As a casting director, it becomes exhausting to watch actors overcome with doubt and nerves in the audition room.
As actors, you have been blessed with the unique gift of tapping into the emotional depth of humanity. Subsequently, you are charged with the task of translating that truth to an audience. What an incredible task and responsibility! The worst thing you can do is diminish that gift with fear.
Many actors ask me, “How do you know when an audition is great?” I always know it’s a great audition when I forget that I’m supposed to be critiquing a performance. As a casting director, I want to feel like an audience member in every audition. You can always feel the energy and the atmosphere of the room change with a great audition.
Here are some tips to approaching your audition as a performance.
1. Prayer and meditation. In my personal opinion, the art of acting is a spiritual process. Find your center. I believe in asking God for guidance and divine peace and boldness before you walk into the room. Do what works for you.
2. Think beyond the audition. The audition is just one step in a very intricate process. See beyond the temporary discomfort of the criticism and critique to the end goal—which is booking the role.
3. The audition room should be a playroom. As an actor you should feel confident enough to show the casting director the choices you’ve prepared, but also be ready to explore.
4. The audition will always be different from what you rehearsed. No two performances are alike. Come into the audition with the expectation of giving a performance that may not be exactly what you prepared.
5. Breathe. Breathe from your diaphragm. Practice this in the waiting room.
6. This is your room. Have respect for the casting director’s time, but at the end of the day, we’re all here to see you.
7. Read the room, but maintain your level of energy. One of my favorite aha moments from “The Oprah Winfrey Show” is, “You are responsible for the energy you bring into a room.” Every casting director is different. Some are warmer than others. As an actor you won’t have control over the environment you may be walking into, but you do have control over your own energy.
The redundancy of “being confident” in the audition room is nothing new. As actors you’ve made the choice to deal with the pressures of rejection and uncertainty, but don’t add doubt and fear to the equation. I long to see actors excited to audition and excited to show a casting director what they have diligently prepared. I love the actor that is eager to have one more opportunity to perform, even if it is only for five minutes. It is a performance.
I’d rather give adjustments on a confident performance than try to piece together a performance ridden in self-doubt. At the end of the day only one person can book the role. Believe that one person can be you!
Treat an audition like a performance. Take control of the room. Trust your gift!