Everyone Wants the Gold
If you're an Olympics nerd like me you are sorely sleep deprived at this point of the games. I can't get enough of each competition, even the completely obscure events I've never been interested in before. One reason is how much inspiration I draw from elite level athletes. As an actor, I feel there are several correlations between what we do everyday and what the Olympic athletes are going through in London. Sure, the scale and exposure are different, but we train, sacrifice, show up prepared and attempt to perform at our best under immense pressure. And whether we sport the jaw-droppingly chiseled physiques of Olympians or have settled comfortably into a cushy muffin-top, one thing can sabotage us all, and that is being unable to control our minds.
Another thing also connects us: Nobody really wants the silver medal. I know, I know. Everybody is thrilled to compete and get on the medal podium, but how do you feel when you've prepared, primped and promptly arrived for your audition, given it your all, battled your mental demons (nerves), and managed to knock it out of the park only to have your agent call the next day with a first refusal? Silver's nice, but everyone wants gold.
I've had a string of first refusals lately, so I've devised a few reminders to keep me in a positive frame of mind so that I can honestly say that I'm just thrilled to be on the podium.
1. "At least I have a finite answer." Even though you're supposed to audition and forget it, when you get a terrific compliment from the director or there's just that dynamite vibe in the room, your mind wanders from time to time to the "I wonder if I booked that job" place. And if you don't book it or get placed on first refusal you may get no answer at all, so in my book knowing is better than not knowing. Then I can fully move on.
2. "There's a good chance the casting office will call me back in for another audition." We've heard it said that you are auditioning not just for for the job at stake, but also the next one. Show poorly enough times at the same casting office and maybe they stop calling. Get close to booking, and you can bet that the CD is happy enough with your performance to bring you in again. You live to compete another day.
3. "My agent understands that I'm taking the work seriously and representing both of us well." When your agent has faith in you they submit you for jobs. It's a pretty obvious concept, but it's a good thing to remind yourself when you're frustrated about being first or second runner-up.
There are certainly other perks to the first refusal scenario, but those are a few that help me. Is there a mantra or mindset that helps you when you come up just short of gold? I'd love to hear it in the comments!
And go USA!!!
(Photo by Cathryn Lundgren)