Is Acting Craft More Important Than Career?
If you see any interview with Bryan Cranston, he talks about the work, the work, the work in all of them. I’m so sorry I missed his Broadway star turn last week when I was in New York last week. But the actor in the show I saw instead had an equally impressive craft.
Yes, you have to balance craft with marketing and business expertise if you want a career. And embrace the reality of movie-making madness. But if you think your craggy countenance is all you need to be a star, FAGETABOUTIT! Too many people have gone far afield and, as a result, gone far too soon. Focusing instead upon craft keeps you on track with your sense of purpose. And reason for doing it in the first place.
I recently saw the HBO documentary, Seduced and Abandoned. It’s all about the insanity of the desire to create one more story against a commercial, “but-would-it-sell” backdrop. I was especially taken by the musings of Ryan Gosling, one of our finest contemporary actors, about the fails and foibles of the audition system. So taken that I wrote it down to share with you. If you can survive what he describes, you can survive anything!
Just a little secret . . . focusing on your craft helps.
Everyone’s left their families, their homes, their friends, their jobs to pursue a dream where they know the percentage of them achieving that dream is never! But they do it anyway. And everyone’s shared the same dream and no one knows if it’s a premonition or delusion and there’s only one way to find out.
You’re lucky to get an audition, then you get it, you walk into a room full of guys that look just like you. You realize that you’re not the only guy who wore the cowboy hat. Then you can hear the other guy in the other room auditioning and now you’re thinking about not doing it like him as opposed to doing it the way you wanted to do it. Then before you go in you hear the CD negotiating the deal for the guy that already got the part . . . turns out that Jared Leto already got it.
Then you go in and you think, ‘I’ll do it as an acting exercise. I know I’m not going to get it. I’ll stick it as an experience.’ And then you’re supposed to cry over your friend and you get the tears going and you’re emotional and she gets a call and asks you to leave the room. You’re trying to keep the tears up but it’s ten minutes because you’re waiting out there and trying to keep in the zone. You lose it and you come back and want to start again but she makes you pick it up where you left off.
You go to your car, you got a parking ticket because the street cleaning sign has been covered by the ‘Audition This Way’ sign. Then you get in your car, you change and get the guts up to go to another one. You wait in traffic for two hours and you go through it again.
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What’s your audition experiences? And your frustrations? I’d love to hear your story; please share it with me.