the art of unemployment

I don’t think I really knew what I was getting into when I decided that I wanted to pursue acting as a profession. While most of my other friends graduated from college and got hired to work in offices of various sorts, I apparently chose unemployment… or so my acting coach says.

But I have to say, I’ve come to find… it’s true.

rocking wine chair

{the upside of being unemployed? you can go to Malibu Wines on a Tuesday. don’t judge. we had a Groupon}

Acting is a tough business. And that is exactly what it is – a business. They don’t call is show business for nothin’! Sorry… too cheesy? I digress. I’ve come to realize that I am essentially the CEO of my business. And just like any other business, I have to work to build my company from the ground up. And that takes time.

I am constantly training and consistently auditioning. As actors, our job is to audition. Getting the part is just a bonus. Sounds terrible, but if you have this perspective, it will actually get you “employed” a lot quicker… in theory, at least.

I love this quote from Willl Ferrell in regard to his acting coach, Ian Tucker:

“… He gave me great advice when I got my ‘SNL’ audition. He said, ‘Just don’t view it as trying to get the job. View it as an experience: a fun trip to New York, a great audition experience. Don’t even think beyond that.’ Which is still hard to do, because you’re thinking about the ultimate prize. But I tried to be true to that and not worry about the rest and stay focused on just having it be a cool experience. It took the pressure off, in a weird way.”

So there you have it. Straight from the always hilarious, often inappropriate, but in this case surprisingly wise Will Ferrell. If we don’t try to get the job, we are more likely to get it!

My dad always says, “Work like you don’t need the money.” And as an actor, I think that is such wonderful advice. I have to “audition like I don’t need the job.”

It’s easier said than done, but my goal is to continue to create audition experiences that are anxiety-free and joy-filled. I’ve got to be in that audition room… Those five minutes can either be miserable or enjoyable. I think I’ll choose the latter. After all, if I don’t get the part, I haven’t lost anything. In fact, I’m gaining experience. I’m getting to know casting directors. And if I’m not the one for this role, then it’s on to the next!

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