Fortunately, I’m in a position where I have a lot of time on my hands. Therefore, it is very easy for me to misuse my time, by say, binge watching several seasons of a television show and justifying it under the guise of “I’m an Actor, I must watch everything.” There are far too many tasks for me to tend to in running my acting business successfully. Yeah, it’s a business where I’ll always be the President, COO, CFO and the minion who fills in all the gaps in between. Aside from auditioning, submitting myself for acting jobs, taking classes, being a financial manager, networking, keeping a log of all things acting, and marketing, it’s imperative that I stay current with what is happening in the industry outside of me, the actor. I can get an idea of what this industry entails by simply reading a bio, or trade paper, or listening to commentary, but nothing beats hands on experience. You know, those stories only insiders are privy to. So, I decided to intern for a casting office. Well, my intuition told me, via meditation, that I should send an email to a casting director that I have grown familiar with, and offer my services, whatever they may be, since I don’t have a ton of office experience.
I composed the email, as it came to me in meditation, and sent it to the casting director. It stated how many hours I was willing to work a week and the length of time, earlier companies that I had interned for and my old survival job resume, then pressed send with no expectation. I wasn’t asking for a salary, therefore I had no reason to be nervous. The worse she could say was no, right? A week had passed, and then she responded that her assistant would contact me. Well, that sounded like possibility to me. Shortly afterwards, I received the email from the assistant inviting me to meet with her. This was exciting news, now that this idea was becoming actualized, my stomach got a little queasy. I began wondering what the meeting was going to be like, what were they’re expectations of me. Would they be okay with me leaving to audition in the middle of my time with them? Was I going to have to deal with cantankerous personalities? I caught myself spiraling into the vast pit of what-ifs, teetering on the brink of neurosis, and about to decline the meeting. Being able to step outside of myself, see my crazy and shake myself back to sanity, is a gift that I posses. So, I did that, and said yes to the meeting.
If you read last week’s post, Operation Agent Termination 1.0, you’ll recall me saying that the office atmosphere plays a big role in my decision to work with the people who inhabit it. The meeting was in a lovely, bright and airy bungalow on the westside. When I entered I was greeted by the friendly face of the assistant. She interviewed me, because it would her that I’d be helping mostly. We discussed my extemporaneous audition schedule, the operations of the office, then decided on a regular day for me to intern. She invited me to shadow the intern that was coming in for that afternoon, and I accepted. When the woman, whom I’d be shadowing, arrived she was given a list of very specific things to do. I was listening intently, but I wasn’t comprehending the list, and that gave me the belly nerves. I started thinking, uhhh, am I going to be able to do this job? Was I in too deep? And yet again, I had to step outside myself and say stop it, pay attention, you’re missing the particulars.
While I was there, a directive came through from the producers of a show, that they had changed their mind on an actor that they were going to make an offer to, and now needed to audition new actors. The assistant gave me the job of creating a list of hot, 30 something, “IT” guys, who could pair well with the lead of the show. What seemed to me like a fun task, required more brain power than I had expected. I didn’t have a list of hot guys in my head, or filed away somewhere, so I turned to the TV shows that I watch religiously. IMDb Pro was my tool of choice. It was where I would find the names of the actors, a picture and their agents information. I was able to compose a list of about 12 hot, 30 something, “IT” guys, who could pair well with the lead of the show. It would have been 16, but some of the male actors I searched for didn’t have a profile picture listed, and one guy had a picture, but it was profile only, and I couldn’t get a feel from a profile. It reinforced how imperative it is to have at least 2-3 pictures of myself showcasing different personas.
I don’t know what I am about to learn interning at this office, but I’m very excited to get behind the scenes experience first hand. I have a feeling some of my learnings will make it here for you to read.