Let’s face it, auditioning is hard. What can be even harder is preparing for one. As a graduate of Point Park University’s Conservatory of Theatre I am no stranger to the “sturm und drang” that seems to be an inherent part of the process. However, I have found light at the end of the tunnel.
An article titled, “3 Ways to Calm the Overthinking Actor” by Backstage Expert Lisina Stoneburner emphasizes the control that the actor has on the situation at hand. Lisina states that many times actors get trapped by the confines of their own heads. When this happens, a creative death occurs because the actor will try and bulldoze themselves out of an uncomfortable situation like a car stuck in the mud. But sometimes taking a deep breath and allowing yourself to respond to stimuli (no matter what the stimuli is) is all it takes to break free.
In a piece aptly titled “Audition Tips“, play and drama expert Wade Bradford offers up more solutions to the behemoth that is auditioning. In a statement that stresses the dichotomy of acting, Wade beseeches the actor to perfect his or her monologue while at the same time remaining open to changes. The actor should be familiar with the world of the play and should have choices made about how to perform their piece. But these choices shouldn’t be ironclad in that they prevent the actor from taking new direction if say, the director wants to see the monologue performed like a zombified Marlon Brando.
Drawing from my experience as an actor, coupled with advice from these sages of the craft, I have developed three steps that might help you (like they have helped me) on your next audition.
- Take a breath – It’s okay to take a moment to calm your nerves before and during an audition.
- Respond to stimuli – Whatever you’re feeling in the moment (good or bad) is valid and is a gift to be used in the audition room.
- Stay flexible – Keep in mind that directors may want to see a different take on something that you have already perfected.
On your next audition, see if any of these tips help to get you more prepared. Who knows, you may even get cast.
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