My coffee date ran late today. Damn it. Don’t get me wrong, I had a great time. And I think we really hit it off. (Score!) But, now I’m frantically googling how long it’s going to take me to get across town in order to get to my dinner date on time. OK, If I change clothes in my car and avoid the freeways, I shouldn’t be more than 10 min late. That’s acceptable, right? I wonder what the parking is like… Crap. I had better send SMBeachBum42 a message and let him know that I’m running late. I’ll look up his profile on the way and refresh myself about him and what we’ve talked about so far. I think this is the one that listed Spaceballs as one of his favorite movies. Which is good since I wore this “Ludicrous Speed” shirt just for him. Shit. I just noticed that I have 12 unread messages. I’ll have to make sure that I take time to look over those tonight.
OK. Fine. That exact scenario never happened to me. (Two dates in one evening? Who do you think I am? Liz Taylor?) But replace those “dates” with “auditions” and you now have a decent grasp on a small slice of what it’s like to be an actor hustlin’ in this crazy city. In fact, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that auditioning and dating have A LOT in common. Especially online dating. If you’re not in “the business” and find yourself curious as to what auditioning is like for us crazy knuckleheads; Sign up for OKCupid. I double dog dare you. (If you’re not already one of the 41.3 million people who has already tried some sort of online dating.) .. No? Not feeling that courageous?.. OOoooh! I get it. You’re married and don’t want that crap on your browser history. Understandable. I’ll just give you the highlights of the similarities then.
Put the best “you” forward:
You spend time crafting the perfect resume/reel/profile. It should have your own personal voice and capture the readers’ attention. It should say; “Trust me, you want to see more of this.” And don’t skimp on the headshots/pictures. They need to really draw the eye in. You should pop off the page and give the viewer a split second impression of… whatever you want to say. Maybe Picture 1 says; “I’m fun, but not irresponsible.” Picture 2 shows a softer side of you. Consider a picture that includes a small animal or child. (That last one might be more applicable to the dating site…) And don’t forget the most important thing… The pictures have to actually look like you! No faster way to piss off a date/casting director than to stroll through that door looking like someone entirely different than they were expecting.
Are you the “girl next door”? The “reliable nerd”? Or perhaps you’d prefer to make sure you come across as the type who is just looking for a good time. Being clear as to who you are, will only help you in the long run. (After all, you want someone who wants what YOU are.) Stand out! People are generally looking for a specific thing/type. Be unique. Be You.
Yes, yes. We know that you are more than just that ONE thing. But, you’ll have time to show all sides of you later on. First, you need to actually get in the door. So, stop being so defensive. … unless that’s part of your brand. Then go on and rock that shit.
Be on the look out for scams/skeezballs
There are a lot of wonderful, kind, creative, and honest people out there. On the other hand, there are a lot of assholes too. There is no shortage of those who would manipulate, scam, and use you. So play it smart! If something doesn’t feel right about the meeting/date/audition, don’t go! Also, there are those who will inflate their sense of worth, make themselves out to be bigger and better than they actually are. Make sure that you have your BS sensor set to the right frequency.
Get your little black calendar book ready!
Both dating and auditioning involve a LOT of scheduling, adjusting, and bouncing around town. I swear, it’s like a part-time job. Or better yet; an internship. (cuz, you know… You ain’t gettin’ paid.) Whether it’s meeting for coffee during your lunch break, sifting through messages/breakdowns during the day, or carting your tired ass around town to expend great amounts of effort trying to be your typical effervescent and charismatic self. Don’t get me wrong, it can still be a lot of fun! … But, it’s exhausting on so many levels.
Normal pleasantries do not necessarily apply.
You don’t actually hear a lot of “no” in either of these worlds. Sounds great, Right? Nah. Mostly you just hear silence. You can submit yourself for a project or send a message to someone who interests you, and if they aren’t feelin’ it?… Nothin’. No explanation. No “sorry”. Nada. Or even if there IS an initial interest and you get called in for an audition/ start exchanging messages, it’s super common to, all of a sudden, never hear from them again. OR you might hear back from them in several MONTHS. (That’s actually happened to me in both worlds.) And this is all completely accepted and commonplace!
You both want it to work. Most of the time it doesn’t.
The Casting Director/date WANTS you to be the one. It would make their job/life so much easier! Wouldn’t it be magical if the first person that walked through that door ended up being “the one”? Well, guess what? The world is a magical place! … just not all that often. Even if we all want it to work out perfectly, most of us will have to go out on hundreds of dates/go to hundreds (maybe even thousands?) of auditions. But, don’t give up! Cuz the pay off could be huge! … ooor it could never work out… Le Sigh.
One thing that should always be constant throughout all of this… be yourself! Someone out there is looking for exactly what you are.
And you are pretty darn amazing.
Random fact: Annual revenue from the online dating industry- $1,249,000,000