Personal Evolution 9/4/22

Personal Evolution 9/4/22

When I was starting out as an actor, I heeded advice to “audition for everything”- because you can’t get the show you don’t audition for and the decision about whether you are “right’ for the part should be made by the casting director, not by you, because you don’t know what’s in their heads. That was good advice for me and in those early years, I did go to every audition I could. Some things I was cast in (or called in for) did surprise me. Young actors often possess more range and variety than they are aware they have. When you mature, it changes a bit- or it has for me. While I still try never to type myself out of an audition and do, indeed, audition for roles that I would not traditionally be cast in, I have stopped auditioning for everything that comes along.
Because life shifts for us all as years pass. Before the pandemic, I had come to a place I truly appreciated- I had found myself as a part of several families- several companies I work with regularly, who cast me in challenging and surprising roles and trust my abilities to play these roles. I had begun a yearly cycle of work with these companies and it has been such a gift that I no longer combed the audition sites in order to “audition for everything” because I found what was right for me. But the pandemic and the shutdown shook things up a bit in my personal oasis. Suddenly, auditions were all done via video submission. No need to plan that long trip to Atlanta, New York, Chicago, etc. It was an opportunity to be seen by a myriad of new companies. And I turned my career instinct 190 degrees. I was all over the casting sites again, submitting to everything I could. Once the theatre began to open up (oh so slowly), I did recognize the rather manic feeling and behavior in myself and was able to shut that down. But it got me thinking about young actors who are still in the “audition for everything” phase- we elders love to pass on what little insight we may have and call it wisdom. So, here it is. It is GOOD to audition for everything, but once you are actually cast in a show- you can stop looking to fill that time frame. Once you (and the company) have made a commitment, accept the gift of work and let yourself take it in to yourself and just relax a little. Build relationships with people you want to work with and who want to work with you. Those are the families you create together. Sounds very simple, but for actors, who can, by their nature, tend to need validation, it is something that must be learned over time. I am truly, truly fortunate- in recent years, my theatrical seasons have taken on a cyclic kind of peacefulness. I have been spending the seasons working consistently with my family of companies, knowing where I was going to be all year last year, this year and next year.
I will confess to still looking at the casting sites, but I don’t feel that I must submit a video to everything any more. It’s an odd and peaceful place to land after 37 years and I hope that I am able to fully appreciate this new place of being. I am certainly grateful.

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