Life begins at audition

Photo by Swamibu. Some rights reserved (CC BY-NU 2.0).My life as an actor begins again every time I audition. It’s my rebirth. If I’m good enough, if I’m what the director wants, I get a chance to take a character off the black and white pages of a script and turn him into a real, flesh-and-blood human again, with all of the shades of gray that come with that transformation. Amazing.

Many, if not most, actors hate auditions. They’re terrifying, they’re humiliating, and they carry the very real possibility of rejection. We hate being rejected. Did they hate me because I’m too tall, too short, too skinny, too fat, or is it my voice, my eye color, my age? Or is the director just casting her friends (or lovers)? Maybe that guy got the part because he once did the director a favor or because he’s a major donor or is related to someone who might donate to the theater company. And maybe I need better headshots, a different resumé format.

Who knows? Not you. That’s not your problem, it’s the director’s. Most of the time, the director’s too busy to hate anyone, but he does have to find a cast and I wasn’t what he needed that day. I do know that I don’t get 100 percent of the roles I don’t audition for. If I do audition, though, at least I’ve got a shot. I don’t make a living as an actor – very few of us do – so when I go into an audition I have nothing to lose. If I get a part, great! If not, I’ve left with exactly what I came in with. Except I have one more audition experience under my belt, and even if I wasn’t cast, I may have left a positive impression anyway, which means next time….

It’s so much easier not to try. But not trying means not doing.

Today’s writing music: “Song For My Father” by Stanley Jordan, “These Foolish Things” by Chet Baker, “Ecos” by Strunz & Farah, “Desde Mi Giralda” by El Niño de Pura.

Author: Tom Kephart

Actor, director, writer. Social media guy. Higher ed drone. Sings for beer in karaoke bars.