Make Every Audition Awesome
In auditions the only one you can really control is you. Your aim is to do an audition they will never forget. ALWAYS. No matter how jaundiced you may become. No matter if it is already cast. Never let yourself and your talent down. Always go in to kill. Do not shoot yourself in the toe. Do a brilliant audition. You owe it to yourself. There is no excuse for failure to do a smashing audition. NONE.
This does not mean being rude, or nasty, or cold, or smart-ass, or clever, or funny. It means having an inner energy, poise, confidence, presence, charm, passion so powerful that it surrounds you without your having to say much of anything. Auditioning successfully is an attitude of utter and quiet strength and knowing. You do not have to be gorgeous (male or female) to quiet a room. It can be done with sheer inner power.
Don't think, "I must get this role." Or, "I'm not good enough. My competition is better, taller, thinner, better known." Instead, get this tape going: "I am going to let my ability shine. For those 15 minutes or two minutes, I am not going to be afraid, depressed, inhibited, defeatist. I am going to give a killer audition."
And most of all, remember that it is your dream to act. You are waiting to go into the audition room because you chose to. No guns to your forehead. Allow your full talent to come alive at every audition. Take that as your challenge. Instead of thinking in terms of an acting need, think in terms of a "being" need. Fight to be the best you are capable of and then go past that capability. Energy, passion, comets, lust, forked lightning. JOY. Joy in self. Joy in the act of acting.
Develop the Ability to Self-Evaluate
There is only one person who can make your audition mediocre. That person faces you in the mirror. If you have a so-so audition, find out why. And the only person to ask is yourself. An actress I have known for ten years raves about her "fabulous" auditions and how the casting people just "adored" her. In ten years she has been cast in three projects where she didn't already know the producer. Something is wrong with this person's ability to self-evaluate. She is not untalented. She lacks the skill to audition and the skill to truthfully self-evaluate. Being cast in something every three years has got to send a message to an actor.
A side note: Do not self-evaluate during the audition. That splits your focus. You must review your audition, and review it truthfully but after the audition is over. Not while. Oops that note was off, oops that phrase was labored, oops that passage lacked energy--these comments belong outside the door after the audition.
Your preparation consists of numerous tasks and choices. Your post audition evaluation consists of determining how many of those tasks and choices you fulfilled. If the answer is "all of them," and you are continually losing roles, then you better reexamine your tasks and choices and be sure they are intelligent, imaginative, fascinating -- not just appropriate. Doing the expected is not a winning choice.
In your post-audition review, once you have examined the "acting" part, examine the "self" part. Ah, there's the rub! Discover your vitality quotient: your energy, your sense of self, your pride of self. How alive are you during an audition? People race cars because that is what makes them feel most alive. Get that aliveness in auditioning/performing.
If you cannot truly say that acting is when you feel most alive, then settle for a mediocre audition. People say, "Have fun" when you perform. Try instead of having "fun" have lust, light, energy, life, vitality -- those inner qualities that are so difficult to define. You can't just be "outstanding." You have to be "unique." Demand nothing less from yourself.
[Back to Acting Auditions - Part 1] [Continue to Part 3]
Article re-published with the permission of Inverse Theater Company
Inverse Theater, a New York Company dedicated to producing new American verse plays, was voted Best Downtown Theater by the New York Press.
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