For a long time I've been wondering what it would be like to be a series regular. My daily meditation includes visions of myself rising before dawn, exercising, doing my morning routine, getting into a black vehichle and going to the studio or to a location. Once there, getting coffee, sitting in a make-up chair, getting into wardrobe and then walking onto set. I imagined the kleig lights (if they're still called that) overhead, cameras pointed at the set, hitting my marks, and having a great time. This morning meditation has been a constant in my life for months. Imagine my delight when I got to experience this, or manifest this, in real and tangible life.
Over a month ago I auditioned for a lead role on "A Crime to Remember". I visited the office of a busy casting director in New York, did a three-page scene on camera and left. A couple of weeks went by and one day while straightening up my files I came across those three pages. Since two weeks had gone by and I hadn't gotten a phone call from the casting director, I tore up the pages and threw them away. An hour later I got an email from the casting director asking me to return the following day for a call-back with the director.
When I walked into the call back I shook hands with the director and associate producer. They wanted me to do the same scene, and then improvise with a reader. After the first take, the director gave me some direction and I did the scene again. Then some improv. While I was going through this, the back of my mind noticed something interesting. Whenever I looked at the director, he was staring intensely at me. I couldn't tell if he wanted to beat me up or have sex. It was a strange and intense stare. I realized later that when a director looks at you with such intensity, he/she is imagining you in the role, and is close to casting you. Thankfully it doesn't mean that I'm going to be beat up or hit on.
I left the call back feeling great. But then, I always leave auditions feeling great and more times than not, don't get the job. The next day the director called me to say that he was getting close to making a decision and wanted to know if I could tape the scene at home and email it to him. He had forgotten to give me a direction in the call back and he wanted to see if I could take the adjustment now and tape the scene in my living room. The adjustment concerned my level of masculinity, which the Executive Producers felt was low. So the director delicately asked if I could do the scene in a more masculine way. I assured him that I knew exactly what the EPs wanted and I could deliver.
After I hung up the phone I realized that I needed a reader to do the scene with.
My usual reader was away on vacation so I knocked on my roommates bedroom door. "Yoshi ! Are you awake? I need your help!" My Japanese roommate, who is not an actor, gamely agreed to read the other character's lines off-camera. I tried upping my masculinity until I strayed close to Burl Ives' Big Daddy in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof". I felt slightly ridiculous because it was so unlike me. Nevertheless I emailed the tape to the director later in the day.
The next day I got an email from the casting director's office with the subject line "Offer". I was about to step into a fantasy.
I got to live in the world of a TV series regular. Multiple 16-hour days in a row. Marrying all the technical on-camera skill I have acquired over the past 2 years with acting technique that I've honed since childhood. Approaching each encounter with crew and cast with courtesy and respect, knowing very well that being easy to work with is as important as talent. Talent, after all, is totally subjective. One man's idea of real talent is another man's pretender. But everyone can agree who is easy to work and get along with. So I tried my best to be a courteous professional, know my lines, hit my marks, be on-time, use the camera and display a bit of acting craft.
As exhausting as it was, I thanked the universe or universal spirit and my higher self for guiding me to this point in my career. So much of what I experienced in the past week was an exact match to the visions in my mediation. I've been manifesting my reality since birth, but now I KNOW I'm doing it, so it no longer happens by default. This is too remarkable to be sheer coincidence. This happened. Manifestation.