I don’t know about you, but sometimes the “hurry up and wait” of show biz drives me #bananas!

You know those moments when you just want to plan your day, but you’ve been told you “might get a callback for Wednesday” so you don’t plan anything for Wednesday to hold out for that call!? Then, when it doesn’t come, you’re so frustrated that you put your day on hold for the “possibility of a callback!”

Or, maybe you’ve been given 20 pages of sides to prepare for an audition the next day, only to walk in the room and have them simply ask you to sing from your book.

Or, better yet, you’re told to be there promptly at 2 pm and DO NOT BE LATE, only to discover they are running 45 minutes behind.

Yep, I’ve had every single one of the scenarios happen to me. And I’ll bet you have too!

It’s all part of the business, and part of the choice you made when you chose to be an actor.

I know, you’d love to hear better news about that. But, it’s the nature of the beast. However, you don’t have to let it run your life! As long as you know it’s the reality, you can then face it head on.

Here are some tips and tricks to help you navigate it so it doesn’t eat away at your heart.

  1. Accept and embrace it. Before you can break through the ‘hurry up and wait’ with power, you must first accept it. That means, “choosing it fully.” It’s kind of like when you choose to eat a burger or not eat a burger. Once you decide, you’ve decided. Accept it. Embrace it. Move on.
  2. Make a back up plan. On those days when they say “you might get a callback on Wednesday,” instead of holding out on everything in your life, book your life AND a back up plan in case you get the appointment. If you need to get a babysitter on hold or set two possible times for another appointment, do it. But there is no need to completely hold your entire day free “in case” you book a callback. You can cross that bridge when it comes.
  3. Don’t get caught up in the ‘hurry up and wait.‘ Bottom line is, do what you can do. When you get 20 pages of material the night before, even though it feels like they expect you have all of it for the next day, the reality is, just do the best you can at that moment. Let me be clear, I’m NOT suggesting that you don’t prepare! I’m simply saying, do it to the best of your ability with the time allotted. And if you know you can’t bring it together that quickly, it’s perfectly okay to say no to the audition. Saying no when you are certain you cannot be prepared enough to make a great impression is sometimes the better choice.
  4. Create your own work. Put yourself fully in the drivers seat by creating something that you have control of. The sheer notion of ‘hurry up and wait’ is an external obligation. But when you are the leader, you get to set time and place for yourself.
  5. Live your life. Here’s the truth. There will always be more auditions, more opportunities, and more appointments. Don’t let the other needs, wants and desires of your life vanish by waiting at every turn for the possibility of getting an audition or callback. Sure, it might not be the best time to take a vacation during pilot season, but if that’s the best time for a vacation for YOUR life, do it. The industry isn’t going anywhere. Live your life, my friend.

So, there you have it! Accept it. Don’t let it run your life. If you want to read more about personal experience with waiting, click here.

Leslie Becker is an award-winning Broadway actress, writer and creator of The Organized Actor® and is passionate about inspiring, entertaining and educating others. www.OrganizedActor.com.

    2 replies to "How to Navigate the Hurry Up and Wait!"

    • Denise

      So I’m taking that week to book out for my anniversary & my birthday (in the middle of pilot season). Oh well. They used to work around my schedule. I admit I was spoiled. And know it’s possible again.
      Onward!

      • organizedactor

        Live your best life! xo

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