This morning, I had the greatest audition I've had in months, MONTHS, I tell you! And while I'm bouncing off the walls, happy and buzzy like a good shot of joe makes me, I'm also terrified. Because this is the very same feeling I had over 10 years ago when I first stepped onstage at the Groundlings and realized that, for better or worse, I was going to have to let go of my crazy dreams of solvency and profit sharing forever to be a performer.
But it's an audition, right? I audition all the time, right? Well, yes, but not for this kind of commercial. This was a voiceover audition: that announcer, that omniscient commercial narrator, that cuddly fish/lion cub/faun that cavorts across the screen.
To want to be a voiceover actor is even crazier than to want to be an actor, which is already pretty damned crazy. Not only are voiceover actors the elite of the elite, but, echoing the shift in the on-camera world, "name" actors are now squeezing out the rank-and-file as the changing market adversely impacts their own ability to make a living.
Here's how crazy it is: almost 10 years ago, when Space Jam was released, while I had a multimillion dollar movie to serve as my reel, while I had a fucking toy of my character on the shelves of Targetâ„¢, I could not get an agent. Granted, the gig had been a fluke of circumstance, some greenscreen work I auditioned for and didn't get, still, they drew a cartoon character around me, animated it and spent a boatload of time and money getting it on the screen.
Not. Good. Enough.
When that 'thing' thrums inside you, it doesn't matter. You have to go for it, or forever regret it. What was once a thrilling one-off, something fun but easy to let go of, is now That Thing I Must Do Next.
Sometimes I think that life was much, much easier before I was so rudely awakened...