Here’s a scene from my past life as an actor…
I go to hear a casting director speak. I’ve actually met her before and she cast me in a project, but the audition was so in-and-out that I wouldn’t have recognized her if I saw her on the street. Or probably even in a casting office. She works in tv.
Someone asks, “What wows you in an audition?”
“I don’t need wow, I just need it to work.”
“I don’t need to see range. I need to see 4 lines as a coked-out drug dealer. I don’t care if you can do Shakespeare, too.”
I look around the room. Most people get it. A few look like she just stepped on the neck of their teacup lhasa apso. They smile to recover quickly.
They desperately want her to know what they can do. That they’re capable. No, better that than. That they’re magnificent. And can do so much more.
What she needs to know is that they can do this one thing, and do it flawlessly.
She needs a high functioning and reliable cog to fit into an established machine.
And now I’ve gone and kicked the lhasa apso. I’ve said “cog.” But I like this word, and I actually take great comfort in it. Because what it implies is that if I am the selected cog, it’s pretty easy for me to know what my job is, know what need I am filling, and then go serve the project in that way.