Choice is a funny thing. It comes into our lives every day but often we are completely oblivious that we are making choices. Then there are times when it smacks you in the face like a wet cloth and you’re really aware of the fragility of life, and the effects of your yes’ and no’s.
For me, choices happen powerfully in one of two ways – choices we make intentionally and choices that are thrust upon us with no recourse.
Choices in careers is a biggie for me (I lump that in the intentional choices category). For a long time I was really down on myself about not earning what my friends earn. About the fact that I don’t (now) own a house, or have the creature comforts that some might aspire to. But one day a few years back I took a massive hard look at myself and I told myself to stop whinging. I made a choice – well two in fact. One, was to accept that I had decided to be an actor, rather than to live in a corporate bubble which I had done before. And the second was to make a choice to LET IT GO.
Making those conscious choices was unbelievable. It’s incredible what takes place when you finally make peace with yourself. When you simply allow things to be.
Choice in acting jobs is different. We rarely get offered a full time long term role, like corporate land might provide. There’s little stability. And every choice can feel like a monstrous hurdle. It comes up a lot with clients. They don’t know if they should or shouldn’t do a job.
I know a dear friend who said no to a small TV role about 18 months ago. As soon as they did, offers stopped coming in.
I know a dear friend who said no to a small TV role about 18 months ago. As soon as they did, offers stopped coming in. Of course, the actor in us immediately assumes it is because of that one choice that was made to say no to that role. It never is, but it feels like it. In actual fact, by saying no, you’re stating to the world what is and isn’t good for you to work on right now. This is a good thing. This means we own what we choose to do.
So where am I going with this?
Quite simply, you get to make a choice every single day. Every time you say yes to an acting job, you choose that yes! You have decided that’s what you want. Which means you must embrace it. You can’t say yes and then complain for ages about how rubbish the role is.
A Casting Director’s take on things…
A Casting Director talk I attended recently confirmed this. During the session, the CD went on to explain that sometimes they’ll choose smaller names to audition for roles, even when bigger actors are keen to be considered. Why? Because, he went on to explain, a lesser known actor doing a bigger role for the first time will most likely treat it like it’s the biggest job they’ve ever done. They’ll go out there and really own it. They’ll prep, work hard, and smash it out of the park. A more established actor might just be a little less so inclined to work as hard. Not that they were for one moment saying that bigger actors won’t work hard. All they were suggesting is that actors doing the biggest role of their career to-date, will actually really treat it just like that.
They’ll make a choice!
It’s an interesting way to see the casting process isn’t it?
So when you do say yes, remember that the director, the producer, the Casting Director and anyone else who has approved you, is waiting for you to treat that role like the BEST role you’ve ever done.
Treat your choices with respect. Every choice is yours to make. So say yes only when you really mean it.