I know, I know. I’ve heard it before. You don’t have the right shoes for this audition, but you’re broke—how could you afford them? You were only late because traffic was bad, and you can’t really be expected to allot two hours for a 30-mile drive, can you? You couldn’t memorize the sides because your printer isn’t working and your laptop battery died when you were prepping last night…at 2 a.m.
Excuses run rampant in a career where, for the vast majority of the time, we are our own boss. There’s no one looking over our shoulder, giving us gold stars when we do what we should, encouraging us to succeed. We are responsible for our own employment and craft, and if we don’t bring our A game? Well, it’s quite possible no one will even notice. Very likely no one will care. There are zillions of actors ready to replace us, so what’s the harm, really, if we sleep in?
As an actor, you are your own boss and cheerleader. Whether prepared or no, you steer the ship. Do you push yourself as hard as you’d push those you love? Those you want the best for? Would you let them go to the audition late, under-prepared, and underdressed? Would you stand in their way?
Or would you do all you could to help them succeed?
Jackie Apodaca is an associate professor and the head of performance at Southern Oregon University.