my entire life i've dreamed of what it would be like to go on a real hollywood audition.
today, that dream came true.
before we start picking out my oscar dress, i just want to make sure that everyone is clear about what this means. of course i would love to be going on the type of auditions where i'm reading opposite mark wahlberg or playing the high school flashback of jennifer aniston; however, when you're some goofy-named girl from across the country who is brand new to the bright lights and big sets of hollywood, you don't really get to be picky. a lot of friends and family have asked me if i'm getting any auditions. the reason i had an agent in north carolina is because she happened to be the woman who managed the all girl's singing and dancing group i was in at the age of fourteen.
i can't believe i just admitted to that in public.
out here, it's a little more difficult to get an agent--and having an agent is the key to getting auditions. besides, it's better to enroll in acting classes, improv lessons, workshops, showcases, etc. to get some west coast experience before asking someone to let you audition for one of the lead roles in the new jim carrey movie.
everybody knows that in any industry, you start from the bottom.
it's most likely that the inventor of cheetos worked in a few cheese factories before slapping CEO on his business card.
well it's no different here. as much as i would love to be signing up for all of these classes and putting myself out there, i've come to realize that the most important part of being out here is actually being able to be out here. as in--have a steady job to pay the rent. and if i need to do that for a while to save up money for the things i really want to do, then i'm game. i sure do hate a 9-5 and some closed toed shoes, but i would love a DVR and a few acting workshops. even if i end up back in the restaurant world, i'll do whatever it takes to bring in some income.
i've learned that pursuing acting out here is a process that takes time, a lot of hard work, and a little bit of money. you don't step off of the plane at LAX and become famous. you have to start from the bottom--even if that means just having a regular job to make some money--and work your way up. if i get an agent and more auditions along the way...AWESOME. if i have to be my own agent for a while...i'm down.
the hardest part was moving across the country,
now i just have to stay afloat.
i'm fortunate enough to have incredible parents who lend unconditional amounts of emotional and financial support because they believe in me. but at the end of the day, every college graduate in their twenties wants to attempt to stand on their own two feet eventually.
today i did just that...
in a very long line of other people standing on their two feet.
i know you must be wondering how this audition even came about without an agent. there are a few west coast websites--actors out here call them the "legit ones"--for finding yourself auditions. you can do it with or without an agent, which makes it very appealing to those of us who are only represented by our cat olive. on this website (actor's access) you can submit yourself for as many things as you'd like--as long as you pay the $60 yearly fee. at first it sounded like a lot, but then i realized that without paying the $60, every submission is $2, and the whole point of the website is to submit yourself for EVERYTHING that fits you every single day. the auditions range from unpaid student films, to national commercials paying thousands of dollars, to CSI backgroud characters, to non-union feature films. it sounds pretty easy right?
you think, "i'll just submit myself ten times a day. there's no way i won't get ANYTHING."
the hard truth is that there are hundreds of thousands of other actors in this city submitting themselves for the same part that you are. and when the casting director sees rows and rows of tiny pictures, your chances can be pretty slim.
after getting home from breakfast yesterday, i checked my gmail and saw something i had never seen before.
"you have one new cmail message."
"cmail," i said to olive, "what the hell is that?"
i then realized that right there in front of me...
was my very first audition.
jump ahead to 10:30 AM this morning.
i'm inside sunset gower studios with a huge room full of actors and we're being told that they're auditioning us for a court show. *think judge judy* we would be lined up--girls on one side, guys on the other--given a court scenario, and asked to improv back and forth with each other. at first i was worried that i had gotten myself into some extra work, but when she told us they were casting all lead roles, the smile that spread across my face probably knocked out the blonde sitting next to me.
but it's not like anyone had time to ramble on. as soon as the producer's finger shot your way, you had about six seconds to say something brilliant before she lost interest and pointed to somebody else.
i'm happy to say that not only did i get booked for one of the court scenarios, but i was DOUBLE booked and chosen to participate in something else filming tomorrow! the work tomorrow is essentially an extra/background/audience job, but it pays about fifty bucks and the woman's advice to me was:
"upscale business. eye candy."
although i was slightly befuddled as to what i would be doing, what the show was, and why i would wear a business suit when i was part of a group of girls known as "eye candy"--i was thrilled to be chosen for not one, but TWO things out of so many people! even if it is just "background work", i suppose it's nice to get validation for being good looking?
i so badly want to keep reminding all of you that while this is an accomplishment, it's so far down on the acting totem pole that's it's nothing to get too excited over. but you know what...
like my dad told me earlier, "everybody has to start somewhere." this may not be anything to beam about in the acting world, but when you enter into an industry full of nothing but rejection--it's pretty amazing to get a yes on your very first try. i traveled all around north carolina going on auditions years ago, but this is the big leagues out here and i've waited my entire life to actually go on an audition in hollywood.
i still can't believe i live here, so you can only imagine how it felt to be escorted through a real set. the show shoots this week--i play a young mom who is suing her boyfriend for a few thousand dollars worth of child support that he never paid (not a hilarious situation, but hilarious that this is my role)--and the fun part is that the entire thing will be improv! fun part number two is the fact that they'll be doing hair and makeup.
again, while this may not be something to brag about in the acting world, it's my very first step.
and you better believe that my next step will be through the doors of yogurtland to celebrate.
below is something special for all of you :)
*olive would like to apologize for playing with my necklace in the first ten seconds of this video*