Why it’s Worth Doing What Scares You and Failing Big

Do you consider yourself a comedic or dramatic actress or both? 

When I first moved to LA, I was all about drama roles – give me an emotional storyline with a heart sickened character to devour, pour my heart into and my soul was on fire. 

Well, trying to make my way as a working actress in LA, I got presented with a couple of surprises. 

The first delightful surprise was, oooh I’m meeting with a manager, how cool – in a coffee shop, “wow – she thinks I have the “it” factor”!  Needless to say, I signed and within a couple of weeks, I started to audition here and there – I just knew I was on my way.  Co-star here, guest-star there, and boom a series regular.

However, to my surprise – sprinting forward, my manager started sending me audition notices for sitcom pilots and for the LEAD no less!  What?!  It was the first time ever getting an audition for a Series Regular.  At first I was like get out – a pilot, a series regular?!?!  I was shocked, a little nervous, yet over the moon!

Then – wait, it’s for a sitcom?  Oh no! – I don’t know how to do comedy?!  

Now I don’t know about you, but I was for sure NOT going to tell my new manager I wasn’t trained in comedy and that I thought it was best that I didn’t take the audition, oh no.  Instead, I decided to dig into that audition and give it my best shot!

I couldn’t believe my chance to finally get into the room of a casting director that was on my wish list – I was going in for a comedic role for a Series Regular, eeek!

Let’s just say when you fail, GO BIG and I DID. : – )

I’ve never felt so unprepared for an audition, technically speaking anyway, and embarrassed that with each line I was going down harder and faster by the minute.

I mean, I crashed and burned in slow mo fashion to the point my body began to perspire.  Luckily, I did get a chuckle out of her assistant on ONE of my lines so I survived and left with some dignity, whew!

Little did I know, comedy roles were in high demand as an actress in LA.  

I never never saw this coming, but comedy began to be the majority of what I was being sent out for?  Soon afterwards, in an awesome, yet terrifying struck of luck, I was called in for three more pilots back to back for the series regular and they were all comedy?!!  

This got my butt in gear to quickly ask around for reputable comedy classes.   I was determined to not sink on the next audition.  I’m not gonna lie, it was challenging at first to learn something so technical feeling, but like they say practice makes perfect.

As an actor, if we want to work, we gotta step up to the auditions that are coming our way – those that are within in reason of course. 😉

What happened next?

I moved on to new representation and hit the ground running with co-star auditions, mostly comedic of course. After several auditions – months, my mouth dropped open and I screamed in my agents ear when I booked my first co-star role!!

Funny how sometimes what and who we resist is THE exact thing or person that’s meant to be apart of our story. For me it clearly was to face my fear, get uncomfortable, and take comedy classes.

So happy I did.  I had entered the FUN world of being a comedic actress too…  

Talia and Max Greenfield on New Girl
Max Greenfield and I on New Girl.

No time for a big head though…

I had to get to work and become really comfortable with comedy.  Simply put, my “omg, I have a tv credit now,” showed casting directors that I was capable of booking a comedic role.  

SO…I knew if I wanted to be a working actress in LA, I had to let go of my story of “I can’t do comedy” and wondering why I wasn’t going out for more dramatic roles. 

What happened next…

I booked a co-star role on a dark comedy on HBO called, The Brink.  

Talia and Tim Robbins on The Brink
Tim Robbins and I on The Brink

What I realized…

I didn’t know what I was missing out on not learning comedy sooner.

It is SO much fun!

Have I gone back in for my “wish list” casting director since then?  Honestly no – something else not to fear, as there are many other casting directors and my journey isn’t over yet. 😉

The win?  I had found my flow with comedic acting. 

If I never “failed” at that audition as hard as I did, I would have never stretched my wings and learned what I was capable of.  It was all so worth it, even dealing with the frustration at times to learn how to do comedy and stay in the game.

The gift I received beyond getting booked…

Yes, an emotional drama scene puts my soul on fire, but when I’m doing comedy, my heart gets to sing. 

Here’s to you doing what scares you and failing big so you can stretch your wings and fly. 

Are you struggling to get in a flow with your acting career?  Learn more about my One-on-One Flow Sessions so you too can find your flow in your career and book.

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