Training has been great. You've made some awesome friends, done some sucky assignments, consumed too many £1 shots, broken hearts, been broken hearted and been downright broke but now the hard work starts.
The past two/three years have been a breeze but if you don't want to read the rest of this old lady ramble, always remember this one thing: stay positive.
The knock backs suck especially when you really want the role or to work with that particular team but TAKE AWAY THE GOOD BITS and move on. Realise that its never personal, the creative team are assembling a jigsaw and are just looking for the piece that fits. Be grateful you got in the room and enjoy being there. Remember it's not about working out what they want, it's about showing them what you can do and being a gracious, open person. If you're the piece that fits their puzzle, congratulations. If not that's ok because there's a puzzle out there that you will complete perfectly.
KNOW YOUR BUSINESS. Every person you meet is a contact but also a person, be polite, make conversation and keep a record in a little black book. I write down who I met, where and when, also the gist of our conversation and if it was an audition or workshop, what I sang or read and if there was any feedback. You may be able to whack out a triple, belt a B# and recite Shakespeare'd whole back catalogue but if you don't know the people who can help you progress you’ll never be truly prepared.
BE FRIENDLY. I struggled finding the right word, I came up with nice, warm, approachable but the best way to sum it up is just to be friendly. You don't want to be cocky and obnoxious and you don't want to be a wallflower, you need to be memorable but still true to yourself. Come away from a casting knowing that people see you in a positive light because if your name comes up in conversation, you want it to be for good reasons. Even to the 'competition' in audition waiting rooms or dance class dressing rooms, smile, be pleasant, share your deodorant, you never know when you may bump into them again.
And just don't forget to keep WORKING HARD. Two/three years of training is a lot, you've bettered your skills and feel ready to take on the world but that's only rung one on a very long ladder. Make time (and money) for class. It is vital to be at your best at all times and by working hard at my secondary job (and third job and those other three I do at the weekends) I've worked hard to get the money to now attend classes and workshops to keep myself in the loop or not only who's casting what but so my skills are fresh and ready for anything.
And for your mental health have time with GOOD FRIENDS. People that are gonna joke about not getting the audition you wanted, people who will buy a bottle the night before a casting and tell you you're boring for not drinking it, these are the negative nellies that will just be distraction. Know who will run your songs and lines at the drop of a hat with you, who'll listen to you stress about a failed audition, celebrate your achievements, join you for a class, send you good castings or source cheap theatre tickets. They will be the people who stop you from thinking that you can’t do it. Because well you can, they know it and they bring out the person in you that knows it too
This may all seem pretty standard knowledge. Be nice, keep trying, know what you're doing, have helpful pals, but it’s so easy to slip. There will be days when you've had enough of ignorant people, or you're living on Lidl instant noodles (not even super noodles), or you've tons of non-selections (I don’t say rejections as it comes with too many pressure inducing connotations) or no auditions at all but just remember:
We do it because we love it. We have put in the work, time to reap the rewards.
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