Wednesday, January 6, 2010

We stand in a line...

Yes...that is what actors do for a majority of their lives (well, the rank and file folks anyway) and that's most of us. We stand in line to try and get an audition for a show that may or may not pay well and may or may not even be looking for us. I hope, that like the "Footprints" story, someone is carrying us most of the time we're standing there! In any case, I just read this story from my friend, professional actor John Biles, who passed it along on his website (that's him in the photo with me and here's a link to his blog - John's Blog). I love it, so I share it with you:

A line of actors was standing outside Chelsea Studios in the winter in the early morning hours. A homeless man was making camp near their line and woke up to find the mass of humanity near his feet.

He asked, "What are you all doing in line?"

An actor replied, "We are waiting to sign up for an audition."

The homeless man asked, "An audition? You mean like acting?"

The actor answered, "Yes."

The homeless man grew quiet in thought and then stood up, "So…this is your stand in line?"

The actor, growing anxious over the awkwardness said, "No. Well yes…it’s our job, but we don't get paid to stand in line."

Another actor joined the conversation… "We're standing in line to audition for a paying job."

"So you will get paid right?" questioned the homeless man.

"Not necessarily," said the first actor.

The second actor added, "Sometimes we don't even get to audition even though we've been standing in line.”

The homeless man grew silent, but his face showed a man deep in thought. Much to the annoyance of the actors he asked one final question, "So, you're all in line to audition for a job that you don't have yet, and you may not get because you might not even get the chance to audition even though you've been standing in line all morning. And you don't get paid?"

The actors nodded in the affirmative, to which the homeless man promptly sat back down and grumbled under his breath, "I'd rather be homeless."

I'm not sayin I'd rather be homeless, but I think the perspective here is pretty amazing. Not many people really understand the endurance, patience and mental fortitude (forrrrrtitude - said like the Evzone Recruiter in a high voice) that actors have to go through just to try and be considered for a job. I salute all of my fellow actors, especially those that stand on lines to get that one job. Only to come back from that gig and stand on MORE lines. Break-a-leg ya'll, but not literally cause then standing in the lines would be tougher.