First time for everything

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.

7 Responses to “First time for everything”

  1. Rowell Says:

    hi, pam

    great that you had enough time to bring in some coaching. it’ll keep paying off when that’s not an option!

    if you get the gig, i’ll have to start watching tv sitcoms again!

  2. Jack Hanlon Says:

    Good analogy on skiing, just like on top of that mountain trying to plan your map down the hill, “just do it” you start accomplishing things you never would dream about and a instructor helps to get bits and pieces that fill the puzzle. I have been in voice for over 10 years, investing time and money to, who do you use as a instructor? Im in IL. also, I would invite you to our Chicago free round table were we discuss the craft , you could go to Morgan at

  3. Extra time? | Voices Of Advertising Says:

    […] I’m pointing you toward good advice, if you’re faced with a new challenge and have no idea how best to tackle it, take a page from my friend Pam Tierney’s […]

  4. Ed Hunter Says:

    Nice story, Pam. And a good lesson for us all, even if we don’t happen to standing in front of a microphone or camera. Your attitude is right on target. As you say, competency breeds confidence, and each new adventure we take on puts another drop of confidence in our tank … for the next time.
    Thanks for sharing the story.

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