Own Your Audition
I’ve auditioned too many talented actors who give themselves up in auditions. I don’t mean they give up on themselves, but rather they surrender all the hard work they’ve done and years of experience they have, to the fear of being judged. They don’t own their audition. The audition owns them. This is YOUR time. BREATHE! Breathing frees up the body, grounding you and making it possible for you to access your emotions. Don’t think about getting the job. Concentrate on doing the job at hand.
Your audition begins the moment you enter the room. We’re expecting a self-assured professional actor, friendly and ready to do the work. The same with your slate. Some actors unconsciously apologize when they slate, rushing through it or even mumbling their name. Again, this is YOUR time. You deserve to be there.
The Audition involves all the tools you work on in class: knowing your Objective, playing your Action, having your Emotional Condition, etc. Below I’ve listed four specific acting choices that are key to your audition.
- Your Intention
- Your Personalization
- Your Moment Before
- Your Moment After
The MOMENT BEFORE is the EXACT moment before your character speaks. You can never start from nothing. Your first line is always a reaction prompting a response: are you prompted by something just said to you, something you’ve seen or some inner decision? If it’s not clear in the copy, you must imagine what that is.
Your PERSONALIZATION is who you’re speaking to. If it’s a monologue, be specific: what do they look like, what are they wearing, etc. How do you imagine they are reacting to what you’re saying. Without an ACTIVE personalization you’re acting in a vacuum. With an ACTIVE personalization, your monologue becomes a scene!
And remember, whether it’s a scene with a scene partner or the Reader, or it’s a monologue – you’re having a CONVERSATION.
Your INTENTION is what you want in the scene and it’s linked to the character’s STAKES. What is your emotional investment? It doesn’t have to be big, but you need to know why this situation matters to you. What do you WANT and WHY? And what is the Obstacle to achieving this?
There is always a MOMENT AFTER your last line or theirs. The scene or monologue hasn’t ended just because the dialogue has. Have that moment and then easily (not abruptly!) turn back to us. If you’ve been successful in drawing us into your world, take a moment to allow US to leave it.
After you’ve done the work on the scene/monologue at home, when you walk into the room – FORGET IT ALL. You’ve done the work, you know what you’re doing. Now just breathe and begin the conversation
Finally, remember, every audition is a chance to ACT, no matter if it’s one line of commercial copy, an improvisation or a four page scene. You’re getting the opportunity to do what you love to do in front of people who are eager to watch you do it!