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I Did Something Crazy – and Glad I Did

August 18, 2017 8 Comments

Sometimes we have to do some pretty crazy things in the acting and modeling industry. I was just in that situation and wanted to share it with you.

I have been making the trip from Baltimore, MD to N.Y. for auditions and work since 1989.

Depending on how l travel, it could take me anywhere from 3.5 to 4 .5 hours each way. Whenever I make that trip, it is always a long day at the office.

Many people say that is simply too far to go for an audition, but if you want to be considered for jobs in N.Y. and want agents to keep submitting you for projects there, then you need to say yes to the audition.

Typically, the only time I will turn down an audition or go-see is if I am already booked out the day of the audition or not available on the shoot date.

A few days ago I received an email from an agent about attending a go-see that was happening in Brooklyn.

That is pretty unusual. Most of the casting directors and photographers either rent or have offices in downtown or midtown. Manhattan.

Driving in Manhattan

I decided not to travel to Manhattan and take a subway to Brooklyn, then find my way from the subway station to the casting director’s office.  That sounded like a lot of work.

Driving in Manhattan is not fun. I try to avoid it whenever possible. Not only do you have to deal with crazy traffic, lots of people riding bikes – zipping in and out of lanes, but also there are many people crossing the street looking at their phones and not watching out for cars.

If you are planning on driving to Manhattan, always give yourself a lot of time going through the Lincoln or Holland Tunnel.

Sometimes you can breeze through, or you could be caught in some horrible traffic.

So, I decided to drive straight to Brooklyn. Getting there was fine. Of course there was traffic, but it was not horrible.

Finding parking was not easy, but after driving around for a while I wound up finding street parking in a residential neighborhood.

It was only about a 20-minute walk to the casting office. After being in the car for so long, it felt good to walk a little.

I finally got to the casting directors office and purposely did not sign in as soon as I arrived. I wanted to make sure I dried off a little, combed my hair and mentally prepared to be photographed.

There are forms to be filled out.

Always have your agent’s phone number and e-mail address easily accessible. Quite often this information is requested on the form.

Don’t Waste Your Time

If the go-see is for a pharmaceutical, insurance or fast food restaurant you will typically be asked to write down any jobs you have had within the past 1-5 years for competitors.

I have a list of the pharmaceutical jobs and what type of illness the ad was for on my phone. It makes it very easy to fill the forms out accurately.

If you have done pharmaceutical ads in the past, always ask your agent prior to accepting a go-see what the product is for.

This will help you avoid wasting your time by traveling to a go-see only to find out that you won’t be considered due to a previous booking.

Don’t Be Honest

No matter how tired I might be from a long drive and sitting in traffic, when a photographer or casting director asks me how I am doing, my answer is always the same. “I am great.”

Honestly, they really don’t care how you are doing, and certainly don’t want to hear your problems. They have a lot of work to do to find the perfect person for a job.

So, unless you have a close personal relationship with the photographer or casting director, no matter what is going on with you, you are great.

Ask This Question at a Go-See – Only (Never at an Audition)

The very next thing I do at all go-sees is to ask what the photographer is looking for.

When I get a general response, like, you are happy, sad, concerned, etc… I always follow up with “why?” What is causing me to feel those emotions.

Most of the time I am able to receive some specific information that is invaluable. Without knowing why I am showing certain emotions, how could I possibly give them the look they need.

So, I got some specific details about the look that was needed. It was an interesting type of look that actually required several layers of emotions.

I used the same technique that I teach in my book and during my in-person workshops that allows me to tap into real experiences from my life and show it to the camera.

They Don’t Last Long

The go-see lasted around 2 minutes. The look I gave felt good, – just what I wanted.

Then I said goodbye and started my journey home.

Got a Little Lost

Unfortunately, finding my way back to the car took some time. I couldn’t remember some of the side streets I crossed and a few folks gave me wrong directions. So, I had another nice walk before I found my car.

Real Crazy Time

Now for the trip home. It was CRAZY. The traffic was something I never experienced.

What took me about 20 minutes to drive coming in, took about 2.5 hours leaving Brooklyn.

The traffic was not due to a horrible accident, but this was typical rush hour gridlock.

I was sitting at a Red light. There were so many cars backed up in front of me that I sat through 3 or 4 cycles of the light turning from Red to Green without moving.

I have never been so excited when I finally made it to the New Jersey Turnpike.

In case you ever have to go to Brooklyn, I was just told about a longer route, by going through Staten Island that I will definitely take next time. This is especially true if I am driving anytime around rush hour.

This was a pretty crazy day for 2 minutes in front of a camera. Whether I book the job or not, I am still really glad I made the trip and got to share a fun story with you.

