Alright guys… I’m back!
Not that I went anywhere. It’s been many months since my last post, so apologies to my mum who I imagine is the only person who is actually reading this. Hi mum!
I went through a fairly lack lustre pilot season this year. A few callbacks, some great feedback, and I nearly had my hands on a test deal (which was retracted after they decided to ‘take the character in a different direction…’ i.e a blonde with 3.5 million followers on Instagram – not that I checked). It was all great experience, and in many ways successful, but unfortunately you can’t put “nearly booked lots of jobs” on your CV.
I’ve been struggling a bit lately with the idea of being ‘loveable.’ Countless times I’ve heard the phrases; “Just be your loveable self,” “Make them love you,” and “Be the actor that everyone wants to love, show them the real Zara Zoe…”
You’ve got to go into a room pleasant and charming, but not so much that it seems fake. You’ve got to be witty and funny, but don’t overdo it. You’ve got to look ready for the job, but not desperate. You’ve got to choose your words wisely, because you don’t have much time and what you say MUST be memorable.
People in LA strive for perfection, because there is no risk in perfection. You go in, you’re fucking fabulous, you walk out, you’ve booked the job. Easy enough.
Sometimes it feels like there’s so much to remember, which only adds to your nerves when you’re sitting in the waiting room. So many times you leave the room and completely over analyse what you did. You build mountains out of mole hills and you lie in bed wondering why the fuck you responded to “hello” with, “I’m good thanks…”
All actors are under a constant pressure (mainly from ourselves) to enter a room and have the casting directors immediately fall IN LOVE with us. An acting coach once told me that all actors share a complete and insatiable desire to be loved by complete strangers… Well… What an odd business we’ve gotten ourselves into.
But have you ever had those days where you don’t feel like being loved by a complete stranger? Where you just want to go about your business, do a good job of a scene and get the fuck out of there? Maybe I’m alone in this but I have definitely had those days. Those days when you don’t feel like putting on a face of make up, making your hair perfect, and choosing your most flattering outfit, just so that someone can spend 3-6 minutes deciding whether they love you enough to want to see you again.
Am I allowed to be ugly some days? Can I be intelligent? Can I tell them that I harbour a secret love for dinosaurs and anything that is old? Can I answer their questions truthfully and show them the grit and pain and confusion that comes along with being a thinking feeling human being? The truth is, probably not. You want to break the mould a little bit, but never so much as to make other people uncomfortable. We walk a fine line between showing people JUST enough of ourselves, while never revealing anything too deep or too dark, too boring or too desperate.
Don’t get me wrong, some days I can be really fucking loveable. Sometimes I walk out of a room and I think to myself,
“nailed it. They loved me. They definitely want to be my friend in real life now…”
Then other days the entire experience is a blank space and I cant even remember what actually happened in there. My advice would be to enjoy the times when you nail it, because those moments will help you through the more cringe-worthy aspects of your career and allow you to remember that you’re not a complete failure.
I guess I’ll never know what my version of perfection is. I’m fully aware that I’ll never achieve it, and I see that as a good thing. I don’t think anyone truly believes they’ve reached the top of the ladder, as there’s always something more. Not that I’ve reached the top, but I imagine once you’re there, you find something else to grasp for. I hope so, anyway.
To finish up, my friends, as a side note, I’d like to mention that I’m currently dog sitting. Three dogs. Dog One is obese and cant get himself up and down the stairs. I have to carry him (tres heavy). Dog Two suffers from seizures and will vomit/piss/shit himself on the reg. Dog Three is OBSESSED with Dog Two’s arsehole. Obsessed. Theres a little peek into the glamour that is being an actor in Hollywood.