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Always A Bridesmaid, Never The Bride... Here's The Gist When This Happens To Actors/Actresses.

Updated: Dec 3, 2021

Pilot or episodic season has rolled around again and you've found your schedule chock full of various, exciting auditions. You're amped, optimistic, motivated and hopeful that this will be the year that'll change your life because you'll book your dream job. Unfortunately, the season comes to an end- seemingly overnight- and you've booked not so much as a good guest star role on a decent series. Ironically, the insult to the injury is having gleefully endured a ton of call backs, producer sessions, chemistry reads and even screen tests( if you're fortunate), but to no avail. Sound familiar? I'm sure it does, as this is an experience that is all too common for many new and some seasoned actors/actresses alike. It's a painstakingly difficult reality, but it's also one that should be considered a rite of passage to becoming "successful", working talent. Sounds hopeless doesn't it? Please do not be discouraged or dismayed, as these occurrences are the expected norm and par for the course; they're typical.

The proverbial silver-lining in this case is you'll probably experience some semblance of success if you don't quit before you hit. While that might be a drastically simplistic point of view, it really does capture the gist of the perceived dilemma. If you've found yourself on the "hamster wheel" of call backs, screen tests, chemistry reads etc. , then consider yourself somewhat fortunate, as those outcomes are indicative of your having made a positive impression on the casting directors and other relevant parties associated with the production. While the repetitiveness of the process can be a bit frustrating, it behooves you to pay attention to what's unfolding within your career. Simply stated, you're being noticed and hence getting traction and that is a very good outcome. According to seasoned blogger, Bonnie Wallace, " Any day an actor gets a callback is a great day." ( The antithesis of an overabundance of call backs is representative of the place no aspiring talent should ever want to find themselves.

Now that we've established why callbacks and consistent engagement with casting and members of the production team is a good thing, let's turn our attention to how to keep the momentum going. According to Matt Newman of Backstage, here are 12 tips that are deemed helpful to securing a callback:

  1. Don't Change Anything.

  2. Be Open To Adjustments.

  3. Read The Whole Script.

  4. Make Sure You Have Updated Sides.

  5. Be Ready For A Last Minute Cold-Read.

  6. Know The Tone Of The Show.

  7. Be Nice To Everyone.

  8. Be On Time.

  9. Allow Yourself To Make Mistakes.

  10. Be Confident.

  11. Be Proud Of Yourself.

  12. Let It Go Afterward.

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In a nutshell and in the words of DeShauna Barber, " do not fear failure, but please be terrified of regret." Keep pushing toward your goal, score that next call back and ultimately book the job. Becoming a successful actor/actress is hard, but so is failing to do so; choose your hard.

Au Revoir,

Mahalia Jackson-Butler, MSN, MBA

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