Grats to all who got on a UCB-NY Harold / Lloyd team! Good on ya!
For the rest who didn’t get on a team, how was your audition?
Terrible. I expected not to get a callback.
Terrible. At least I got a callback.
Awesome! But my callback was awful.
What just happened?
Don’t beat yourself up
It’s really not worth it. Ok. Beat yourself a little bit, then snap back and realize that you live in NY and you have time to do one of the coolest hobbies ever. Improv. Or, if this is your career choice (improv performer, teacher, coach, actor), this is just one more step toward your awesome journey.
If you’ve been doing this a long time (like me) please don’t take it personally.
My last UCB Harold audition was here in L.A. I thought I had it in the bag. I didn’t even get a callback. I cried my damn face off, curled in a fetal position, eating chocolate, which smeared all over my face and frizzy hair till I was blue. Then I chilled the eff out and realized, “I’ve been having an awesome year. Why do I care about this?” I care because it’s not just about being an actor, I care because it’s hanging out with people I know and like and to have a blast being funny. I didn’t get on a team or a callback because I was not what they were looking for, or my timing was just not on at the audition, or because the some of the judges have no idea who I am, or something. Who the hell knows. And that’s just it. Like ANY audition, you will never know. EXCEPT know that they ARE rooting for you. They ARE your fans.
Let’s be real. I was upset. I wanted to know why, especially since I had really good friends on the judges side rooting for me. So I asked why?
Because they’re looking at 100’s of people and you have to shine to get noticed.
You don’t have to make uber magic, but you do have to stand out. Think about it. There’s 5-20 judges watching maybe 10-20+ hours of improv of 300-500+ people. In a row. Barely any breaks. You know who they’re going to remember? Those people who stuck out. They might get bummed if a friend or intern or someone they really like didn’t shine. I have no idea if they give second chances to those folks. If it’s anything like casting a commercial (I worked in advertising), then no or rarely. That person better have a really good name and track record to be called back from a bombed or so-so audition.
On a scale from 1-10, I thought my last audition was about a 6.5. I think you’d need a 8+ to get called back. But this was my best audition. My first scene killed (and my scene partner got on a harold team. Yay!). My second scene, bleh. I should’ve been able to save that bleh and turn it into a Woot! But whatever. I can’t get stuck in the past and neither should you!!! It’s done.
Now ask “Why do I do this?”
I really really really love making people laugh. It’s my favorite thing ever. I love that I’m always discovering something new in my classes, teams, and shows. I love that it makes me a better actor. I love that improv introduced me to acting. I love that my best friends are improvisors (and some former improvisors). I love that I get to play on stage and it’s seen as something awesome and brave. I love that I get to be creative all of the time. I love watching my friends succeed on stage, TV, and film. I love that this is so much damn fun and this is my job. How does it get any better than this?
Just like a weird or mundane character in an improv scene that we feel stuck in, ask why. And then ask, “What’s right about this I’m not getting?” It’s not good or bad that you’re not on a Harold team, it’s just something that’s happened. You’re not a good or bad person for not getting on a Harold team, it’s an experience you had that you get to chalk up to another moment in life.
Stay in the now. Keep hanging out with your pals. Without hurting yourself or others, have a drink or eat a bunch for one night. Then puke it up and live on. You never know what else is possible.