I was 16 years old and there was no role I ever wanted more. In fact I wanted it so bad that I forcibly tried to create an opportunity to be a part of it. The dream role for me was to be on a teenage based & targeted version of SNL (Saturday Night Live). Unfortunately for me the only one happening at the time was one cast and filmed out of Los Angeles, like so many things in the film and television industry. Being in Toronto there was not much I could do to bridge the 2174 mile gap between me and the show’s studio.
Nonetheless I tried. I wrote a series of comical skits, rounded up a camera, and some helpful family members and put together a 6 minute video showcasing why I felt I was the perfect fit for this show. I thought it was great and that it would undoubtedly be my ticket to stardom. 6 months and 6 personalized packages later (each sent strategically to specific decision makers surrounding the show) I got and heard nothing back. To say the least I was disappointed, sitting at home just wanting the opportunity to be seen.
Flash forward to a week ago and that opportunity randomly presented itself. I was almost shellshocked to read the breakdown in my e-mail, every detail of the role and the show matched exactly what I had once hoped for. Except now at the ripe age of 23, not only has my ideal role drastically shifted but I also knew I was probably 7 years too old for what they were looking for. Nonetheless I happily went out, it’s happened to me before and happens all the time in the industry anyways, the pack of 25+ year olds playing the group of 9th graders. Is it believable? No. But in most cases those same 25+ year olds tend to have some physical appeal that often distract the viewing audience enough to not warrant any complaints.
Anyways back to the audition. Standing in the absolutely packed waiting room I was able to make quite the number of observations. The most interesting bit was that in nearly every other actor/actress waiting their turn I saw a snippet of myself over the past 7 years. I saw the nervousness I’ve so regularly played with. I saw the over-thinking I so often overthunk. I saw the false confidence I always did my best to portray. Everywhere and every one I looked at I couldn’t help but to see myself. That in and of itself was an interesting experience, its not everyday you can say you get the chance to consciously observe aspects of yourself so clearly. Or do we?
Having this experience in the audition waiting room allowed me to remind myself of the interconnectedness we all share. The amount we can all relate and take from one another if we just strip down the barriers of separation. The amount we can assist one another if we just open ourselves up to both helping each other and being helped.
I knew standing in that audition waiting room that no matter who got selected and for what reason, they were another aspect of me and would be thrilled for the opportunity. Being in a competitive atmosphere in that state was refreshing to say the least. I didn’t get the role and even though 16-year-old me would have been shattered, 23-year-old me had fun entertaining those in the audition room and knew that no matter what, an aspect of me was going to be filling that role and playing it perfectly.