Day 19: What They Want

I applied for a job in New Jersey today.  It’s not too far away from New York City, so the location might be the perfect combination of affordability and proximity to one of my favorite places in the world.

I also began reading, you guessed it, Amy Cuddy’s Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to your Biggest Challenges.  In the book, Cuddy writes about her interview with actress Julianne Moore. Like any other actress, Moore has to show up and be totally present when she auditions for a part.  Here’s a short excerpt in which Moore talks to Cuddy about auditioning:

“Julianne thought for a moment, then said, ‘That reminds me of when I auditioned for Safe for Todd Haynes.  I read the script, and I could hear it so clearly, and I really, really wanted it.’  But she didn’t know how the director, Todd Haynes, saw the character – she could not prepare a character to his preferences. ‘I can remember walking down Broadway, going to the audition.  I wore white jeans and a white T-shirt, it was very – I just wanted to look kind of like this blank thing.  And I thought, “If he doesn’t like what I’m going to do, then I’m not right – then it’s not the voice that he wrote.  Because this is what I hear.  And if he [Haynes] hears the same thing, then he’ll hire me.  But if he wants something else, I know I can’t do that.”‘  She explained this with a great sense of acceptance – no frustration.  (As it turned out, and as you’ll know if you’ve seen Safe, she and Haynes heard the same voice.)”

When I’m trying to get a job, I always wonder, “What do they want?  How do I impress them?  What kind of person are they looking for?”

What’s interesting about Moore is that she flipped that around a bit.  Instead of wasting energy wondering what the director was looking for, she gave him what she believed was right for the part.  She spoke in the voice that she thought was right because she had a strong personal vision for the role.  It’s an interesting attitude because she obviously really wanted to get hired, and yet she didn’t get hung up on impressing the director.

I think this will be a good challenge for me when I do finally get another interview scheduled.  I may not be auditioning for a role in a movie, but I still need to develop a strong vision for what I can bring to the position I’ve applied for.




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