I had an audition this morning for a multi-episode arc on The Sarah Connor Chronicles. It's the first audition I've had in I don't even know how long, and it was early enough to directly conflict with the writer's hours I've been keeping for much of this year.
Of course, Pasadena had the biggest, loudest, coolest thunderstorm we've had in years at 3 this morning, so I spent about 90 minutes in the middle of the night watching lightning strikes, listening to deafening thunderclaps, and trying to convince my brain to stop counting the gap between them so I could just go to sleep and not feel like a zombie for my audition.
When the alarm went off at the ungodly hour of 8am, I woke quickly, and though I wasn't as rested as I wanted to be, the adrenaline was more than enough to propel me through the morning.
I got to Warner Brothers on time . . . along with everyone else in the world, so I was actually late after enduing the WB's version of security theater (which features significantly fewer beautiful twenty-somethings than everything else you see on the WB.) It wasn't a big deal though, and I had plenty of time to do my little audition warm-up thingy.
Longtime readers will probably remember this, but my analogy is like a pitcher coming into a baseball game: I don't want to blow my arm out in the bullpen, but I also can't be warming up when I'm on the mound, so I have to time my final read through of the sides before they call me in very carefully. Today's audition wasn't that critical, because I think I am totally this character: a geeky guy who is a little awkward, but very earnest, and pretty damn passionate about this cool geeky thing he does (sorry to be so vague, but I'm taking a big enough risk just saying that much.)
I was more concerned about properly pronouncing a few things in the script than I was about the performance, because I related to this guy the instant I read the sides when I got them after the beach yesterday -- that's right, I had less than 18 hours to prepare this, which is normal -- and I decided that, for this one, I was just going to have fun. I'm really excited to see The Sarah Connor Chronicles, because I fucking love the Terminator universe, and I could have easily pulled a Heroes on this one and totally fucked it up because I want to be on it so mu-huh-huh-huh-ch. (That only works if you imagine me saying it as Holly Hunter in Raising Arizona). Because I just decided to enjoy the opportunity to give them my take on the character, because I felt so connected to the character, and because when I walked into the waiting room I saw that: 1) Everyone was a different "type" so acting may actually play a part in who gets the role, for a change, and 2) I was the only actual geek there at the time, I completely relaxed, let the nerves go, and let myself feel excited.
This is an important step for me in my life, learning to just enjoy the opportunities I'm given and not stress out so goddamn much about them. When my PAX keynote was over (yeah, I know, you're all sick of hearing about it, sorry) there was a massive, massive standing ovation, complete with screaming and whistling and all that awesome stuff that only happens to rock stars. My instinct when I'm done with anything is to get the hell off the stage, but something in the back of my mind said, "Hey, dude, you earned this, and who knows if it will ever happen again. Go ahead and stand on the stage and enjoy it." So that's what I did. It felt weird, to be honest, like I was standing there thinking, "Shut up, baby, I know it!" but I'm glad I let myself enjoy that moment.
My audition went very well, and if what I did is what they're looking for, I think I have a very good chance at booking the job. If history is any indication, of course, I'm going to come in second to someone's cousin or I'll be just a little too old or too young or not edgy enough for the part . . . but all of that really doesn't matter.
I felt good when I was done. I felt so good, in fact, that I broke acting etiquette and told the producers, "I just wanted to say, as a huge geek in real life, thank you for making this show. I'm really excited to see it!"
They all seemed genuinely happy to hear that, and I'm glad, because I meant it.
My goal this morning was very different than it was in the past, when I was desperately trying to Prove To Everyone That Quitting Star Trek Was Not A Mistake. It was not to go in there and be perfect so I could get a job. It was not to go in there and get the job because I love the show so much I have to squeeze it and pet it and love it and call it "George" before I kill it in the barn. My goal was to go in there, have as much fun as I could, and enjoy the experience.
I totally did that, and I'm really proud of myself for staying out of my own way.