"Wait... What's her name?", I stumble through her headshot and what appears to be what she thought of as her resume. No dice. The headshot appears to be a facebook profile pic blown up and printed on a standard sheet of printer paper, and the resume is her actors access confirmation sheet, printed out. "PJ, what was her name?" I keep flipping the pages over, thinking there's no way she handed us a stack of papers with not even her name on them. I thought wrong.
This was my first time auditioning actors ever, and after watching 10 actors come in and out (24 were confirmed, 50 were scheduled) I can say it really changed my outlook on my career and life in general. On the way home there was construction on the 134, so I had some added minutes to dissect the experience and learn. What I found was life-changing...
Here in Los Angeles, we're taught to 'Reach for the Stars!', 'Always look forward towards your goals!', "NEVER LOOK BACK!". I think it's good to keep you in focus, but I feel they miss a very important perspective point. And that point is this....
If all you do is look up at the stars, then you are always looking 'above' your experience, 'above' where you are at. Conversely, what you are always seeing is a reality where you are always last place.I'm sitting in a CD workshop next to a friend who constantly works co-stars and day-player roles, roles I would love to be getting. But what is he doing? Complaining. Complaining that he isn't getting guest star roles to stick. I wanted to scream at him weeks ago, now I understand why. To him, the reality that he sees is guest stars, recuring, series regulars. To him, co-star IS last place.
Would this stop with him? No. Not at all. Take a look at anyone you highly respect as a artist.... Me? Kevin Spacey. Now, would I like to have his career? Absolutely. 2 time Oscar winner, 54 award wins, works in numerous productions with new and seasoned filmmakers a like. I would love that, because it's 'above my experience'. But look at his perspective, what if he is looking 'above HIS'. Maybe EGOT? Platinum record? Wherever he is looking, that reality is putting himself last place within it.
And if it doesn't stop with him, it doesn't stop with you either...
Right now, there is someone in the middle of Kansas that would kill to be having the experience I have right now. I just happen to be at a place that's above their perspective. And the same goes for wherever you are at in your career.
When that 'no-name' actress left the room, I didn't see a failure. I saw myself back when I was just starting out, AND how far I've come since then. What I saw in myself as stagnant yesterday, I see as success now. I am doing a great job, and it feels amazing to be able to see this.
So stop looking up, and look back from time to time. You'll stop seeing yourself in last place, and pick up a lot of gratitude for the amazing amount of ground you've covered.
I know I did. :) Changed my life. :')
Have a fantastic day!
--Paul Jacob Evans