Last night I watched the film “La La Land.” If you haven’t seen it, it’s about a young would-be starlet and a frustrated jazz pianist whose lives cross paths in modern-day Hollywood. The character Mia, played by the lovely Emma Stone, spends much of her time going to auditions for film and television roles. She goes from call to call, standing in front of indifferent casting directors who look less than interested in listening to her recite her lines. Or even in looking at her at all.

The movie was pretty good (the music was amazing), but what I came away with was something a little different – the overwhelming feeling that, I too, was going on casting calls in my job search. Every time I complete a job application or submit my resume, I am hoping for a call or email asking for more – more of me, more of my background, more of my job experience.

Each interview I go on (or phone in for), is that casting call. Will they like me? Will I say the right thing? Does my resume match their needs? It’s excruciating.  I can’t even imagine what actors go through, having to add on a headshot and physical analysis to each audition. No, thank you.

Even waiting for the interview to start or for the recruiter to call for your scheduled phone interview is anxiety inducing. Check my watch, check my phone clock, check my email to confirm (again) that I have the time right. I always try to schedule interviews for late morning or early afternoon. Too early and I am not fully with it…too late and I am sleepy and cranky from waiting all day.

It’s all an awkwardly choreographed dance.

And then after the initial interview, having to wait and wait and wait for a call or email letting you know you are headed to the next interview (or they are not interested in you at all) is rough. I interviewed with a company at the end of August and never heard back from them after the in-person interview. I checked my email religiously for days after. Nothing. Emailed the recruiter again. Nothin. I held out a teeny-tiny hope that they would still call…but no. They never did.

It’s pretty unbearable putting yourself out their like this – Do you like me? Check Yes or No.

So at 11am when I had yet another phone interview, I couldn’t help but feel the familiar anxiety of “will they like me?” But they did and the recruiter wants to send me to the next round of interviews. Fingers crossed. 

I’ve been doing the job search shuffle for three months now…it’s getting old. I don’t know how actors do this.

At least I can cross one occupation off my list.