I would love to hear any crazy stories you can share with others. Leave your experience below.

 

About the Author:

Aaron Marcus has been a full-time actor and commercial model for over 30 years. His new book, How to Become a Successful Actor and Model is an Amazon Best Seller. Aaron has given his seminar: "Book the Job" over 600 times spanning 3 continents. He also offers online workshops. Aaron saves 5 days each month to give private on-line coaching sessions.

Comments (8)

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  1. Wow Aaron,thanks for sharing! So glad to hear your experience. It makes me feel better! I recently traveled to Nashville for a model casting. Nashville is 3 hours from my hometown, Memphis. At first I was debating whether I should attend because of the work it would require me to put forth.

    That morning of the casting I decided to make the trip. Its a striaght shot down 1-40 and it was fun listening to music on the way.

    A lot of fashion auditions are in nice hotels, so when I arrived at the parking garage I was pleasantly surprised the attendant let us park on the roof for free.

    I made it to the roof, got my stuff together and briefly warmed up my runway walk. Of course I needed to refresh myself in the ladies room after the drive, so I got myself together in the lobby restroom. The casting was on the 9th floor.

    To my surprise, there was not a huge wait and I was able to sign in and get my headshots taken very quickly. I enjoyed networking and chatting with other models as I awaited my turn to be seen by the client. In this case, it was a group of 5 judges associated with the fashion show.

    I was a little apprehensive, because I’m not really good at striking up conversation with a group. I was interrogated a bit before they asked me to formally slate and show them my walk.

    The atsmosphere in the room changed after that. I felt excited about what I did and walked away in peace.

    It was a good experience and I’m glad I made the trip whether I get selected or not. Its good practice, knowing success in this industry often requires you to take risks or chances similar to this with no guarantee of a positive outcome.

    • Aaron Marcus says:

      Kimberly,
      That sounds like a great story.
      Thanks for sharing.

      Glad to hear you had a really good experience,
      and hope you book the job.

      Take care.
      Aaron

      • Markiz J says:

        I have been in this industry for quite some time now, my uncle is a very successful actor, producer, acting coach, and photographer I know a lot of people and I believe this quote “It’s not what you know its who you know” but I was just wondering how can I get an agent for Modeling, a good agent that I can trust because everyone says I need to model and I’m very attractive, and I’ve done a couple of photoshoots before but now I just need an agent.

        • Aaron Marcus says:

          Hey Mark,

          Actually, the quote I like is “It’s not who you know, but who knows you.”
          You should seriously consider getting a copy of my book and having a private mentoring session with me.
          MENTORING
          http://howtoactandmodel.com/mentoringprogram

          BOOK
          howtoactandmodel.com/book-the-job-book

          You can find hundreds of agents on my web site, but what you really
          need to learn is how to best prepare for your meeting, what photos you
          need to have and what types of questions you need to ask to make sure
          you are working with the right agent.
          Looking forward to working with you soon.
          Aaron

  2. Santa-Ricky Baldwin says:

    Hi Aaron, I too have commuted many times for auditions to NY and even L.A. from my Ohio home. For NY I’ve done a bus once, (yech). Driven a half dozen times, flown a half dozen, and once rode a train home, which was so relaxing and provided me beautiful mountain views.

    As a TV/Print Santa Claus, it is exhausting to audition/go-see in NYC. I have to tote two carry-on bags of luggage filled w Santa suit, Boots, belt, and change of clothes. As a 60 yr old, I must carry the dang luggage up and down many hot subway stairwells, through train depos, and up and down L train platforms. Often I make the round trip in 24 hrs (via plane). Exhausting, believe me.

    Once I nearly become the source of a physical fight! I don’t live in NY and don’t know the rules of subway etiquette! I was sweaty, old, huffing and puffing as I trekked the hot subway. There are very few WORKING elevators for subway access. The elevator doors opened for up travel, a man before me boarded, I boarded, he smiled at me, and then a third rider started fussing that I had “ditched” the line. I had NOT been rude and jumped in front of anyone, there was a gap of traffic onto the elevator. The complainer simply had several cases stacked on several dollys and he wanted me to step out so he could load up and have me catch the next ride. I just stood there in the elevator huffing and puffing, and the nice fellow said to the complainer, “Look dude, this old guy is about to die, chill and get the next train”. WOW, how nice to have a champion for me, but I felt guilty as these two fellows argued for what seemed an eternity!

    Whew, tough place to live and work, NYC is!

    take care from Ricky!

  3. I once had a modeling gig where I portrayed the “Brawny Lumberjack” at a grocery store. And also once portrayed the extra role of a cowboy in a “Sporting House”, in a student film years ago.

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