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June 10, 2011

The Job That Got Away

About 20 years ago, I was at an audition, working with a director who was trying to get me to do a specific emotional reveal (reaction). He loved everything but needed to get this specific moment from me.

He was coaching me with what I call ”romantic language,” words and stories intended to stimulate you. ”You just lost the love of your life” or ”you just booked the role of a lifetime,” etc. The language he used really stimulated me, but when I did the read, the response I got from him was a tight-lipped smile and ”thanks.” I failed to produce the reaction he wanted.

I was a trained actor who had worked before; why did I not have the tools to give him what he was asking for?

Although frustrated, the seed for my future work had been planted. I would come to realize that we don’t all speak the same emotional language. The images that director was giving impacted him one way and me another. Was the craft of acting that hit or miss?

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Does anybody else have this experience or find themselves in a similar situation?  Post a comment and share with us "the job that got away."