Take A Risk And Be Yourself
Earlier this week, I had a callback for a commercial. I was told to wear a black tank top, and mine was
dirty, so I borrowed a cute lacy one from my roommate. I figured it was close enough. I put on some black skinny jeans (with zippers!), a pair of nude stilettos, and curled my hair. I felt great!
Until I got to the callback.
There were six other girls there, and they all looked like they could be sisters. Very dark hair, mostly in pixie cuts, waif-ishly thin with sharp collar bones, wearing combat boots or leg warmers. (I managed to discreetly get a a picture of one girl's shoes, which I could never pull off.) Whoa. What am I doing here?!?!
So, I sat there uncomfortably for a few minutes thinking about how uncool I was compared to these girls and wishing I had straightened my hair instead of curling it. And wishing that I owned combat boots, or at least high top air Nikes. All these negative thoughts got very tiresome, but thankfully one of the girls complimented me on my shoes.
I was very surprised and kindly told her thanks. She put me on a new track of thinking - and I really hope she booked the commercial (because I didn't). I thought, 'Well, they called me back for a reason. If they want to go with a different look, I am their only choice." And so started my new philosophy of committing to being me instead of trying to be some chameleon that can fit anywhere. I'm too special to fit anywhere, right? And so are you, right? (The answer is YES!)
I realize that our jobs as actors are to transform ourselves into people that we are not, but the fact is we can't change our 'type'. No matter how talented I was, I probably wouldn't be cast as a rocker chick anytime soon. I think this is especially true for commercials - it seems like they want to cast YOU.
So I'm going to be me, 100%! The bubbly Southern girl with the curly hair and big laugh. This is a lot easier and less stressful, I have discovered, and also seems to be working in my favor.
I've been going on a lot of pilot auditions for the same network lately, and putting my new philosophy to work. For example, I was going in for a 'nerdy girl' with 'Uncombable Hair Syndrome' (she referred to this many times in the sides) and decided: Well, I just wont comb my hair for this audition! I got there, hair a mess, as evidenced in the picture, and almost chickened out; all the other girls had pretty blowouts and looked gorgeous. But my heart told me to stick with what I wanted to bring to the part. I figure I should take more risks. I either want to REALLY book it or REALLY not book it from now on. I don't wanna be somewhere in the middle and not make a real impression one way or the other.
Today, I went back into the same network and the casting director offered positive feedback for all of my auditions, saying "We're making progress with the execs Jasmine." I almost cried. It was so nice to hear support. In this business, we never seem to get answers and I know I tend to make up all kinds of stories of what casting thinks of me.
It seems that they like me better when I'm bringing ME into the room, whether its ME as a character or ME as myself. And ya know what? I like me better when I do that, too.
-- Jasmine Anne Osborne