In New York City, there are a lot of opportunities for performers. If you are desperate to perform, and you audition enough, it's pretty much guaranteed you'll be cast in SOMETHING. Whether that production is going to actually advance your career is another thing. The quality of any given show or group is not always evident when reading a posting, and sometimes, you'll show up for something that is a little sketchy. The first step to judging whether an opportunity is up to your standards is to set some.
I don't have an abundance of credits to my name at this point in my career, as I decided to devote most of my energy to bringing in steady paychecks instead of auditioning. However, the credits I did acquire have all served as valuable teaching experiences.
At this point in my life, I'm interested in becoming a working actor, and making my living as a performer. I'm less interested in unpaid work (although I understand the necessity of taking some, especially when trying to build my resume), and I've decided that there is a certain level of quality to a production or a company that I'm aspiring to. To entertain the possibility of taking a job that doesn't live up to my own comfort level gives me the heebie jeebies. Makes me feel kinda dirty. I'm trying to get my name in lights eventually, not my headshot stapled to a cork board outside a rundown black box studio.
I have to believe that if I hold myself steadfastly to the standards that I have come to expect, that the universe will eventually deliver. And if I don't accept a job that makes me feel like I'm slumming it, then there is almost no chance that I'll be ashamed of any job I take.
Basically, I have to see myself as "Marriage Material," instead of a "Hooker."
Made that decision this weekend, while sitting in a seedy lounge, waiting for someone to acknowledge me, no monitor in sight, and getting the feeling like this was definitely NOT where I wanted to be hanging out for the next 6 months.
I also came to the conclusion that I need to completely revamp not only my headshots and audition material, but my resume as well. That thing is moldy.