• Ashley Craib

Cold Reads & Network Approval

Updated: Mar 21, 2020

I got two auditions last week, both from friends telling me about them. One was for a short film, another was for a series of one act plays. The one act play one was a cold read. Some people hate cold reads, I welcome them with great pleasure. I don't have to stress over anything beforehand. You just show up, read through it, and make quick decisions about the scene. Bliss.

I get there and find that the cold read is a comedy, even better. I don't have time to do character work and script analysis, but I understand the beats of comedy. Let's give this a go! The worst that can happen is that I'll fail. I'm used to failure at this point though, so why not have fun while falling on my face? Oh thank god I didn't fall on my face. That would have been humiliating. I guess that's the worst that can happen at an audition.

I was lucky enough to audition with the friend that told me about the audition in the first place. This made the whole process very pain free and even more fun. My friend is much taller than me, as is everyone, so it made our chemistry even funnier, at least to me. One of the casting directors in the room is also the CD of a show that I'm targeting. I hope I made a good impression, but you never really know, do you? The only way to know is if I get called in for an audition in the future. You're always in the dark about these things. So, we shall see. But nonetheless, I didn't die at an in-person audition. Success in my book!

Lately I've been hearing a lot about "network approval." You just need to get network approval and then you're golden. Once you get network approval they know they can trust you on set. Okay, well I obviously need this "network approval" I keep hearing about. So my goals have changed . I don't want just any credit, or just any co-star role anymore. I want to book a network TV show. I'll obviously take what I can get, I'm not gonna turn down a role. Who do I think I am? People can't even pronounce my last name properly. It's "cray-b" by the way. Not Crab. Why would the "i" be silent? Anywho.

Previously I had a list of what were called "smart goals" Achievable by a certain date and other lovely things. They started looking more like a to-do list. Which is fine. They're called smart goals for a reason. I don't think these are wrong in any way and I think these are great to have. You want things you know you can achieve on your own. I did however, throw away my goals for the year. I didn't allow myself to write "book" or "audition" on my previous list because those weren't "smart goals". They were ultimately out of my hands, so they shouldn't be goals right? Nah. Scratch that. I found myself constantly knocking out this to-do list and trying to come up with more things to do. There was always this big goal in the back of my mind constantly nagging at me that I was supposed to ignore. I felt like I was trying to quiet my inner desires because I was told to. I've been told so much over the past year to not have bookings or auditions as goals because these are out of our control. Okay, I understand that, but that is my ultimate goal. I'm not just doing this for fun. I want to be paid to act, it's not a hobby. If someone can put "get a promotion" as their goal when that's in someone else's hands, then damn it I can put "book a network show" as one of my goals. I don't want to wait tables, and I don't want to just audition and never book. You're constantly told to be grateful for what you have and where you currently are, and I am grateful believe me. But I think it's okay and even necessary to strive for more, especially in this industry. I have an agent, I audition for things I never thought I'd get to audition for. But I want to book. That is the goal. I want to book. So yes, booking a role on network television by the end of the year is now my biggest and most important goal. I don't know why we get told so often as artists that if we're doing it for the money then we're missing the point. No, I think you're missing the point naysayer. It's okay to want to get paid for your passion. It's okay to admit that you want this to be your career. You aren't training to become a good actor just for fun. Aim high, or else you might find yourself settling for less. They say success in acting is mostly luck. Well they also say; luck is what happens when preparation and opportunity meet. Put a "booking" as your goal. Manifest the hell out of that goal. I believe in us.

Thanks for reading! Check out Tiny Cow Comedy's latest sketch here!

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