Find Your Olympic Talent

Photo Source: Clay Rodery

Before we start, I should provide a little backstory to any Backstage readers who are like, “Who the eff is Annoying Actor Friend?” Here is my bio, presented the only way I know how: in 35 words or less.

ANNOYING ACTOR FRIEND (@Actor_Friend) is a parody Twitter account that spoofs annoying actor behavior on social media. Blogs: SMASH Don’t Give a Sh*t. Book: “#SOBLESSED” (#1 Amazon Best Seller!). Education: Michigan/CCM/CMU; “Thank you, Telsey!”

Let’s begin!

As we slowly ease out of winter, you might be worried I’m about to ask you, “So. How was your pilot season?” Nope. Not going to do that! I’ll leave that responsibility to that random friend you only manage to run into once a year, after they’ve been #blessed with bountiful daily pilot auditions and you’ve been stuck watching “Downton Abbey.” This pilot season was a little bit different because if you weren’t getting appointments, you could distract yourself with the Winter Olympics and TWIZZLES!

Sochi got me thinking about two things: The #SochiProblems pictures didn’t look a lot different than anything my friends have posted while touring on a SETA contract; and Olympians have it easier than actors.

I know what you’re thinking, “Those athletes don’t just #werk hard. They work hard!” And you’re right. The closest I’ve gotten to the Winter Olympics is a brain freeze after too many frozen margaritas at Blockheads (#funemployment). But consider this: The Netherlands hoarded gold medals in speed skating, not because they knew the director, but because they were the best. There really isn’t a way to BS the clock (this doesn’t really apply to figure skating. When it comes to judging, you’re kind of screwed no matter which field you choose to share your gift).

All Olympians are inspiring because they’re really freakin’ good at one thing. Maybe the demands of being a triple-threat performer have oversaturated our industry with a lot of seemingly talented but ultimately bland competition. We’re constantly being required to learn more skills. Act. Sing. Dance. Silks. Sign language. Instruments. Underwater basket weaving.

Shaun White doesn’t need to be a snowboarder who moves well. Joss Christensen didn’t walk off the ski slopes and head to a partnering callback in ice dancing. Yulia Lipnitskaya is such an incredible figure skater that it doesn’t matter her vacant expression resembles the look on my face whenever a friend posts another cover of “Let It Go.”

While it’s important to be multitalented, I suggest finding one thing that you’re better at than anyone else. That is your Olympic Talent. It can be anything. For example, my Olympic Talent is requesting “positive vibes” for all my callbacks. And that seems to be the reason why I’m always working!

Now, just because you have an Olympic Talent doesn’t mean others won’t have it, too. This is where actors have the advantage over athletes. If you’re not the best, think that you’re the best. I’ll bet you’ve seen plenty of actor-letes on top of proverbial podiums, accepting casting medals because they tricked themselves and everyone else into thinking they deserved the gold.

Stay #blessed, and always #grateful.