I had an audition today for the world premiere of a new play. Although I was on the young end of the casting breakdown, I know the artistic director so I went down to audition. I gave a very solid audition, starting with a monologue and then finishing off by reading the scene provided. After my audition, the director was very complimentary. He started off by saying that I was a little too young for the role. But after that, he said that I was a very thoughtful actor, and that I gave a wonderful reading. He said I was the best actor they had seen all day. We talked for a bit, I thanked him for the compliments, and then I went on my way.
Now, in any other business, that would translate into the job. But in this business, I am not one of the three men called back. (They are all older, in their late thirties.) It was a very nice ego boost to hear those compliments from the director, even if it doesn't translate into the actual job they were offering tonight. He's a well-known director and playwright who does a lot of work in regional theaters all over, so he's certainly a good person to know.
More often than not, this career has a way of propping you up and pulling the rug from under your feet at the same time. Just as I had a few bad auditions and meetings that didn't go anywhere, I went to this audition literally on a lark, and I walk out feeling good about my career. Now, I didn't get the callback and I didn't get the part, but I got just enough support and encouragement to push me forward.