I spent my afternoon yesterday at the New York Theatre Workshop’s “Mondays at 3.” This is something they do every Monday during the fall and winter and it’s open to the public. Really cool. You should go.
Yesterday they read Fernanda Coppel’s Sinaloa Cowboy. The play was really good. Amazing poetic language that didn’t try too hard and still came off conversational, great thematic topics, clear messages, unique and meaningful relationships among the characters. It’s a well-crafted dark comedy that I’m genuinely excited about and can’t wait to see it continue to grow and develop.
Ok. Good. That’s great news. I had a highly enriching day.
But my name is Katelyn Collins so awkwardness slithers its way into many of my days (if not, life just wouldn’t be complete!)
So what made yesterday totally awkward for me … or rather why did I make yesterday totally awkward?
Let’s talk about mailings.
Mailings or “Sending Ships” as I like to call them is the monthly marketing method I use to stay on my target list’s radar. It’s something a good amount of actors do and the “ships” we send are usually in the form of postcards, headshot/resume combos, one sheets, castability sheets. Here’s an example of my castability sheet I just crafted:
Other than the typos, I’m pretty proud of it (yeah, don’t look too carefully. I mean, hey I didn’t. Womp womp.)
So pretty much, I send this along to casting directors with a note that says hello, what I’ve been up to, and that I “hope all is well” or tell them to “have a great month.”
I’ve started a one-way conversation with these folks that I’m trying to build a relationship with. A one-way conversation. And it usually stays that way, at least in reference to mail. It’s not like we’re pen pals or anything. They’re not going to write back or anything like that. It’s like I’m the Chinese-food delivery guy sliding unsolicited menus under the casting director’s door. He steps on them when he gets home that night, picks them up and throws them in his junk drawer. He sees my smiling face plastered above the won-ton chicken. He might cast me one day. He might order the crab rangoon. He sees me. But I don’t see him ..
Until one day. I go to slide my menu under his door and he … OPENS IT.
Or in this case, I go to “Mondays at 3” at the New York Theater Workshop and he’s …. THERE AS WELL.
Oh my god. Actual human interaction?
Doesn’t seem so difficult. However, I still manage to struggle with it.
I mean, who can blame me? Honestly, don’t you admit it’s a little weird to send stuff to people on a regular basis, having no idea if they’re even really receiving it, and then having to see them in person, realizing that they either:
1. Completely recognize you
2. Don’t have a clue as to who you are
Do I acknowledge these mailings? Do I introduce myself and say, “hello my name is Katelyn Collins; I bombard your inbox on a regular basis.” Do I introduce myself and not mention these mailings whatsoever? That would be weird.
Oh wait. No. You know what would be weird?
Making eye contact with said casting director (in this case Jack Doulin) from across the room, pausing a moment, and awkward half-smiling.
Welp, that’s what I did.
Hey! Don’t judge! It’s confusing knowing what to do ALL the time. I’m lucky enough to feel prompted to even grace my face with one of these awkward half smiles in the presence of Jack Doulin. He semi knows of my existence. I’ve had two auditions with him, one seminar, one phone call, and a few run ins at the Einhorn School of Performing Arts. Yet, today I felt the need to merely extend a smile (well, halfway. Then my face stopped).
I dont’ care! I get shy sometimes if I feel like it matters. And I don’t hate myself for it. Someday ol’ Jack and I will be besties. In the meantime, I promise you that next time I see Jack Doulin, I’ll go talk to him. HAPPY? 😛
Keepin’ it real (awkward); not red,