Paying My Dues...

Posted by Solace In Hunger

"To me an audition is 30 crazed people in a room waiting to be axed." - Kathie Lee Gifford

So, I had just come back from an audition in Hollywood.  The call was for a "Dad" type which immediately drew a red flag for me.  The fact it was for an ad for a very well known cabinet company (read: directed at homeowners and people 10-20 years older than me) should have been my second.  But I did my homework and went to the company's website and spotted their existing ads.  Yep, older people dressed up in button up Oxfords and sweaters.  I thought that at least I could get by on dress.

And to the audition and through the hallways into the studio I went passing by larger than life headshots of celebrities taken when they were in the same halls long before I.  It's a reminder to myself that all of us started in the same place.  At the end of it, a large photography studio about twice the size of a basketball court set up for a photo shoot and against its corner ten other actors.  Ten other men, mostly older than me (as expected), leaning up the wall each hoping to be the one to represent this year's fine line of cabinets.  But what really got to me was that each of these other people were just in T-shirts, jeans and miscellaneous clothing.  Not all of them looked like dads but whatever the case they looked like themselves.  Bachelors, party-goers, they were just who they were.  And here I was in my button-up Oxford and V-Neck sweater looking not like someone in a Banana Republic ad but rather someone trying to be in a Banana Republic ad.  The photographer had taken some shots of me and had me role play with a cooking spoon as if I had just completed a delicious meal in front of my wonderful new cabinetry.

Yeah, I'll consider this one a pass...

In contrast to all this, I was submitted for a Japanese music video which sought for "Japanese or mixed Asian 18 and older to look younger"  Knowing how much younger than my age I look and hearing from other Asians about how mixed I look I thought I would fare much better here.  However, the submission also required indicating an actual birth year to which I fired off with a slight hesitation.  I did get a response from casting...

"Please confirm the birth year, your submission currently indicates you're 30."

"The birth year is correct"

"Sorry, we won't be able to use your submission.  You do look much younger than your age but we can't use you..."

Well, the fact that I even got a response showed that I was at least in the range of what they were looking for at some point.  If I was even a bit wrong for the part, I would've been dismissed entirely without even receiving a response.  But c'mon people we're all about illusions in this business.  I'm being passed for roles my age because I look too young and that I totally understand (though if I'm having to audition for something on Teen Disney when I hit my mid-thirties, I'm going to be a little irked.).  But if I'm being passed on roles I "look" appropriate for because of my actual age then I still can't help but feel a little frustrated.

It's said in some circles that you book a ballpark figure of one job out of every hundred auditions you do.  Well, I've seen many friends fare with a much better ratio even when they are starting out but if that figure holds true then I still have about 95 more auditions to through before landing something.  Then again if I'm counting also stunt work Epic has booked so far then I have about 290 more auditions before landing the next project!  =oÞ

Of course, I too am hoping to fare with a better ratio but it was relieving to hear to just about everybody lucky enough to make a career out of this has had to go through the process.  The following was taken from Sung Kang's latest entry from YOMYOMF

"Then it was non stop auditions for about a year. Sometimes three a day. But never booked a single job. My self esteem started to waiver. What the heck!? Not even one. I decided to take as many classes on commercial acting as possible. I was going to beat this bad streak. I must of spent at least three grand on the workshops."

The blog doesn't have the pleasing end with the job he would eventually land but those of us lucky enough see him in Better Luck Tomorrow, Fast and the Furious, Live Free or Die Hard, Ninja Assassin, etc...know that he ended up doing pretty well for himself.

And with that I just continue to motivate myself further and think "Stay the course"

I hope that everyone is doing well out there... =o)

Track of the Day:

Oh No - African Chant (Original Mix)