Book the Office, Not the Gig
Wouldn’t it be nice to audition for something and NOT obsess over whether or not you’re going to get it? Or better yet, to NOT care if (and probably when) you don’t get it?
In fact, it’s often even more of a mind phuck for me because I always assume I get everything (lol).
But, really. My manager has now gotten in the habit of just saying “get off my phone” when I call him to ask about the details of an offer we haven’t gotten. And assuming we don’t book the job in the end, he always reminds me to “book the office, not the gig”. Because we’re in this for the long game!
The Power of THEN
We throw out the word “sustainable” a bunch with Artist’s Strategy because the long game is exactly what this work is all about. As I like to say, we are actually in the business of losing our jobs, so the only way to break free of that inevitable pattern is to build a career that sustains relationships, financial solvency, creativity and overall relevance well beyond next week’s day player gig.
Unfortunately, given how spastic and short lived so much of our industry is, it *is* hard to move past the NOW. We focus on today’s available money, next week’s audition and the short film that we’re preparing to shoot in three months. However, we see first hand how short-term thinking hurts our clients and limits their possibilities, as opposed to building relationships and a business that lasts, many tend to jump from person to person or project to project hoping one will “catch fire.”
While Mike nor myself would ever encourage you to ignore the things of the present, we absolutely would encourage you to put more weight on the power of the future.
Why aren’t they casting me??
When you book an office instead of a gig, you’re getting buy in for what’s to come. For example, I used to go in for this one specific episodic all the time. Truly, I must have auditioned for various parts within the same show 15+ times and so I finally asked my agent if they could get feedback so that I could maybe *actually* book it and he said, “you got the feedback already”. Simply – they wouldn’t continue to call me in if they weren’t happy with what I was doing. Subsequently, I do have a good relationship with that office and could easily reach out myself, if I needed to, without my reps being involved.
In fact, the relationships I have built over the past decade are the ones that continue to carry me forward. I have earned the trust of casting directors (and directors / producers) by showing up and showing out whether or not I ultimately get the job.
It might not solve my need for money or validation or whatever it is that needs “fixing” now but it sure as heck keeps me focused on all that’s possible down the line.
Seeking instant gratification is built into the fabric of society and it’s certainly not an easy “need” to break free of. Taking stock of what you have built and what you can continue to build might be a reminder of the gratification you can look forward to well beyond tomorrow.