Thursday, March 15, 2007

CBS Radford

Third interview (second callback) at CBS went pretty much without a hitch, but I have to say I don't feel nearly as comfortable as the first callback. I have to think about the reasons why, and the initial thoughts are disturbing to me.

Observation 1: First audition had 2 or 3 other Asian guys on the roster. When there's a bunch, my odds go down. When there's just a couple others, I'm pretty confident, not just of the odds, but that I will probably "win" the job.

Observation 2: Second audition had no Asian guys on the roster. In fact, I've never seen another Asian guy in the waiting room, period.

Observation 3: The guy who signed in before me was auditioning for the same role as me. He was white. That worries me... a lot!

This is a common reaction for me, at all my auditions. When I'm going against Asians, I don't feel competition. It's when I'm competing against white guys, I get antsy and contemplative and start to change the way I deliver my lines, etc.

Is this some sort of self-hate or unconscious stereotyping on my part? Well, yes, according to Malcom Gladwell, author of Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, which is a sociologist-economist view of the world.

In one chapter in the book, several hundred people were tested for their perceptions of black people via a speed test conducted on a computer. Associations were drawn between, for example, good and black, or evil and white; and then changed on other associations, such as honest and white, or deceitful and black. Nearly all the participants showed a statistically significant lag time in speed when black was paired with a positive attribute. The interesting thing is, all these participants were... black.

So, obviously, I have a prejudice that Asians are less qualified as actors than white people. And I think I'm not alone. White folks, perhaps, also have that perception. Some people manage to compensate for their lack of acting talent with their presence and/or confidence. The problem is that what I have in presence, I definitely subtract in confidence. That's something I need to really study about myself and, also, work on.

Either that or go see a hypnotist. I know a particularly good one in Glendale, as a matter of fact.

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