The Reality of Last Minute Auditions


So I had a thought last week as I was running a super long, 13 hr callback. We had a last minute request at the end of the day to add a handful of actors.

The client didn’t feel like they had found one role and wanted some more options - not uncommon, but one reason why you might get a last minute straight to callback.

I think we called probably 15 actors around 6:00 for a 7:00 straight to CB and probably 5 were able to make it - and one of them booked it.

Obviously great for whoever booked it, but what struck me just how difficult it is to manage a sustainable career as an actor.

To be available at the drop of the hat for last minute auditions for instance (but just in general to plan everything around next day auditions and callbacks and shoot dates).

It’s really freakin’ tough. Much tougher than the actual acting.

For everyone that knows me, you’re aware that I like to focus on what we control versus lamenting all about the arbitrary nature of the things that we don’t control (of which there are more than a few).

I started to think about how booking actors consistently refuse to let these issues of control effect them - they find a way to be available without letting this lack of control get to them - they accept it as a reality of their job, appreciate the opportunity and let the other stuff just roll off their back.

Then I asked myself what’s my approach to this problem? Am I proactively trying to get to that space? I’ve gotten so much better over the years of resisting the cynicism of how unfair and arbitrary this process can be (this used to be a really easy trap for me to fall into) and re-directing my attention to the things I DO control.

I realize that for me, the work I put into having a healthy mindset about it all - basically that I have a laser focus on framing my perspective - finding a way to enjoy the process, being grateful for and prioritizing every opportunity (even the annoying ones), preparing so I feel great about my product - is massively important in helping me achieve my result goal of booking more.

Because I know, the more I prepare to enjoy and thrive, the more sustainable the process is and the more likely I will a) perform well and b) be excited to go back for more and c) book more.

The challenge of finding a way to realistically prioritize auditions & callbacks is very difficult - I think it’s probably the #1 reason actor’s don’t make it.

And yet it’s a great problem to have - because most actors I talk to simply want more opportunities.

As Christmas is approaching and the ad agencies dumping their budgets before the end of the year this little episode was a nice reminder for me that it’s a good time to recommit to focus on my mentality, approach and perspective as one of my most useful tools in booking.

What do you think?

I’m curious to hear from my readers what you use - whether it’s approach, perspective, or maybe more practical things - that you use to meet the challenges of the career and create a sustainable approach.

LMK! I’m working on some new content and would love to fold your perspective into the mix.

Okay, thanks for reading, and I'll see ya in the room!

- Toby Lawless

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