You enter the audition room. Your heart is pounding so loud you that you can’t hear the casting assistant. Your mouth is dry but you left your water bottle in the waiting room. Your head is spinning on that one line you just can’t freaking remember. The casting director looks weary and indifferent. The reader is checking her phone. You faintly hear: “D’you have any questions..?” And then you ask- seeing a chair 10 feet away- “Is it okay if I sit?” “Sure, sit, take a load off,” seems to come from the beyond. You drag over the chair, you sit, you unfold your papers, you wipe your upper lip, you begin. And the next thing you know, you’re levitating down a hallway, having no memory of the past 5-10 minutes.
There’s that version. Or there’s this.
You’ve got some butterflies, which remind you that you love acting. You’re ready and you can’t wait. You know what you want in the scene; your head is clear and you’re excited to make it happen. You know your words because you’ve learned them with specificity and personal connection (in the less than 10 hours you’ve had, including sleep). You’ve made this personal- the work, not the audition– and you’re comfortable with your choices. You’re loose, you’re free, you’re psyched. You walk in, take in your audience, letting them know that you’re good, that you’ve got this. You get comfortable, engage the reader, and you’re off. When you’re done, you leave the room like you’re the last, most welcomed guest at the party, and you get on with your day.
You get to choose the way you audition.
And let’s convert the word “audition” into “work,” because we need you to be doing the work at your highest level in that room, the way you’d do it if you had the job. With the ease and confidence you bring to rehearsal, a reading, or class. The mindset of asking for permission to act has to shift into a belief that you have been invited to bring in your talent and your experience, to offer your point of view to the narrative, to collaborate in the process of telling a story, and to find the humanity in a role that can likely use some. Once you embrace that and realize that there is no show or film without actors taking ownership of the words and the world they inhabit, you’ll be able to show up with amazing creative power.
Showing up in an audition room like that takes years of practice. And it takes a deep love of the work. But it also takes letting go of caring. It’s not that you don’t care about the work. You care deeply. You have to. But you have to let go of all the fear of rejection and of trying to satisfy the breakdown, the casting director, your manager, your mother. Instead you choose to enter the room with the full force of your talent, with the courage to show yourself fully, to work from a place of generosity and collaboration, and with the confidence that you know what you’re doing. That presence translates as an actor ready to go to work. An actor who knows if she wants to sit or stand. Who isn’t seeking validation, but rather offering something that elevates the (very often) unformed scenes she’s working with.
That’s what auditioning like you don’t give a fuck looks like. You don’t give a fuck about the things that don’t matter. What if you could audition that way- like you don’t give a fuck- from now on? Like you have this job, which is to work at your absolute best, no matter what obstacles are in your way (one night to prepare, an overcrowded waiting room, a disengaged reader, hearing the person reading ahead of you from outside the door, and so on.) What if you could believe in the work more than the job? Nothing is more powerful than a passionate actor with the courage to reveal her unique voice, abandoning need for approval. An actor who deeply needs something from the reader (no matter what the reader is giving), and actively fights for that need. An actor who can let go, spread her wings, and sail the wind of her preparation.
These are the actors who meet us in the work in the casting room and these are the actors who book work. They don’t give a fuck about the artifice of the audition, of their competition, of the odds that they won’t get cast. They are there to work. And they give many fucks about what really matters.
At The BGB Studio, we are committed to your success. Join us for classes starting NOW: Your 2018 Classes
AND we are offering a 50% discount of the Pilot Season Playbook- your guide to a spectacular Pilot Season because we want you to have the intel, support, and guidance you need for 3 months (and more) of success! This half price is available only January 16-18!