Gotta Want It
A professional actor once told me, “Walk into your audition like you want the job, but you don’t need it.”
In other words, you must be hungry. You must want it with everything you have. You must want it enough to prepare and prepare and prepare. Then, you must be so prepared that you can forget technique and just be your character and tell your story.
But you don’t want to show you *need* it so much that you will be homeless if you don’t get this job. Hopefully that won’t be the case, but even if it is, you will most likely not get a job if you project a desperate neediness.
Auditions are so challenging. Succeeding in an audition is a specific skill. You must project confidence, skill, likeability, and, coincidentally, fill the director’s vision for a role. No pressure! But there are a few main factors that can help your chances:
1 – Technical Skill. Simply put, you’ve gotta know what you’re doing. Be able to sing with a full, relaxed breath and hit all your pitches just perfectly. Be a skilled – and that usually means trained – actor/singer/dancer.
2- Spontaneity. This is also a skill that can be learned, if you think you’re not naturally spontaneous! Take an improvisation class, for starters. It is invaluable. Then get experience in performing. You have to “roll with the punches,” and always be able to bounce back in live performance. And in an audition, you never what the stimuli will be. What room will you be in? Will you be on a stage? Who is judging you? How is the accompanist? And so on and so on.
3- Emotional Authenticity. You must sell your story. Whether it’s a song, a monologue, a cold reading of a scene, or a screen test, you have to be in the moment, and real. You must inhabit the part or the story for which they are casting.
Unbelievably, I have started to enjoy auditions! I think of them as little performances — a chance to show my stuff! But it has taken me a long time to get to this point. I hope to continue this series of breaking down audition success points, because there is a lot involved. Stay tuned!
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