A client of mine who is enormously talented fought for a number of years to get good rep. He had just guest starred on FRESH OFF THE BOAT (an audition he procured on his own) and finally landed with a prominent agency. Within 24 hours he received his first audition from them. It was for the lead role in a comedy pilot and he was asked to prepare two scenes. The first was, I kid you not, a single spaced monologue more than a page long that contained a massive amount of beats, builds, turns…comedy technique galore. The second scene was four pages full of rapid paced, witty banter and a fair share of jokes. He received the audition notification at roughly 8pm for his appointment at noon the following day. While I was teaching class that evening, he scheduled a late night coaching. At 11pm I met him in our waiting area where he handed me the sides, looked me dead in the eye and promptly said “Shit just got real.”
We quickly got to work. He was remarkably prepared after having had only three hours with the material. By the end of our session, he could rattle off the monologue with hardly a glance at the page and scene two was tight and completely off book. We were both satisfied and confident about his audition. At that point he had been a student of mine for two years and he thanked me for for pushing him every week and demanding the most from him. I then told him what I’ve repeated to numerous actors: I can help you make strong choices, find jokes and navigate your way through the audition with precision and specificity, but you have put in the time. You have to study and prepare like a top tier athlete. You have to be able to retain dialogue quickly, take adjustments on the fly and then deliver in the room. This actor not only made this audition happen through his sheer tenacity, but he busted his ass in class, rehearsals, workshops and honed his skills relentlessly for years to get ready for it.
As actors, you work arduously to acquire auditions and good representation, but you need to ensure that when the opportunities come, you are ready for them because, as in sports, they come fast and they come hard. You can rapidly make fans in the room or get knocked on your ass just as quickly. Get ready and stay ready because at some point every actor realizes…shit just got real.