Creative Mondays #038 – When thrown, just do your best.
Today’s Creative Monday’s post will not be for every artist but it was something I was thinking about today, so I figured I’d write about it. This is more advice for those creative types that go on a lot of auditions or perform live, but it could have an application for painters, sculptors and other artists as well.
Last week, I got an email asking me to come in and audition for a project. I, of course, said yes and the person emailed me info about the audition. It was for a puppet job and over the weekend I familiarized myself with the person that this puppet was based on and felt pretty confident in what I’d do for the audition. Audition day rolls around, and I get there early and I’m totally relaxed and ready to go. The woman who’s running the audition meets me in the lobby and we greet each other and as we are walking to the the elevator she says, “Do you know exactly what we are doing here today?”
I said, “Yes.”
“Great!” she replies, “We’ll get you all set up in the recording booth to see the clips and then you can just do some ADR.
WHAT?! I didn’t say that out loud That’s what my brain said. What I really said was, “Okay.”
I must have said it a little weird because she said, “Did you not know you were doing that?”
I said, “No. I thought this was a puppet audition.”
“It is.” She said, but right now we are just auditioning to do some ADR over some pre-existing clips.”
I smiled, “Okay! Let’s do it!”
Now, here’s the issue. I’ve never done ADR before. It stands for Automated Dialogue Replacement. Another name for it is looping. It’s where you watch a clip from a movie or TV show and then you replace some of the dialogue. This can be an actor replacing dialogue they recorded in the scene that was too noisy to hear, or it can be replacing an actors voice with a new voice, which is what was going on here. Again, I’d never done it before but I thought to myself, “I’m here, let’s do it!” Once we were set up however, I instantly realized that none of the character prep I’d done beforehand was going to work.
This entire audition was turning out to be a complete 180 degree turn from what I thought it was going to be. At the moment I realized this I had two real choices. I could throw a big fit about it and whine and complain saying how I was mislead about what this audition was or I could just give it a shot a do my best. I chose the second option.
You know what? It turned out pretty good. Was I perfect? No, mainly because I’d never done ADR before, but I did good enough to not feel embarrassed. In situations like this I think that really is the only real, professional, choice you have.
When you get thrown, just do your best.
In my years doing comedy music there were countless times on stage where I got thrown. The first time a string broke on stage I was a mess. There have been sound issues, unruly audience members and, heck, crowds that just weren’t into me. In each and every one of those situations, there’s only one real choice. Do your best.
What do you do when something throws you while pursuing your art? Do you have other strategies? I’d love to hear them in the comments below. Have a great, and creative, week!