The Importance of Doing It Your Way
There’s another, more important, reason for doing it your way: it will be stronger, more honest, and more memorable. If you want to have a real chance at winning the part, 9 times out of 10, it will happen by putting you forward.
Years ago I was testing for a series. My first audition was terrific, if I may say so myself. Bold, unexpected, daring, unique. As the process went on, and a series of callbacks ensued, I get getting notes from various producers, writers, casting agents, about how to change the read to make it “what they’re looking for.” (The “they” in this case, was the network brass.)
When it came to the final screen test, moments before I entered the room, one of the producers quite literally changed me. He told me to take of the jacket I was wearing and wear his. It was better, he insisted. While I appreciated his wanting to help me, it turned the whole affair into an unmitigated disaster.
By the time I entered the room I had no idea what I was doing, let along wearing, and my original interpretation that had gotten everybody so excited, had totally vanished. I was doing it their way. Needless to say, that role got away very, very quickly.
I can’t say that I would have been cast had I stuck to my guns. That would be a foolish claim. But at very, very least, I could have walked out singing,
For what is a man? What has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught.
To say the things he truly feels, and not the words of one who kneels,
The record shows, I took the blows, and did it myyyyy waaaaaay.
And yes, that matters.