Thursday, March 6, 2014

Looking back on February

Last year I started keeping a daily journal, logging all my artistic efforts and successes. I have a little calendar that I mark all my auditions. In February:

I went on 17 auditions. Sang for 5 agents. 3 Audition classes. 1 voice lesson. 1 meeting for representation.

After a while I got into the rhythm. February is notorious for being "summer stock" audition season; seemingly every regional theater comes to NYC to audition for it's summer season. Each morning I could wake up and check the audition postings and potentially go to anywhere from 1-4 auditions each day. Realistically, I kept to about one audition per day, but there was one epic day when I went to four.

No wonder I am feeling so tired!

February was a very challenging, but great month for personal growth. I want this more than I ever have before and I'm working harder toward it that I ever have in the past. I am trying to realistically assess my strengths and weaknesses and add more support in those areas. Besides a few side jobs I worked from home, I didn't hold a "regular" job. Auditioning was my job. And through all the emotional ups and downs, I love it so much better than any "day job" I've ever had.

Sadly, as my financial resources are dwindling (thanks, taxes), it's time for me to start going back to working for someone else. I hate that being an actor is not considered a "real job." I've been pulling long, exhausting, and exhilarating days and putting in work after-hours, but with no financial remuneration. Its so challenging on your ego - so often we put our self-worth into the results of our efforts. In terms of the traditional working world, your positive reinforcement is money, promotions, a better office, recognition. In my audition-centric universe of February, I left a little piece of my hard work and spirit in each of those audition rooms, with little to no feedback. Sometimes auditors throw you a bone here and there, "Nice job, Brittany!" "You sound great!" "Lovely job!" but there's always a little voice inside doubting their compliments, that perhaps they are saying these things to throw a little salve on the experience. In the best feedback, you get a callback. Otherwise, you file that audition away as a learning experience and hope that in a few weeks, when you've totally moved on, that you'll be pleasantly surprised by a callback or even a job (this has happened to me countless times....).

And so I consider February to be a personal triumph. I'm not afraid of auditioning and I'm not afraid of putting myself out there. I can do the NYC audition machine thing. But what I learned over all is that the journey truly never ends. In an ideal world I would always be auditioning and gigging. I so look forward to the day when finances don't keep me from achieving my dreams all day, every day.

Oh, and I got a manager! A step in the right direction. I look forward to seeing what doors having another person on my team will bring me.

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