 2nd choice to play Claire Dunphy on Modern Family? Or that Matt Le Blanc was originally tapped to play Phil! Can you imagine Modern Family without Ty Burrell?
Here’s a good one.
Taraji P. Henson auditioned for the role of Olivia Pope on Scandal.
Yep, even Academy Award nominees don’t book every job.
I rest my case.
My mission as a coach is to get actors to believe in themselves again, stop overthinking and connect to the character in a brand new way.
And I take that job very seriously.
But what I really do, is help actors loosen their grip on the fear of not being enough.
And I want that for you too.
Because you are enough.
Recognizing that you’re worthy of success is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, period.
Figure out what makes you tick, stand in those strengths, use them to align yourself with any character you need to play, and own your life.
This post was originally published by Backstage.