One Hundred Seventy-Five

I’ve attended many an audition: theatre, film, television, puppetry, improv, radio and Shakespeare. I’ve rehearsed said auditions with paid coaches, other actors or friends, friends who were actors, neighbours and even my mom. I’ve locked myself in my room and crammed the lines in for auditions, researched roles
through the glorious site of YouTube. I’ve kept journals of my auditions that fill several notebooks.
That’s just 33% of getting the role.
Once I get into the audition room, it’s always a crap shoot. I’ve done auditions that wowed the casting people, some that made them go, “pffft!” and some that made them say, “thank you and enjoy the weather. ” I had a casting person clap once. One casting director told me, “that’s not acting” but a year later she brought me in and then said after my audition, “that’s exactly what we’re looking for” and still didn’t give me the part.
Sometimes I got the role, other times I didn’t.
I’ve gotten roles simply because I was the only one who showed up, because pairing me with a white actor as my brother was funny, because I did a decent accent, because nobody else wanted the role as a smoker, because I was the only one who got the meaning of the play, because a duo of improvisers needed a third, because I was black, because I was available, because I was the same height as a fifteen year old boy, because they felt bad for me and because I had done the role in high school. All in all, It’s all about persistence.
I don’t often get roles because of my looks but I have gotten them for my look: I’m not cover model but I might look right for a role.
I can say I got the roles not because I was a great actor (pffft!) but because I persisted at doing something I still love.
From now until I die, I’ll make a certain amount that’ll add up to the wages I’ve made working at the Olive Garden bussing tables
.
You thought I did this for the money?

I’d have quit several months later.

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