What is your goal when you go to an audition?
My guess is that most of you would say “to book the job.” Makes sense on the surface, but let me suggest a different goal: To make the casting director love you. Think about it. Which would you rather have: An acting gig for a few weeks to a couple months? Or a casting director who will bring you in over and over again…for life? Focusing on getting the casting director to love you accomplishes three things:
1) It relieves potential audition anxiety by taking the pressure off of the specific audition. Messed up your lines? No problem. Felt like you didn’t have the best read? No worries. All you need to care about is making the CD love you.
Here’s the thing, for any given audition you go on you might not be right for the part. Moreover, you won’t necessarily know this, even after the audition. You finish your read, go back to your car, and start beating yourself up…for nothing. Who cares if you didn’t fit the part, the CD loves you now and you’ll get back in the room!
2) It puts you in a better frame of mind, causing you to focus on your acting career, rather than this one job
Like I’ve mentioned before, as in any career it takes time to get where you want. Once you start thinking long-term you take the pressure off the current moment, knowing that there will always be more auditions. A long-term mindset will only make you more confident.
3) It gives you a proper (probably different) frame of reference to approach your audition prep
Like it or not, you will get cast based on your first impression. This is made in the first 3 – 7 seconds of walking into the room. 3 – 7 seconds! At this point you haven’t read your sides, talked to another actor, or even let your eyes adjust. So much for all those hours going over your lines. So what does this mean, then? It means that you need to prepare for your audition in such a way that you walk into the room feeling prepared, confident, and likeable. It means that rather than freak out about your sides, your time is better spent researching the show you’re auditioning for (What is the show’s color scheme? What is the rhythm of the dialogue? What do people on the show wear?), and information on the casting director (What types of shows do they normally cast? What is their favorite food, hobby, pet? What awards have they won recently). Walking into an audition armed with that information, will all but guarantee you a great first impression. Just don’t forget to wear pants.