5 WAYS TO DEAL WITH WAITING AFTER AN AUDITION – Numbers 2, 3, 4 and 5 might actually book you another job
As I sit here with this GIANT PREGO BELLY, I've been thinking a lot about waiting. I've put my voice lessons on hold for now because I seem to have more contractions when I'm teaching and I don't want to freak out any of my students by going into labor during a lesson. THAT would make for an interesting story! In thinking about the waiting I'm doing right now, I realized that waiting is a huge thorn in the side of most performers. We can work our tushes off preparing for an audition, but there are way too many variables to actually have any control over who books the job.
Waiting to hear back after an audition! How do we deal with the inevitable curse?
- FOCUS ON FUN – Spend time with friends and make a promise NOT to talk about the business. I know this is hard, but you might learn something you never knew about your closest friends. Play a board game, go out and do something you would usually never do. When asked how he deals with waiting after an audition, my friend and Musical Theatre superstar, Zak Edwards, said “Do something you wouldn't normally do. When I was in a very anxious time, my friend said, “We're going to a baseball game.” I hate baseball, but we had a blast, and being in a different context than I normally am took my mind completely off my nerves.”
- GET BACK TO WORK – Start prepping for the next audition/performance ASAP. Even if you think the two will conflict, the best way to book work is to book something else. I swear! When it rains, it always seems to pour.
- FOLLOW UP – Actors often forget about this crucial step. Casting Directors see so many actors ALL THE TIME. It seriously impossible for them to remember everyone. SO, it's your job to make sure you remember them, and remind them of who you are. But, don't just send a post card saying “blah blah it was great auditioning for you. Blah Blah.” Do something creative, or write them and remind them of something really specific that happened in your audition. I absolutely love this photo that my college buddy crazy talent of stage, screen, and voice over work, Sean Hankinson, created back in 2007. It's an oldie but a goodie. It's perfect for sending to casting directors during the holidays.Sean also shared his best follow up with a casting director story after his audition for American Pie 5 or 6. – “After having a pitch meeting with a friend of mine I remembered he was friends with the producer, so I asked about American Pie. He sent me to casting director, Monika Mikkelsen. She read me and called me to producers (producers to casting to producers, Ha!). I nailed it and ended up getting to the final round of consideration. After my final audition, I enlisted one of my best friends, Valery Ortiz (look her up, amazing actress). I purchased an apple pie from Marie Calender's and pasted my headshot to the inside of the box. Valery and I drove over to the production office, she hopped out and hand delivered the pie for me. I got a call from the producer later that night saying it was the smartest thing he had ever seen an actor do. He then went on to say that I had made a lasting impression on him. The casting director ended up casting me in 2 other features and got me into SAG!” Good one Sean!
- SEE THE BIGGER PICTURE – Auditioning is horribly nerve-racking. It is time to place your ego aside and to focus on building relationships that can help you in the future. Building a successful career is not just about one job; it’s about developing meaningful relationships along the way. AND – you never know what one audition might lead to. I booked one of the my most enjoyable roles (Tess in Crazy for You at Stages St. Louis) after getting cut from an audition for Guys and Dolls at the same theater. After the Guys and Dolls audition the actress who was set to play Tess in Crazy for You ended up needing to drop the show. So, casting director Gayle Seay of Wojcik/Seay Casting (who also happens to be one of the most awesome, lovely people ever) remembered me from the Guys and Dolls call and asked me to come to an invited audition for the role of Tess. If I had not gone to that Guys and Dolls audition and stayed positive after being cut I would have never been able to belt “Drop that long face come on have your fling” out of a window in a seriously amazing production of Crazy for You, or learned all of the original choreo. So good!
- CHECK BACK IN WITH YOUR CAREER GOALS – When you spend time an energy on things over which that you actually have no control, you are really just pulling away time and energy from the things that you DO control. So… I know you all followed this guide for setting goals for the year, RIIIIIIGHT? Check back in with it and use the anxiety associated with waiting as a reason to kick yourself back in gear. We all can use a reminder to get back to the grind stone from time to time!
I hope these tips help you after your next audition. I always wished there was a green red and yellow light outside of audition rooms so that we'd have some sort of instant feedback. Alas, we are stuck with the waiting.
As for me in this current prego state. I'm still waiting too! I'm doing my best to focus on the awesome, helpful content I can share with you all while patiently sitting on my couch counting contractions. Ha!
The mom of one of my amazing students reminded me about this excerpt from “Oh the Places You'll Go” It seemed super fitting for this post. So, I hope you enjoy. I'm also including a really great reading of the book by John Lithgow. And don't forget –
THE WAITING PLACE
by Dr. Seuss
Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come,
or a plane to go or the mail to come,
or the rain to go or the phone to ring,
or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.
Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.
Excerpt from Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss