needy

Being an actor... (the emotional roller coaster)

It is apparent I am no longer a spring chicken anymore, which, as an actor, brings up this slight panic, slight carefree 'over it' kind of mentality. It's hard for anyone chasing such a extremely difficult dream... You go through such emotions. When you start out you have all the enthusiasm in the world. The industry is yours if you want it, anything seems possible. Your enthusiasm books you jobs and you think life could really be sweet. Things slow down a bit as the ten jobs out of eleven that you didn't get, start playing on your mind and you lose some confidence. You try your hardest to have a thick skin and not take anything personally... 'Was that take so horrendous that the casting director laughed as I walked out? Was I too fat to play the leads sister? Did I speak too mumbly, or not common enough? Was I tall enough, brown enough, skinny enough, interesting enough, plain enough... Was I enough? And you kick yourself for letting it get to you because you know for a fact, most of the time it's just because you just 'weren't right.' But you wait for the phone to ring even though you know a watched kettle will never boil, you play mind games with yourself and tell yourself 'I didn't even want the part anyways. You wanted to be free to audition for the dream job not slug away night after night for equity minimum in a part that quite frankly your not right for anyways... When really, of course you want that job. You always, always WANT the job. You want the credit, the experience, the contacts and as much as you tell yourself not to, you want the validation. 

Yeh yeh wouldn't it be great if we were all those actors that went into the room so nonchalant you would think they were just there to order pizza. The ones that don't learn their lines and sit back in the chair, relaxed, with no need to ingratiate themselves or appease anybody. They grunt answers back at the casting director and tells them he's not worked in a year because, well, he just wasn't 'feeling it' and we all think perhaps we could be that guy... So we pretend, in the lead up to the casting, we try not to learn the lines, we say things in the mirror like 'They want me to get the job, they need me, I am what they need for the job' and you try so hard to believe your little beaming face that you very nearly have a bolt of excitement. 'I am, in control of my destiny, life is good, this is just great to be auditioning'... 

Wait, is that excitement or do I need a poo from all the nerves.

You go in, you read, you did good. No wait, don't think you did good because whenever you think you did, you don't hear from them. So, without being negative, you try as positively as possible, to tell the universe that you really do not mind if you book this job or not. You SAY that, if not this one, the next will be something better. But our intention isn't there. Inside you're intention says, I need this job to take me out of this shitty existence of working for someone else and just about paying my rent. 


The phone doesn't ring for days and when it does and it's private number... Private number? Shit it's my agent, I booked the job, no no, tell yourself you have not booked the job, no no that's negative, think nothing, think NO thoughts, meditate, ummmmmmmmm... 

'Hello.' Easy breezy cool cat... 
'Hi I'm just calling from voderfone...' 

Aggggjhhhhhhhh fuck you Vodafone. I don't even have a contract with you... Hang up. You try not to cry from your own desperateness. You turn your phone on silent because you don't want to be listening for the call, but then you just keep looking at it angry when there's no action. You sometimes finally forget the call your waiting for. And on those gleeful moments life is bliss again. Normal. You go to class, see friends, talk for hours about how you love acting and want to immerse yourself in the world and when your not looking or waiting or thinking, the phone rings and you got a recall and life is so fabulously joyful... for thirty minutes and then the process starts all over again.

This insanity may not happen to every actor, it may not be everyones journey, but it was mine. I wholeheartidly admit, this was my mindset for a very long time... 

You have some fab spells of work and then some not so fab spells. Along the way you book a life changing lead only to be recast at the last minute because you, funnily enough (refer back to  second paragraph) weren't brown enough, young enough, funny enough... All of the above. Your devastated. Your life is over, you lose all confidence, any that you had left and you decide your going to become a life coach, or make knitted owls for a living, maybe you'll pack it all up and head to Thailand for a year or two. Maybe you will write a novel or become a yoga teacher. You will take yourself out of this rejection ridden world and just take care of you. You'll meditate, read self help books, focus on something worthwhile, the UN maybe.... Drop the dream of being Jolie or Watson and just settle with being a UN Joe Blogs with no starry eyed credentials. Perhaps you decide your old now, maybe you will get married and have kids and settle and perhaps... Wait, private number...


You have an audition for a lead for a series for a popular show... Life changing, and you no longer want kids, marriage (you will do that once you have this life changing job), Screw yoga, Thailand, owls, Joe blogs job at the UN... You want this job and you decide that that is OK. You drop the desperation because you have been at rock bottom. You've had no work for years. You survived. Life moved on and you did not keel over. You still had focus and purpose and you sort of strangely enough found yourself through all the neediness and despair. You feel free from it all. You still want it but you don't need it anymore and you think for a split second that perhaps you are now that cool nonchalant kid that doesn't mind if they book the job or not, what's meant to be is meant to be... Right? You have beaten the system, your obstacle, yourself. Ulrica moment in full force.

And then you're in the room and the casting directors are laughing and talking and you're in there for at least fifteen minutes, and you feel... This is possibly one of those moments. You're gleeful. The room likes what you did with the scene. The director gives you notes and you take them well. They nod and smile and you own it, your confident, your in it... Your present. You shake there hands and for another minute, perhaps minute and a half, you're on cloud nine... You say your goodbyes. You get up walk towards the door, close the door... You can't exactly remember what you said in there, or if it was authentic and truthful? You begin replaying the last fifteen minutes over and over and...

You walk into the waiting room and...'oh shit, there's Sally Meekings. The one that books everything...

Well great, thanks universe thank you very much.