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Book the What, Now?!

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If there’s one thing that’s changed in my career since moving to Chicago, it’s my outlook on auditioning. Auditions – getting them, prepping them, and of course DOING them – make up about 75% of my job. It makes sense, if you think about it. When I interned at PR Casting, we saw about 120 actors per slot for a national commercial. Those actors were submitted, along with hundreds more, from all agents in and around Chicago.

Quite honestly, I consider myself a professional auditioner. And I actually kinda like that. Auditions are a chance to play, a chance to explore the world of someone else for a short time. Each audition is a mental workout, and each time, it gets easier to take risks.

So how did this change for me since my move? I used to enter the audition room with the intention of booking the gig. I had gotten the agent, my agent had gotten me the audition, and now it was my turn to close the deal. Right?

I’d venture to say this mindset has burned out more actors than anything else. There’s really only so many rejections one can take, and yet a business person hears 10 “No’s” for every 1 “Yes.”

How exhausting! So how do we do it? How do we keep hearing NO when we so desperately yearn for the YES? In order to be around for the long hall, we must change our mindset.

Instead of booking the gig, the goal must be to build the relationship.

As Bonnie Gillespie says, “book the room, not the role.” Let’s face it; the odds are extremely against us. We simply won’t book most of what we are called in for, especially not for TV / Film / Commercial. But here in Chicago, about four companies cast the majority of these spots. ONLY FOUR! Compare that to the hundreds in Los Angeles!

It’s also important to change the way we perceive the word “no.” We tend to hear no and think “never,” but really, it means “not yet.” In their book, “Go for No,” authors Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz explain that “Yes is the destination,” and “No is how you get there.”

So if we hear 10 “no’s” for every 1 “yes,” who hears more yes’s: The person who hears 10 no’s, or the person who hears 1,000?

So let’s build fantastic relationships and celebrate our “no’s”! Let’s prep auditions knowing we will be ready to show them we are prompt, reliable, responsible, and absolutely bookable. That way, they will continue to call us in, so that when our time comes to book something, we will be ready.

This business is all about relationships, folks. Our main focus is to build them and keep them.

Your turn! What do you do to build better relationships? I’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment here, tweet me @TheEricFeltes or leave a comment on my Facebook Fanpage!