Seal Team actor Judd Lormand knows what gives him an edge over the competition–his great work ethic. Being cast as the level-headed Lieutenant Commander Eric Blackburn who serves as Bravo Team’s strategist on the CBS drama didn’t just happen. Indeed, Lormand put in hard, steady work, taking every audition opportunity that came his way, arriving on time, and giving his best. In fact, he booked 72 SAG jobs in a span of 72 months, all while residing in Louisiana, which he attributes to auditioning so frequently.

The 46-year-old actor says he auditioned constantly over a seven-year period. Often being cast as authority figures in small roles, Lormand estimates he was passed on about ten times for every part he booked. From his home in Baton Rouge, he’d be called in for auditions in Louisiana, Texas, the Carolinas, as well as Georgia. And as long as he received enough notice in advance, he’d drive as long as eight hours one way to casting facilities, keeping a clothing rack in the back seat along with his toiletries. He maintained this hustle-and-bustle lifestyle, all the while being married with three very young children. And it seemed to work quite well for him.

Lormand’s film credits include playing a corrupt police officer who attempts to subdue Tom Cruise’s character in Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, Secretary of State Robert McNamara in LBJ opposite Woody Harrelson,  a peacekeeper in The Hunger Games, and an emcee in Perfect Pitch. His television roles include spots in NCIS: New Orleans, The Vampire Diaries, Nashville, Zoo, Memphis Beat, and American Horror Story.

When Lormand discovered the pilot for Seal Team was to be shot in New Orleans, he contacted a number of friends who’d served in the military and asked specifically if they had any experience with lieutenant commanders. He managed to land the part of Blackburn in the pilot, and when CBS ordered it to series, he was asked to be a guest star in the first season. However, much to his delight, although he was booked for one episode, he kept receiving invitations to return for each subsequent episode–for over 20 episodes. As Blackburn became an integral part of the team and storyline, Lormand went on to become a series regular for season two.

While playing the commanding officer, Lormand struggled to adjust to a drastic decrease in audition calls for TV roles from his agent. Indeed, he’d been so used to auditioning, the Texas native admits it took him an entire season to stop panicking.

During college, Lormand studied acting, but he wanted to stay in his hometown rather than move to Los Angeles. So, after graduating, he worked regular jobs like managing a Hooters restaurant and becoming a stockbroker. When he realized audition opportunities were presenting themselves in Louisiana, he quit working to free up his schedule for auditioning. But he soon realized he needed to save up some money to pursue his acting aspirations, so he got a computer job working on an oil rig. Since 2013, Lormand’s acting work has been steady enough to not require additional income from an extra job.

There’s no saying if this Navy Team role represents the peak of Lormand’s career or if it proves to be just another step up towards bigger and better roles. But either way, there’s one thing for sure: Lormand’s grit and determination will only increase his chances for future success.

With hundreds of actors competing for the same roles, the more an actor auditions, the better the chances he or she has to book a job. By going on auditions, actors are showing up for job opportunities their representation found for them; when an actor shows up consistently prepared, it makes both the actor and his or her agent look good. And the more actors put themselves out there, the more familiar and on-the-radar they become to casting directors–especially for future roles. And of course, the more an actor auditions, the easier the audition process will become.

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