STAY THIRSTY MY FRIENDS
By: Jess Canty
If you read my last blog post you may be thinking to yourself... "wait, WHAT??" I know, but stick with me here.
If you remember from that post the gist of what I was saying was not allowing your thirst - especially in the wake of the business being shut down for the better part of 5 months - infect your acting.
But that does not mean that we don't want you to be thirsty. And I just wanted to take a moment to make sure that was clear.
One of the most difficult things about being a professional actor is that you have to essentially live two lives simultaneously.
One of these lives is the one where you have to perform. Often you have to perform in less than ideal circumstances. You have to perform on a self tape. You have to perform on a live zoom callback. You have to perform with a flat reader. You have to get your sides and turn them around the same day, or the next day. You have to make people believe you are in control of your performance. You have to make them believe you would be able to do it on set against another actor whose name you have known your entire life and not fall apart or turn into a crazy fan. You have to make them believe you deserve to be there.
And then there is this other life.
The one where you are networking, learning about and understanding the business, watching TV and Movies and learning from them. Finding the right class for yourself, finding the right agents and publicists and lawyers. The life where you have to know casting offices and showrunners and directors. The one where you are tracking your auditions and the offices you are going in for etc... The one where you are working on your craft. Where you are working material week in and week out, even if you don't have an audition. The one where you are vulnerable, raw, open, take criticism, are able to be judged. The one where you are watching your own tapes and critiquing them. Where you are learning and growing and getting better every day. The one where you will go to the outdoor spin class down the street even if it is now 60 degrees in that parking lot they have moved to because you know you need to stay fit and healthy for this work.
Your thirst is absolutely essential for one of these "lives" and absolutely detrimental to the other.
Which is why this has become a two-part blog post.
What I am getting down to here is this: you have to be and stay thirsty for this business. But you cannot be thirsty for any roles that come your way because it, as we discussed, is one side of the coin of the death of good acting.
So all of that pent up energy, all of that frustration, everything you have personally had to endure this year, use it.
But not in your acting.
Use it in your motivation to re-engage in the business. This is the new normal for the foreseeable future. How do you network in this world? How do you creatively and appropriately build and retain relationships with casting offices outside of auditions? How do you keep up your skills? How do you deliver professional quality self tapes and live Zoom auditions? How do you stay fit and healthy with no gyms?
If you can direct your thirst to answering all of these questions for yourself - and engaging your manager when you have ideas or need help brainstorming - then you will not be in danger of being thirsty on that Zoom callback.
Because on that Zoom callback you don't need to do anything. You just need to be.