We had the Friends and Family Nights at the end of the cycles in Los Angeles and San Francisco two weeks ago. These events are intended as celebrations: I do not invite prospective students, to try to sell them on the class, because on those nights I don’t want to be distracted by having to play host to these prospectives. The way that I run the class, there is usually a familial feeling (in a good way!) among the graduating students. I like to savor that feeling, and not have to worry about making sure that the prospectives feel at home. I also don’t want to feel pressure for the students who are showing their scenes to “deliver for me” and sell the class. I want to celebrate the work at whatever level it is at as the course comes to a close. When industry people have inquired about coming to the Night, I have allowed it, but have asked them not to speak to students in a professional capacity that night, but rather to contact them through me later, because I wouldn’t want the word to get out that night and for other students to feel that they had not measured up in failing to attract the attention of whoever these industry people were. I want my students to celebrate their achievement and enjoy the their last night together as a class.
But I have no control over who students choose to invite. It so happened (I later learned) that at one of these events, a student had a guest who was a casting director for HBO. Now many of the students had worked hard throughout the cycle, and were Ready. And casting my mind back over the evening in question, the man who I take to be the HBO director (based on whose guest he was) complimented me on the way out, in a “No, really, I mean it” kind of way. So I think he felt those students were Ready too. But I know for a fact that some students had not worked as hard and as consistently as the ones who were Ready, and as a consequence, were not as Ready.
The moral? Always be Ready. Because you never know who’s watching.