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Survive the Storm Till Morning:

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This week I had a shot at one of the (in my opinion) greatest upcoming shows of the year. This isn’t a rare occasion, since I am blessed to be working with an incredible agent who knows exactly how I work and what I want to work on. However, it is definitely rare that I want a role as badly as I wanted this one.

I’ve made it quite clear to anyone who ever cared to ask that the majority of work I do on television is strictly for financial stability, in an industry where steady work for a guy like me is a myth at best. I wanted this show with every fiber and molecule of my body, my soul hurt at just the idea of working in this world..

I really want to just blurt the name out there but I can’t. It would hurt too much. I’m still bleeding over this show and the wound isn’t going to close anytime soon. Rightfully so, since it revolves around a subject so near and dear to me, that it felt like Divine Design the moment I read the sides. When I get an audition like this, I experience a phenomenon I like to call “The Storm”.

To me, a show like this is the emotional equivalent of a hurricane warning. I’ve got to quickly wipe my slate clean of anything else that I had going on, evacuate if you will, my entire life of all other business and concerns. This is it, I’m on a clock to change my life. I’ve got to accept the fact that this thing is coming in a matter of hours, it is going to reshape my entire world for better or worse whether I like it or not and every little thing I do leading up to the minute I walk into that room is a life and death decision.

Before you know it, the Storm is in full swing, I can’t help but become attached to my possible future. I think of all the work that this one show could generate, all of the problems the money could solve, all of the problems the money could bring. Now don’t get me wrong, I have heard people describe all sorts of challenges, some far greater, as Storms. But my Storm is unique. It’s formation is totally unpredictable, it can start as a breeze and within weeks, or even hours, form a Tornado. It can last for days or only minutes, but its potential for destruction is always awesome..

I literally go deaf to the world around me as the thunderous sounds of what could be, block out everything else I can hear. I can’t hold a conversation for more than a few minutes without totally blanking out, daydreaming of not only working, but of all the things possible were I to land this role. It becomes a battle to keep my mouth shut, I have to do my best to avoid telling my family about the role lest I increase the effects of the Storm tenfold.

Of course, my mother being the most optimistic woman in the universe, gleefully runs directly into the rain, dancing and swimming in the Storm with no doubt in her mind that her son will ALWAYS succeed, or in the case of me losing the role, in her words: “If you didn’t get this one, it’s because a BETTER one is right around the corner.”

I find that most of my friends, whether they are fellow Actors or not, will take a similar approach when I tell them “I’ve got a meeting tomorrow for *** ******* ****, I’m so excited, this is the one man.” Of course, to them this is just an amazing opportunity, something to be grateful for just to have a chance at, or to some its just a job interview, nothing to beat myself up about too much.

But this was so much more.

To be in the position I am in, at 27 years old with no GED, full of tattooed pride and no trained discernible talent other than a magnificent penchant for Lying, an audition like this is a battlefield. I arrive armed with nothing but my past as my weapon. I stride across the bodies of teachers, agents, police, former friends who look just like me but who are now in prison, victims of their own Storms.

I have no idea how I am going to win this battle, all I know is I am going to fight. I am going to pour every memory, every dream and every story that I have ever known into this small room filled with people (and if I’m lucky, a camera). I’m going to make sure that the Storm ends here or die trying.

Everything I prepared before this moment and everything I have to gain after means nothing if I don’t defeat this monster right here and now. As I near the eye of the Storm I can hear the agonizing cries of my detractors, lying on the ground defeated but still speaking to me through my worst fears, begging me to just forget this line, miss this note. But as always, I see my family.

While others run and hide seeking shelter from the Storm, my mother and sister, both veterans themselves, stand right next to me, invisible to all but me. I am filled with an eerie confidence from out of nowhere, the kind that can only be gained when in the presence of those with unshakable faith.

I know I will win this, these clouds will dissipate and we will remain. Ready for the next Storm, we will survive the storm till morning.


-FCC


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