What We’re Told
Years ago when I started auditioning, I was told a few things about auditioning that stuck with me. First, I was told that that audition is the job. I have heard this over and over and it’s true. We have precious seconds to set ourselves apart and catch their attention or the gig is lost. Next, I was told once I submit my audition never to think of it again. Fred Frees, one of my beloved coaches, said it’s like flushing the toilet. We submit, click, and it’s gone.
The reality is that some auditions are easier to forget than others. It also depends on how many auditions a voice over actor is doing in a day. If you only do a handful of reads, each audition could, in theory, weigh on you more. For me, on a typical day, I submit between 20 and 40 auditions. When I’m really ambitious or there is a lot out maybe I’ll do 50. I have a pretty solid booking ratio on pay to plays, so I have gotten pretty good at not fixating on auditions. Like most professional talents, I also track the amount of reads I submit to what I book and this keeps me aware of what I am doing relative to others in the industry. I will tell you though, that even with all of these reads, some auditions just seem like the were written for me. And those are the ones that I fixate on. Those are the ones that I check to see if they have been listened to. I hope to be short listed for “these” special few. I seem to keep those top of mind even when I know, after all of these years, that I should just be moving forward.
Last week I was called into a studio in New York to read for a project. I was already short listed when I went in. I knew that only a few others had my sound. I made the final cut. I will confess that I have been fixating on this audition. I have discussed it with the gals in my accountability group. They, too, have had this happen. They are short listed for projects, held on avail, and think that they are perfect. Sometimes the casting g-ds shine down on us, sometimes they do not. The fixating cannot make it so. All the meditating in the world has not sent the casting my way yet.
The Other Girl
The other night as I was falling asleep and fixating on this casting, I had a thought that put my mind at ease. My revelation was of the other girl. The other girl who got the email or voicemail or actual call that she got the booking. That she must have had such joy and been so delighted. I know that joy as I have been fortunate enough to experience it so many times over the years. In a job field where we either book or we don’t, the way to survive is not to think about the rejection but to basque in the joy of every single casting. Each booking matters. A lot. And knowing that someone out there got that joy, and in this case we are talking major joy, gave me solace.
Connecting the Dots
In voice over, as our careers progress, we build strong bonds with like minded talents who are also striving to reach similar goals. We typically support each other. One year, I was short listed for several jobs and put on hold for them, and ultimately the casting went to another gal, not once but twice. Well I met the other gal at VO Atlanta! I was delighted to chat with her and she could not be more lovely. I recently had a great Zoom chat with another talent who has a very similar business model to mine. I get the feeling we share more than goals, I think we share a work ethic and clients too.
I find the other women in my business to be a constant source of both motivation and support. Voice over is different that other fields because our network really does become like a family. When we visit each other we stay at each other’s homes. We share holidays and are there in good times and bad. So pulling long and hard on this thread of the casting has made me think about what I am unraveling. I may not get this campaign, and the more time that goes by, that seems to be the case, but knowing that one of these other great gals did, makes me feel better. And in the mean time, I’ll just me taking a long, hot shower, and belting out “Let it Go” over, and over, and over until I really do!