Strong Avails and the Actor

If they put you on “avail” for a commercial, that means you are reserved by the production for that day. It does not mean you have booked the job. It does mean that you are a contender. You may be the second or third choice, but you are a contender. If you are put on “strong avail” that means you are their first choice. It usually means you will book the job.

But it is no guarantee.

I was put on “strong avail” for a commercial this week. It would have been a fun job, it’s a funny commercial. And I fully believed I would be shooting it. But then they called and said they were releasing me. (What about that, magical thinkers?) I mean, it wasn’t a big job so no huge loss. But I was confident and then it all turned around on me.

Should I be bitter about it? No, of course not. Is there anything for me to learn from the experience? No, of course not. It’s just how it works, and it’s a drag. Being a funny character guy is a real hit or miss type of career path. Yeah, I’d like the studios to suddenly decide I can make them a lot of money and put me in a bunch of movies and television shows as a lead. But I don’t look awesome when I run like Tom Cruise. My feet are big and awkward and I look like a goofball when I’m running. So I have to be all about a journeyman’s acting career.

So little regional commercial gigs can mean a lot to me. Tom Cruise doesn’t have to worry about such things, which is why he can focus all his energy on using his church to find him a fresh new wife. But I have a wife, who is quite wonderful, and I want to get her something really nice. I don’t know. A new dress or something. So I have to worry about getting these little gigs.

And when I get a “strong avail” and the rug gets pulled out from under me, I get kind of sad.

But then I put on the news and see all the horror going on around the globe and realize my problems are no big deal. Still, I’d rather be working today than writing this stupid blog entry.


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