More Light From the Tunnel

Sarah on the set of Elementary

Sarah on the set of Elementary

The following is from a blog written by my friend, former student and working actor – Sarah Dacey Charles. I knew Sarah in San Francisco and she was on hand to greet Marsha and me when we moved to New York. Her work has inspired me on numerous occasions and her spirit is a constant reminder that “Yes, anything can happen if you put your mind and heart to it.”
There is always a lull, or mild disappointment, after I do a show or have any kind of peak experience.  Reentry to my “old life” again can be hard.  In anticipation of a post show let down,  I decided to buoy my spirits by consuming positive quotes, videos, and books. That’s when I stumbled across a 1-minute video that completely rocked my world. In it,  Emmy award winning, Bryan Cranston’s gives some amazing words of wisdom. If you have a minute right now, take a look: Bryan Cranston’s advice to aspiring actors (1 min 22 sec)
http://thechive.com/2013/10/01/bryan-cranstons-advice-to-aspiring-actors-video/

 

Bryan Cranston said that his life changed when he realized what his real job was. 656b7912-1149-4578-8c6d-61b95698f668When he reads for a role at an audition, his job is NOT to win the role or even get a callback. His job is ONLY to present a compelling character with a strong need, responding under a very specific set of circumstances.  I swear to God, after watching this video, something clicked. A voice inside me said:  “SARAH–YOU MUST STOP AUDITIONING!”. “What?”, I thought, “How is that going to solve my current unemployment problem?” Then, the voice came in again and said.  “FROM THIS TIME FORWARD, DO NOT AUDITION–ONLY ACT!”.

It’s time to stop auditioning for my place at the table.  To audition is to second guess yourself and anticipate what someone else wants. To audition is to please others instead of serving them and great artists never aim to please. They aim to serve.

I was pumped. I mentally drew my line in the sand. I was ready. I was going to be different, and then an audition appointment for a hit TV series  landed in my inbox. Shit!  Could I really put this into practice? For a job I’d love to have?  Do I dare NOT care what the casting people and creatives want?

Well, the answer is Yes!  Yes I can, and yes I did.  Instead of trying to please the casting director, I showed up prepared and did the work, no apologies, and I booked it! I’m pleased to announce that I will be on the second episode of the upcoming season of Elementary as the killer’s power lawyer  (air date TBA)

I like this not auditioning!

Great advice. Wish I had that information earlier in my career. To read more about Sarah’s journey Click here to follow her blog.

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