Show Up Even When It's Ridiculous
Several weeks ago , I caught Terry Gross on Fresh Air with Craig Ferguson who was talking about his new novel, Between the Bridge and the River. In the final minutes of the interview, I was fascinated with Ferguson’s answer to this question about how he got the role on the Drew Carey Show where Ferguson played Carey’s boss. Here’s what Ferguson said”
“It was very odd actually. I was broke and I was down to my last 27 cents. I had 27 cents in the bank and I don’t know if you've ever tried to get 27 cents out of the bank or not. You can't do it. It costs a buck to get 27 cents. So I was completely broke. I had this manager at the time who got me this audition to play the part of the Hispanic photographer on the Brooke Shield's sitcom Suddenly Susan. I looked at the script and I said, “This is ridiculous. This part is for a Latino man.”
And he said, “Oh, your are foreign. Just go to the audition.”
I had nothing else to do so I went. I get to the corridor outside the audition. There are a bunch of guys who look like Antonio Banderas sitting there. They look at me and I say, “Como Estas, everybody.”
I go in and the producers laugh when I start talking. They think I am totally inappropriate for the job. One of the casting directors there was a guy called Tony Sepulveda from Warner Brothers Casting. After the audition he said, “You are not really what we are looking for this Hispanic photographer but we are doing a show with a guy from Cleveland. Uh, can you do an English accent?”
And I said, “Si, Senor, I can.” (If you’ve never heard Ferguson, he is from Scotland) So it was from auditioning for a job that I was hopelessly wrong for. I landed the part on the Drew Carey Show. It’s a real lesson about showing up—even when you think it’s ridiculous.”
Maybe you are in that uncertain place where it’s difficult to predict your future in the writing world. It’s likely you aren’t down to your last 27 cents like Craig Ferguson. Can you learn from his example of showing up even when it’s ridiculous?