We often like to bemoan how the odds are stacked against artists. How we face overwhelming competition for every job.
This is true.
But maybe it isn’t as bad as we think.
Because many people who SAY they’re in the game actually fail to SHOW UP. Or COMMIT FULLY to the game. Which actually levels the odds by quite a lot.
Let me give you an example.
I sit on audition panels for the college I teach at – The London College of Music. Our BA Musical Theatre course has about 1000 applicants for 40 positions. Sounds like overwhelming odds, right?
But let’s unpick this for a moment.
This past Wednesday was an audition day and 33 students were registered AND had paid £40 for the audition.
How many do you think turned up?
So that’s 20 of the so-called ‘competition’ gone right off the top.
We did a dance audition and then some ear training and then split them up into two groups to sing their songs.
By this point is was 12:30 so we took a 30 minute break and planned to do monologues and more work with them in the afternoon.
3 more decided, on their own accord, to ditch the audition at the break.
So now we were down to 10.
Of those 10, at least half either hadn’t read the guidelines properly – so they didn’t prepare the right materials or didn’t fully meet the requirements – or they just hadn’t prepared well enough so they didn’t come across very well. Also, what was surprising was how few of them actually seemed to know anything about musical theatre, or the songs they had chosen or the field that they were wanting to spend three years and £30,000+ to study.
So of those 10, we offered places to 4. Because they were the ones who were well-prepared, had a decent amount of talent and were enthusiastic and knowledgeable about their field.
So the statistics tell us different stories. I could say 4/33 of that days’ applicants got offered positions. To which you would think ‘cor blimey! those aren’t very good odds.’
But actually once we eliminate all the people who didn’t turn up or didn’t complete the day we are left with 4/10, which are not bad odds.
However, once you eliminate the other people who were unprepared, unenthusiastic or just plain not that committed to what they were doing, we had almost a 100% success rate.
What does this mean for you?
If you’re in the game, get serious about the game.
Start acting like a professional.
Show up. Stick with it. Be prepared 100%. Follow guidelines to the letter. Be enthusiastic. Be knowledgeable. Be passionate about what you do.
If you do these things, consistently and regularly, the so called ‘odds against you’ will crumble.
So many people who call themselves actors, artists, painters, writers, creatives etc are just dabbling. They’ve got the dream, but aren’t serious about doing the work. And so while they are ‘competition’ in numbers, they aren’t really competition at all because they are just clogging the drains.
There are so few who are 100% professional, consistent and reliable that there really isn’t much competition at all.
Are you one of the serious ones? Sign up for our free monthly newsletter to up your game even more.