You know how occasionally some actor's original audition tape for some film or another will get released, and it's always fun to watch? Fun to see why they got the part in the first place (or maybe why they didn't)?
Watching these tapes gives me All Of The Residual Anxiety. Because GOD, I hated auditioning. No matter how prepared I was when I walked into the room, no matter how right I was for the part, I could never be sure that my nerves wouldn't get the better of me and leave me standing there in front of a huge room of people with my knees shaking, my neck bright-red, and my voice all high and weird...and oh, the lines? Not thinking about those even a tiny bit anymore; all I'd be thinking was GET ME OUT OF HERE RIGHT NOW. It was terrifying, and self-esteem crushing, and it made me dread each and every time my phone rang with my agent telling me I had to go in and read for a new part.
While effectively quitting the acting industry (or being forcibly evicted; however you'd like to put it; the latter being significantly more accurate) was obviously one of the most overwhelming (and frightening) moments in my life, it was also kind of…a relief. Because even though I was being faced with starting completely from scratch, looking out into a wide-open future full of uncertainty, I knew one thing: I would never have to audition again.