I’m sitting in the Actor’s Equity Audition Center waiting for my 12:10 audition. It’s my first professional audition in 20 years and I have no idea why I’m here. I’m trying not to psyche myself out and just think of this as practice. A learning experience. Everyone around me is so much more “Professional Actor-y” My resume is ancient and not particularly impressive. I have no representation. I’m an actor who sings listening to the auditions of serious kick-ass singers. And I forgot to change AEA•SAG•AFTRA to AEA•SAG-AFTRA. WTF do I think I’m doing here?!?! I can hear them snickering already. I am well aware that I have a certain something, but I don’t know how to show it in 2 minutes or less. The politics of this game with so few winners is so hard for me. It’s true I am feeling a certain amount of pressure from the compliments of well-meaning loved ones. “You need to be doing this!” “You don’t belong at your day job!”. “You could totally make it on Broadway!” And maybe they’re right. But I don’t have a clue how to make the people on the other side of the table see that. The actors around me have a full time job. Being an actor. I don’t have the luxury of doing that. Or maybe I just don’t have the commitment to living that gypsy life. Waiting tables, or working a temp job so I can go on the hundreds of auditions it will take to get one job. Taking classes, vocal coaching, showcases. Would I love to act and make a living at it? Of course. Who wouldn’t? Do I want it enough? Maybe not. Am I being a coward when I say I don’t see how that’s ever going to happen in my current situation? Or am I being realistic? Excuses or reality? Or maybe I’m just succumbing to the monkey chatter ever present in my head. I am here today to do something I hate, to face my fears, to see whether I hate it solely because I’m scared, or whether I hate it just because I hate it. Whether it is a dream to be pursued 24/7 or something I can step in and out of for the sheer joy of it. I guess that’s a step in the right direction. Maybe not to being an ACTOR, but to being a better me.
Commissioned by Annette Ferrieri