... or "How
to Give the Best Audition Possible"
it "sticking the landing" — completing the vault or
routine by landing with both feet firmly in place. It takes more than
just physical discipline; it takes psychological conditioning, commitment,
and an absolute love of what you're doing.
Anyone who has ever set foot in front of a table full of
disinterested-looking folks and sung a song or acted a scene knows how
artificial the situation is. It's not like anything else in life, not
even performing. And that artificiality makes it much harder to stay disciplined
enough to maintain a cool head under what seems to be a lot of pressure.
The following is a list of tips, collected over the years
from various sources, that may help you do more than just survive the
audition process. With some practice, you can stick your audition landing.
- Be Prepared. Do your homework. Learn about the play your auditioning
for. Listen to recordings. Read the text. Do your research. Go to the
library. Not only will you know better whether or not you're right for
a role, the knowledge will give you the confidence to do better. When
you're asked to make a quick choice during a cold reading, you'll be
better equipped to make it a good choice.
The folks who are auditioning you
want to see you at your best. Or at least they should.
- Everyone Wants the Same Thing. You want to do the best job
auditioning that you possibly can; and they want you to do the best
job auditioning that you possibly can. Try to remember that this is
not an adversarial situation (even though it might seem that way sometimes).
After you've been auditioning for a while, it's easy to fall into the
trap of thinking that they're out to get you. The folks who are auditioning
you want to see you at your best. Or at least they should. If they don't,
you probably don't want to be working with them anyway.
- Put Yourself In Their Shoes. Don't forget that the people you
are auditioning for are hearing dozens (if not hundreds) of performers
during the course of the audition. So it's crucial that you choose your
audition material wisely. Make sure that you don't pick material that's
done too frequently. No matter how spectacular your rendition of "Tomorrow"
is, they just don't want to hear it again. Instead, pick material that's
appropriate for the project you're auditioning for and do it in a way
that is uniquely your own.
- Operate at Your Own Pace. Auditions can be pretty frenetic
and there may be pressure for you to hurry up. You might find yourself
awash in the sea of neuroses of your fellow performers. But you have
the ability to get on your own wavelength and stay there. Don't get
caught up in anyone else's frenzy, even if it's the people running the
audition. Of course, it's not a good idea to keep anyone waiting for
you. But taking a few seconds to calm yourself before you step in front
of the auditioners won't offend anyone.
- Still Your Soul. Do whatever it takes to make yourself calm.
It's sometimes valuable to "take your emotional temperature"
prior to auditioning. Take a walk, meditate, say a prayer, or come up
with your own chill-out rituals. And don't wait until you're at the
audition to come up with something. Instead, have your soul-stilling
strategy planned well in advance.
Physical. Get a reading on just what's happening with your body
by asking yourself some questions: Is my neck tense? Am I breathing
heavily? Are my knees shaking? Then, once you've identified how your
nervousness has manifested itself physically, you can do what you need
to do to relax those parts of your body where your stress has accumulated.
Sometimes this might mean doing some stretching; other times it might
mean just being conscious enough to relax. But here's the best part.
Quite often, when you relax yourself physically, you also have the additional
fringe benefit of relaxing emotionally and psychologically.
- Don't Second Guess the Auditioners. The most effective strategy
is to be the best you that you can be. Don't try to figure out what
they're looking for and then try to be that. That can only come off
as fraudulent. Instead, be true to who you are. You're much more likely
to attract the right kind of attention that way.
- Throw It Away. Don’t forget — no single audition
is going to make you a better person. It's a job you're auditioning
for, not self-worth. And even if you're auditioning for something big,
investing so much in it can only undermine you.
- Just Do It. You've already done your homework and preparation — you've
studied, taken lessons, exercised, educated yourself. At the audition,
it's time to let go of all that and simply give it your best. As the
slogan says, just do it.
Do you have a favorite tip, trick, or pre-audition
ritual that you'd like to share? Send us an E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
and we'll post it here.
Copyright 1999. TVW Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.