Alan’s brilliant blog on coming in second made me think of another thing that actors and lawyers have in common – “auditioning”.
Nowhere is the actor’s audition process explored more thoroughly in film than in the 2008 documentary EVERY LITTLE STEP. It is on movie channels these days and out on DVD.
This award winning film follows the auditions for the revival of the brilliant Broadway Musical A CHORUS LINE. Of course, A CHORUS LINE is a musical whose plot line revolves around the audition process to get into the chorus of a Broadway Musical. This almost “play within a play” aspect to the film makes it a great study of the auditioning process reflected on many levels – almost like a “Dance In The Mirror” of the joy and angst of this process.
When lawyers compare what they do in court to performing before an audience I always say that what they are doing in the process of the actor’s work life is auditioning. Will they accept you? Will they reject you? Will you get the role (leader of the winning team) or will you not get the role (and thus become the leader of the losing team)?
How does an actor go out day after day – “putting himself/herself on the line”? What effect does it have both on the quality of the audition itself and on the emotional life of that actor? Who can do both really, really well? Who ends up either slighting the audition or their emotional life or both?
Sound familiar if you are a lawyer? Oh, yes. That’s why I find it the same. I challenge you to find yourself in this movie. I know you will. Secretly, I know we all think if we are a legacy in the law we are as relaxed as Charlotte D’Amboise (the daughter of the great choreographer Jaques). Or as brilliant as Jason Tam who “nails” the role of Paul right away. But most of us will find ourselves in some other actor’s reality.
We can accept it, work to make our “auditions” and the emotional response to the rejection more measured…but know that this always was and always will be a part of the process we all share.