I heard about a stunt audition for a TV show in North Carolina. Stunt auditions do not come along very often, so they are a big deal. And this one was even more perfect, because the stunt coordinator was going to accept regional hires (which would include me). I knew without a doubt that I had to go to this audition.
This audition was for regional and local hires, but the posting also said you had to be a member of SAG-AFTRA (a union in the film industry). So…knowing that I was not “SAG,” I sent an email to the hosts with my head shot and resume, letting them know that I would like to come. Of course, I immediately get an email back that says “Are you SAG?” Crap…I was kind of hoping they wouldn’t notice. I emailed back and pleaded that I was going to be eligible to join the union in November, I had no expectations, and I just wanted them to see what I could do. To my surprise & delight…I got an email saying, “OK. Come on up, buddy!” Hell yeah!
Hurdle Two. Nothing ever seems to get easier in this industry.
My friends were going to drive up to North Carolina the day before the audition and then come back the next night. They invited me along, but due to family and work commitments, my only option was to fly up the morning of the audition and then ride back with them at night. So…I purchased a one-way ticket to Wilmington, NC with one stop in Charlotte. I would have my friends pick me up at the airport at 9 A.M. and make it to the audition with plenty of time to spare before the 10 A.M. start time.
The morning of the audition I got up at 3 A.M. I got ready, packed my stunt bag and headed to the airport. My flight was at 6 A.M. I boarded the first flight and flew to Charlotte with no issues. As my 8 A.M. flight time for Wilmington started to near, we did not board the airplane. When 8 A.M. hit, we were still not on the flight. The airline attendant came over the intercom and announced that we were pushed back 15 minutes. After another 15 minutes, we were pushed back to 8:30 A.M., this time an excuse of mechanical issues was given. Now I was starting to pee my pants a little, this was going to be really close. Finally, at 8:45 A.M. they moved us to another gate to get on a different plane. We waited in line for 15 minutes and then heard this, “I am sorry, but this flight has now been cancelled for weather, please see customer service to be redirected.” I thought, “You have got to be freaking kidding me!”
At this point, I had been texting my friends back and forth. They were telling me to still come. Come no matter what. (Side note: this has been a consistent piece of advice – commit no matter the circumstance.) However, just as I SHOULD HAVE EXPECTED a blizzard had rolled through between Charlotte and Wilmington and all flights to Wilmington for the rest of the day were cancelled. For a hot second I thought about renting a car and driving 4 hours to Wilmington…and then I remembered that I have never driven in snow and I couldn’t pursue a stunt career if I slid off the side of the road and into a ditch!
I learned a good lesson this day. I probably shouldn’t try to catch a flight the day of, to somewhere in the north, during winter. However, the only other option was not going…so at least I tried!
Out of everything, I was most worried that I had pleaded with them to let me come to the audition and then I didn’t make it! Immediately after knowing that there was no way I was making it to Wilmington, I sent an email explaining the situation and apologizing. I felt incredibly bad and thought that I was done with this coordinator forever. However, to my surprise (again), they quickly emailed me back and expressed understanding and let me know I should come up soon! I guess there might be a light at the end of this tunnel after all!