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Watching TV Like My Job Depends On It


Being an actor can be weird sometimes. You never know when you’ll work. You might audition for something and hear back a year and a half later that you booked it (that happened to me last year). When you do book a job, you spend more time waiting to work than you do working. And a 14 hour day sounds totally normal.

One of the weird aspects of being an actor is being prepared to audition for any show at any time. I learned something very important about being prepared for all shows at The Actors’ Network. Which if you are an actor and not a member yet, I highly recommend checking out a free orientation (you can say that I referred you if you’d like). In order to be prepared for tv auditions, I watch at least 1, normally 2 episodes of every show that is on tv. The crunch time is when new shows premiere, which normally happens in the fall and mid-season in January.

I’m currently in the depths of fall tv season. I schedule out every new show on tv. I figure out if I can watch them on my DVR or if I have to watch them on Hulu later. This is an example of my calendar for shows I can DVR (also highlighted are some shows that I love and just wanted to remember the premiere dates):

TV season 2012

I don’t think my parents understood the craziness I do to prepare for possible auditions before, but now I know at least my mom is starting to get it (my dad doesn’t really watch tv, so I don’t expect him to understand).

I don’t feel like I’m overdoing it. I think that this is a smart way for actors to prepare for the unknown. I’ve had same day auditions before where I’ve had an hour to get to the casting office. Sometimes, that isn’t enough time to google a show and figure out the plot, characters, and tone.

So for the next few weeks, I’m watching a lot of tv. The good, the bad, and the ugly. And I’ll take some notes on each one. I used to just create a word doc for it, but I’m thinking of trying Evernote this year. I just downloaded it to my iPhone, iPad, and laptop so that will help make it easy for me to review my notes wherever I may be.

And if any of you readers want my recommendations or opinions on any of the new shows, let me know. I’m happy to talk “shop” whenever.

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN September 19th, 2012


About Jen Levin

Actress/Blogger - I’m originally from the Bay Area, but I’ve been in LA for over a decade now, so I consider myself a native. I’m working as both a blogger and actress (with a couple of day jobs to pay the bills on the side). I love being in the entertainment industry where every day is an adventure! When I’m not working on my career, I’m either reading (I’m a total book nerd) or enjoying my newfound love for spin class (which is helping towards my goal of losing 100 pounds for the last time). I like to joke that I’m a girl with Southern charm and Jersey moxie, which I think has worked well for me so far!