Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Girl Who Gets Put on Hold

Since I first landed home in LA in December of 2006 (after spending the first six months after graduation from Michigan working in regional theatres), I have been after that first, elusive SAG National Contract.

I just have to tell you this story.  I'd been home only a few months, and I went out on a Cingular spot - do you even remember Cingular?  I think that by the end of 2007 they'd merged with AT&T to create the massive wireless company that AT&T is today.

Anyhow, they were running some HILARIOUS dropped call spots that AT&T ended up adopting for a while after the merger.

I remember going to the preliminary audition and feeling that I rocked it.  It was one of those rare occasions that the client was on site for the preliminary audition, and I remember that they pulled the casting director and the client out of the room where they were watching me on tape to watch me live.  Seriously.  The next day my agent called to say that I was "on hold", and to clear my schedule for a WHOLE FREAKING WEEK.

I was still super new to this, so I got REALLY excited, told everyone I knew, planned how I was going to spend the serious money I was going to make from the spot, and then sat and STARED at the phone for basically a week, willing it to ring. Finally it did ring, to let me know I had been released from my hold.  They didn't want to get fined by SAG for Taft-Hartley-ing me because I was non-union, so they hired the girl who was already SAG.  I was DEVASTATED.

Obviously, I was a little new to this whole deal.

A few weeks later the spot started airing, and every time I saw it it was like a little knife in my side, with a nagging voice in my head saying, "That should have been you.  You could be paying off your student loans..."

Here's the final spot they shot:

And the girl they hired is GREAT. I can admit that now.  And she was probably STOKED to have booked it.

What followed that booking was seven years (well, five if you take out the years we were in Wyoming) of me continually getting put on Hold or First Refusal.  I'm the girl that they always really like, but never book. The girl who gets put on Hold, and then released.

Until two weeks ago.

I got called back for, and then put on hold for a REALLY big spot.  I tried not to think about it, and only shared it with a handful of people because all those holds for all those years have made me superstitious.  I tried not to think about it for FIVE days.  FIVE DAYS, FOLKS.  Five days of waiting to find out if I would finally book my first principal role in a SAG National Spot.

Two weeks ago today - on a Tuesday morning - I popped onto my Facebook to see what was happening, and saw that a wonderful actress I know (who was also called back for the job) had BOOKED IT.  AN HOUR BEFORE.

So, I told my husband, my mom, my sister, and some friends that I hadn't booked it and would get a call in a bit to say I'd been released from my hold - again.

Then I gave myself ten minutes to feel bad about it, to cry it out for coming so close AGAIN.  I did a lot of praying during those moments, praying for wisdom and guidance and that God would continue to reveal His special plan for my life to me.  Reminding myself that HIS plan is bigger than MINE. After those ten minutes, I told myself to put on my big girl pants and smile and get on with my day because I have students that count on me and a family who loves me and a day job that I truly love.  Not booking a commercial doesn't change my value.

IMMEDIATELY, my phone rang.  It was my agent.  I picked it up, knowing that he was calling to release me from my hold, ready to accept that this wasn't the right timing.

And he told me I had BOOKED IT.  I screamed.  Then I cried.  Blubbered.  I'm sure I sounded like a total maniac on the phone.

Then I got to call my husband, and my mom, and my sister and share the news. They all thought I was calling to commiserate, and were ready to cheer me up when they picked up. Best day of my life.  (Well, not really, but ONE of the best days of my life).

My mom reminded me that God was working on me that morning, that what He really wanted was an obedient and open heart.

How cool is that?

I cannot wait to share the spot with you - it's a very special one. And I get to knock one of my major goals off the list.

Now onto the next goal. And maybe another SAG National spot after that. ;)