Friday, April 16, 2010

Almost famous

What do you want to be when you are older? he asked

I dunno. I was thinking...maybe an actress? I said with hesitation.

How about something a little more lucrative? He responded.

Fine..... I guess a Forensic Psychologist. I said with a slight pause.

The above dialogue was an exchange of words between my High School Counselor (Mr. Miller) and I 14 years ago. I supposedly had to build a plan for college with him. He wanted to know what my goals were. What kind of a job did I want? Did I want to go to a university or to a community college? Did I have plans to go into college at all?

My plans were simple. I wanted to be an actress. I had talent. I know I did.

I was funny.

But that's not all. I was creative, artistic, musical, and I knew most importantly how to take the stage. Drama was something I lived for. In high school, I made every single role that I had auditioned for (sorry to brag). I approached each audition with an incredible sense of confidence, because I knew in my heart that I could nail the part.

After high school, I signed up with a talent agency. Against my parents better wishes, I spent what little I had to try to get my dreams in motion for myself. After an incredible meeting by the woman who informed me that she could get me many roles and $200 worth of headshots later, I was called in to audition for a pilot series for the WB network.

This was my first REAL audition. And I won't lie, I WAS nervous. This could literally make or break me. And I'm not certain I was ready to go against other actor-wanna-be's that probably had more experience than I did.

So there I was standing in the longest line ever. You probably thought I was waiting for a ride at Disneyland with how many people were standing around. The line barely moved every few minutes. I looked around and saw everyone with their nice portfolios in small leather booklets with several photo-shoot spreads displayed in a laminate coating. And then there was me....the inexperienced audition girl with her resume not even consuming an entire piece of paper in one hand, and her headshot in the other.

By the time I was near the audition room door, I was informed by the lady that we would be placed with 2 other potential cast members in the room and would have to act out a scene with them.

As I entered the room, there were cameras and lights everywhere and a panel of casting directors. I dropped off my resume and picture, and they handed me a script and told me who I would be playing. They gave us a few minutes to read it over and then wanted us to act it out sans the script.

I did. And on top of it, I made them laugh.

After our 10 minute scene, we were all asked to wait outside until everyone had auditioned, and also to go over our script again. Hours later, I was called back in and re-did the same scene with 2 different people. Again, we were asked to leave.

At some point in time, I noticed that more and more people were LEAVING leaving and I was STAYING staying. I kept practicing my role outside, acting it out to myself and making the role seem real. Once I got it down pat, I KNEW I had the part.

I came back in a final time, and made them laugh more so than the first time.

The result?

I got the part.

For the next few years, I picked up quite a few acting gigs in the valley. I did a comedy sitcom pilot for WB which was never picked up (no biggie), a small part in an IFC film and 2 movies. The best part, was that I am now listed on the Internet Movie Database (IMDB).

I quit picking up roles after my first son was born. Acting required a huge time commitment from me that I just couldn't do. But that's ok. I accomplished what I wanted to do, and things turned out better than I could have ever imagined. I was never trying to prove myself to anyone. I was just a girl with a big dream.

So here's to you Mr. Miller, for making me believe that my dreams were silly and impossible. I feel bad for any other students who are mentored by you, because deep down they too have a dream (just like me) and it's going to take someone like you to ruin it for them.

Don't aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.

~David Frost

1 comment:

Krista said...

That is so cool! You should keep auditioning!!
I, too, wanted to be an actress - never went for it like you did, but that was my biggest dream. Go for it!!!

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