Some things are clearly beyond your control.
The acknowledgement of this simple fact can relieve you of countless hours of stress. Some things are more obvious: the weather, the outcome of a game you’re watching on TV, an animal the runs across the street, you get the picture. In other instances, it may not be so apparent: a conditioned athlete incurring a freak injury, a drunk driver barreling down the street at you while on your morning run, an audition.
It wasn’t until I began directing that I accepted the honesty of why I didn’t get cast in certain roles. Sometimes, it isn’t about the best audition, call back, or resume. It could be an aesthetic issue. It could be chemistry (or the lack thereof). It could be a matter of balance. If you’ve ever looked at a cast list and thought to yourself, “What?!?! I totally read better than [insert name of cast member]!!” Your emotions have forced the acknowledgement of a bigger picture into submission. Obviously, emotions will have some effect your reaction, and although it may not help the disappointment at the time, once you understand that some things are beyond your control, it makes it a little easier to swallow.
If you have any preconceived notions of how a play “should be cast,” you are already setting yourself up for a disappointment—even if the play is a time-tested classic—do not walk into the audition showing the director how to cast your preferred role. A teacher once told me that it’s the actor’s goal to get a callback. The casting is up to the director. The best practice is to go in as prepared as you can be, showcase yourself, and strive for the callback.
Prepare. Don’t plan.
Whether you’re an actor, a teacher, an athlete, a salesman, or a stay-at-home dad, there are some things you can prepare for and some things you can’t. I guess what I’m trying to say is that you have control of most of the things related to you. What kind of shape you’re in, your hair, your voice, your level of education, blah, blah, blah. You can’t control the co-worker that cheats on his/her spouse to sleep with your boss to get the promotion that you’ve been busting your ass for. You can’t change the mind of the crooked delegate that was bought by filthy rich investors. You can’t change the mind of the shallow director who casts the lead actor because she wants to sleep with him. You can’t turn back time on the parents that abuse their children. You can’t save the prisoners of warlords.
But you can work for a better organization, vote for someone else, get cast in something else, and rise above the flames instead of wallowing in your misery of victimization. I feel like I say this in more blogs than not, but…everything in moderation. I’m not saying you should turn the other cheek and be a doormat, but you should be able to pick your battles, because most of the ones that people choose to engage in are giant wastes of time.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference
A couple of my tattoos support my acknowledgement of this blog. I’ll add the story behind my tats to the list of things to write about in the future…I used to think that tattoos and piercings were something that would never be a part of my clean cut, church-going, pre-Navy lifestyle, but I changed the way I thought. About a lot of things. Mostly about things I can control.