Point the finger... at yourself.

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I often hear actors lament their experiences in the audition room.

“The casting director was so rude! I could see his computer screen in the mirror. He was on Facebook the whole time.” Or, “This business sucks. I busted my ass to be there today for that director, and she didn’t even give me an adjustment.”

I hear you. That hurts.

What I’m about to say might hurt even more.

And I’m ok with that, because you need to hear it.

It is time to accept the blame rather than giving it all away. Rather than complaining that he didn’t look up from his computer, give him a reason to look up. Rather than lamenting the lack of an adjustment, do work that is excellent enough to warrant an adjustment. The fact that you showed up is not enough. The fact that you were prepared is not enough. The fact that you were off book is not enough. The fact that you warmed up is not enough. The fact that you did exactly what the audition notice asked for is not enough.

My friends, that is simply the minimum. It is not enough. And it is, most definitely, not extra.

When an audition experience is less than ideal, actors are great at convincing themselves that they have been wronged by the people on the other side of the table. To be fair, the people on the other side of the table can definitely do a better job of fostering a creative working environment in which everyone feels seen. But to give them 100% of the blame, well, that is the easy way out. It requires no self-awareness on the actor’s part, which means it requires no extra work, no extra pain, no extra passion. And, of course, as a result, that means no growth. It allows the actor to point the finger at someone else and say “It’s their fault.”

If you are doing this, cut it out! You are keeping yourself from stepping fully into what you are capable of. Actors who point the finger away from themselves are bundles of potential trapped on the hamster wheel of hell. You are better than that. And you know it.

Knowledge is power. Knowledge about where your weaknesses lie is the strongest kind of power there is. Step into your discomfort. Face yourself. Call out what you see. Make the decision to own it, to learn from it, and to demand growth from yourself. When you are brave enough to say, “I am capable of doing more, of giving more, of listening more, of serving more, of taking bigger risks, of working harder, of working smarter, of demanding excellence, of offering connection, of expressing passion, of seeking discomfort, of pursuing growth”, YOU ARE EXTRA. And that, my fellow artists, is worth looking up for.

When you point the finger at yourself, what do you see?