Recently we held over 100 general meetings with performers and wanted to share some insights to demystify the audition process a little, if we can.
Auditions evoke a huge range of emotions which is handy since, as actors, emotions are our currency. Excitement, hope, terror, glee; you can feel them all at the same time culminating in the pit of your stomach as you wait to enter an audition room. I remember once walking to an audition feeling grounded and calm, but as I got closer to the venue nerves crept in so intensely I genuinely thought I was going to have a panic attack. No amount of deep breathing worked. I’d built the job up so much in my head, if I got it it would change my life, my dreams would come true overnight, I’d be a sensation, a star. Oh my days I didn’t get the gig and what a crash landing back to Earth. You’ve probably been there, I think experience helps. When we don’t get the job, it can be impossible to not blame ourselves and obsess over the tiniest detail. I didn’t shake their hands! I bowed and walked backwards out of the room (it was once! ), my Irish kept going Jamaican, on and on. There are certainly ways we can scupper auditions for ourselves for sure but there’s plenty of things we can do make an impression.
Rather than considering the casting people superior and giving them all our power ponder this instead – they want us to be amazing, to blow them away. They’re on your team and are excited for you. Viewed as collaborators, as equals, removing the hierarchy from the situation and feeling ourselves as artists in our own right, helps us generate a certain confidence and vibe that’s magnetic. And that brings me onto my first point;
Energy is Everything: Yup, yes and yas. Energy is having a moment and I predict we’re going to hear a lot more about it as we realise how important it is. The energy and vibe we bring to everything matters, especially in an audition room. We humans are masters at reading energy whether we’re conscious of it or not. We pick up vibes, even over Zoom. If we go into the audition feeling low, tired, hopeless, dejected, superior, guarded, it registers. Hey, we’re human. We have off days. But practising being warm, open and vulnerable in our day to day means we’re better able to access these energy states in important scenarios. So head up, shoulders back, smile and dazzle babes. Know you deserve to be there, you’re worthy of taking up space and we’re rooting for you, so root for yourself, be your own best friend, coach, support system. You deserve to shine your brilliant, unique light everyday, let us see it.
Slloooooowwww Doooowwwwnnn: The mega frenetic pace of modern life means we have a tendency to rush ourselves and our speech. Take your sweet time, give yourself space. Ok don’t milk it but do practice slowing down, enjoy the words, enjoy the moment and trust yourself. Be present and don’t try to get anything right, there’s no such thing. Do try to enjoy the process and the fact you’re getting the chance to perform.
It’s Not an Audition: Say what? Think of it like this, this is simply an opportunity to perform, meet new people, make some lovely new connections (not for the sake of ‘getting somewhere’, just for the sake of it). Maybe it helps to imagine you’ve already got the job, or there is no job to be had, just the chance to let go and act. Whatever, just take the pressure off yourself and have fun.
That for me was the key. Is this person able to have fun? Creativity is play, when we take ourselves too seriously we’re blocking the creative flow. It can make us self indulgent and insular. We need to be connecting and vibing with those around us to create true magic on stage. So open yourself to play, have fun. We don’t work in A & E.
I hope this somehow helps you feel a little more at ease the next time you land the audition x