Sincerely, it's ALL about being talented but not in the way you might think...
Talent is defined by google as both a group of useful aptitudes and an ancient Greek system of measurement for mass. Only one can be quantified; the latter. The other only qualified. Some will tell you, "talent is something you're born with". Some will argue, "talent is acquired!". Colleges and institutions will say, "talent doesn't exist. Only you do!" They are all right. They are all wrong. Major problem is that they have misidentified / improperly defined the one necessity it takes to book a job in the entertainment industry as "talented".
But as the business requires us to use this umbrella term- so be it. If you will please indulge me, I'll share with you my interpretation of this broad misnomer of "talent".
It takes a approximately four auditions to book anything. I highly recommend you all watch America's Got Talent. Because there is a key to success on this show. It's a very calculated step ladder to winning on this show over your series of auditions.
1. Make a strong first impression
2. Show them versatility/variety
3. Embellish on you first impression but show them your backstory
4. Pull out the showstopper
You can't skip any step. You can't change the order. If you pull out your showstopper first, you'll blow your wad too soon and nothing will amount after. If you show versatility first, they won't be able to figure you out to make a solid enough impression to put you in the consideration pile. If you embellish but forget to show them who you are as a person, they're not going to invite you to their lunch table in the green room.
The key is in the build up. This is vulgar but you can think of auditioning in terms of trying to have sex with someone. Fine. In terms of wanting to court someone? Here-
1. Be striking when you walk into the bar. Whether it be your charm and/or your beauty. But don't go home with him.
2. Meet him somewhere else. Take him rock climbing. Show him something he hasn't already seen. Still don't sleep with him.
3. Meet him for another drink, this time maybe with his friends. This time embellish the evening with a little more affection, kisses. Put him in a situation where he will remember why he liked you in the first place. But don't forget to give him more clues into who you are as a person. I dare you to even get to know him better.
4. Here's where you show him the goods. Vulgar or not- your choice.
If I were the guy, you would get a solid 6-month relationship out of me minimum. If you can translate this into terms of auditioning, for the right casting situation (bar=audition, him=director, his friends=the rest of the creative team, drink=song) maybe a 6-month contract.
"Stop preaching at me, Kelvin. I already know this. I already do this."
Right.... I apologize for the tangent. Only I believe the BUILD UP is incredibly important to this re-definition of talent. Here we go-
You may be the best singer in the room. You may be the best dancer, the best actor, the best anything. Congratulations. You have the SKILL of singing. The skill of dancing, skill of acting, skill of anything. You can even have the conglomeration of skills necessary to do musical theater.
These things we have misidentified as talent is actually skill.
"What the hell is it, Kelvin?! What is talent?!?!?! TELL ME NOW ASSHOLE!!!!"
I'm only demonstrating the power of build up. The one true talent you can possess is the talent to be memorable. Talent equals memorability. And your success through utilizing talent is truly limitless. You are born with some natural talents, you acquire others, talent as you've known it does not exist, only you. They were all wrong and all right.
I had this battle walking into a room knowing that I sang my audition song perfectly and not booking a job. More perfectly than I could imagine. Only problem was, the creative team wasn't looking for perfection (also, there were 100 other guys who just sang "perfectly"). And if perfection was desired, it was actually a desire for memorability.
Every writer/director wants someone who will cause a stir. Someone the critics can't ignore. Someone who the audiences won't stop buzzing about how perfect or imperfect they were in the show.
NATURAL TALENTS (MEMORABILITY) *congrats for doing nothing!*
ACQUIRED TALENTS (MEMORABILITY) *limitless*
-Ability to ride a unicycle
-Sex appeal (appears twice I see...)
***Assignment: What is your unique memorability factor? How can you make it appropriate to incorporate into your next audition? How will it grow and embellish?***
I share this with you because what has been prescribed to the aspiring musical theater artists is that the highest note is best. The girl who can spin the most is best. Sure- these things can be memorable. But if you're like me- a guy who actively tries not to sing above an F and hasn't taken a dance class beyond the emergency "oh fuck, they want me to tap tomorrow?" class at BDC- you have to decide what your TALENT/MEMORABILITY factor is.
You are enough. This is completely true. But are YOU being overshadowed by your presentation of skills alone?
Next Chapter: Memorability's Sex Life with Artistry and it's Affair with Gimmick.