----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ The Fabulous Adventures of Astera: Writer/Actress for Hire: Waiting By the Phone...

The Fabulous Adventures of Astera: Writer/Actress for Hire

Meet Astera (aka: me), a star in her own mind. Our plucky little heroine has embarked on not one but two difficult, low-paying career paths: writing and acting. Witness the menial jobs! The unreasonable demands! The quirky friends and family! And the glimmer of success just ahead! Through it all, Astera maintains her core beliefs: 1) She is destined to be fabulous 2) Everything is more fun with a cocktail.

Monday, January 31, 2005

Waiting By the Phone...

On Friday, I auditioned for a TV commercial. It was a little cheesy...one of those ads that exhorts you to "Call our 800 number to order now!" Still, a job's a job, and I've gotta start somewhere. Besides, it was a paid gig, which is somewhat unusual for a nonunion job.

I drove all the way to Los Gatos (79 miles one way) for this audition, and I was there for about 20 minutes. Actually, I was surprised to be there for that long. But I came in, chatted with the director and the camera guy, both of whom said they loved my picture, and then did my thing. After I went through it once, they told me it was really good but asked me to do it again because "the second time is always easier." I did it again, and again they said it was good. No specifics, no direction, just "good." Aww, I bet they say that to all the girls. Anyway, they made sure they knew how to get in touch with me over the weekend because the commercial was shooting Monday and the final decision wouldn't be made until Saturday. We chatted a little more, they walked me out and that was it.

Saturday was a beautiful sunny day and guess what? I couldn't enjoy it at all, partly because I woke up with a migraine headache and partly because I was in a state of heightened anxiety all day, wondering if I'd get that call. At nine a.m., I thought, "Oh, it's Saturday, it's too early for them to call." I thought the same thing at 10 and 11. But by noon, I thought surely they must be finished with casting by now! Had I been in a less sickly state, I would have gone out and done something, anything, to get my mind off The Phone Call. But as it was, all I could do was lie on the couch and flip listlessly through magazines, nearly jumping out of my skin each time the phone rang. But thanks to Caller ID, I knew every time that this wasn't The Phone Call. Damn you, Private Caller! You get my hopes up, but in the end, I know you're my mom!

In some ways, trying to get a job, whether it's an acting job or just a regular job, is a lot like dating. You go out on your audition or interview or whatever and you spend a lot of time making sure you look your best. You try to project that confident attitude. You try to come across as charming and talented but not, God forbid, needy. And when the audition or interview is over, you just hope that you made a good impression. Maybe you follow up with a thank-you note or something, but you don't want to seem desperate or overeager or pushy. And then, if you make it to the second round (or the second date), you feel pretty good. You feel like you've got a shot. You think, "Maybe this is it!" So you do it all over again. And then maybe you don't hear anything for days or weeks. You wonder, "Should I call?", but then you think, "Well, if they really wanted me, wouldn't they have called me?" But finally you break down and call or email (hopefully you don't drunk-dial...I think that's a risk unique to dating) and one of two things happen: either you get a cold, awkward response, or you have to leave a message, and your message or email goes forever unreturned. And like dating, you wonder, "What did I do wrong? Why didn't they want me?" Maybe you feel strung along, and you wonder, why did they call you in a second time or ask you on that second date when they had no intention of ever seeing you again? But there are three things we must all realize in this situation, whether it's dating or job seeking:
  1. When you get rejected, it could be for a million and one reasons, very few of which have to do with you as a person
  2. Maybe they're just not that into you, and no amount of calling or emailing will change that, and
  3. It's their loss

So, by six o'clock, hope had left me, and I had come to the conclusion that it was not to be. Sigh. But the good thing is that each audition, job interview, or date is another opportunity for you to strut your stuff and maybe, just maybe, make the connection you're looking for. And at least when you're looking for a job, there's no weirdness about whether or not to kiss goodnight.

Time marches on, and tomorrow brings another interview for a "real" job. And now that my headshots and voiceover CDs are winging their way to agents, maybe the coming weeks will bring a unique new challenge: the interview and audition combined!


  • At 6:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Carpe Diem! Semper Carpe Diem!

  • At 6:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    Carpe Diem! Semper Carpe Diem!


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