With every new venture we undertake in life, we learn new things. And as our proficiency grows, we add new skills and new accomplishments. As our competency grows, the confidence we gain allows us to push ourselves even further. We hike a more challenging trail, tackle a plumbing problem, ski a black diamond trail. Our first attempts at these loftier levels are pretty shaky at first but as we continue to push forward, our footing becomes firmer, more directed. As the muscle starts to remember what we did before, the task becomes less conscious, more organic.
But you have to take the first step. I did that recently. I was given the opportunity to audition for a pilot for a comedy that is being put together out of Michigan. It was my first pilot audition, heck my first television audition. The script was pretty straightforward but because it was a comedy, the words were written very specifically so the comedy came out the way the writer wanted it to. I have a not-so-good tendency to paraphrase and make things my own which doesn’t serve the script very well. So it had to be memorized very specifically. I had an idea of the character as I saw her but since I didn’t have the full script, I had to take some liberties. I didn’t really know how to break down the script so I wisely hired a coach to help me accomplish that. Which is what I would do if I were trying to tackle a mogul field, I hire a ski instructor. We spent an hour going over things and practicing. Interpreting the sentences, finding the funny behind the obvious. It was recorded so I could go back and review my progress.
I have no idea how I did. I don’t even know what they were looking for as the information provided was somewhat sketchy. But I felt good afterwards. Happy that I’d invested the time and money to work with someone so I felt confident when the camera started rolling. Plus it was a lot of fun. On top of that, I learned some good habits that I will call upon for future television auditions. You have to start somewhere. Just make sure you don’t blindly step in, give yourself a chance to succeed.