Auditioning, especially when you are new to the industry, is stressful. There is no doubt about it. Yet, even for the experienced actor, anxiety and fear can creep in and chip away at your audition. Why? Well, nine times out of ten I find that it lies in the actors sheer want and need to get the part. They define themselves through the parts that they book or worse, aren’t booking. It’s not bad for an actor to want to get the part, that’s human nature. Who doesn’t want to succeed? So how do you relieve that anxiety? How do you, at the same time, want to get the part and not let that want dominate you? The answer to that question is what it means to be in the game.
The difficult truth is that you’re probably not going to get the part. And that’s okay. Understanding this is the first step. I’m not saying this to be mean. I’m saying it in order to get you in the game, the same game the majority of successful actors are playing in. When your personal desire trumps that of the characters, you are opening the door to your anxiety and fear (more on this later). Beginner actors put all of their eggs in one basket and think that everything hangs on this one audition. The seasoned actor stop seeing the point, so stops doing the work. Both are wrapped in the “I want the part package” with a different bow. It’s not smart to live your life for each audition. It can take a beginning actor many auditions (50+) to book a job. Relax, it will happen. Or the reverse, you don’t book anything so you’ve “stopped caring” about your auditions. Bravo! But what about the story? Have you stopped caring about that as well? Either way, you’re playing in the wrong game…
Of course an actor can find instant success. And yes, working actors fail far more than they succeed. Which one causes you to get bitter and warps your perspective? Does it have anything to do with the part that you are auditioning for? Grappling with this “monster” is real. I have seen it in both directions and it’s not pretty. In an industry where failures and wins are so far and few between, how do you not slip into it? The majority already has. The majority is not in the game.
To be in the game you need to forget about the myth. It’s not about you. It’s about the story and the characters. When you show up to an audition you are showing up to tell the story. Do this and you’ll get your wins whether you get the part or not. Casting understands this. Will an actor who does their job get cast in this part? NO IDEA! It’s only the Casting Directors job to pass actor’s forward who they feel are in the game. And if you are I guarantee they will call you back to their office. Why? Because it makes their job easier. A nervous actor who is wrapped up in so much of their own bullshit doesn’t stand a chance next to an actor who knows what their job is. Change your perception of being in an audition and, over time, you will eventually grasp that to succeed you need to do your job, which is not to get the part, but to be the part. Then, and I have seen this happen on three separate occasions, when you are showing up doing your job out of nowhere you get cast.
Being in the game is only a part of booking gigs. My blog posts over the next few months will work through the long and complicated answer of how to approach auditions in order to help you, as an actor, navigate auditions and debunk the myths surrounding them. So check back here from time to time to get the answers to these questions, or follow me on twitter (@randallwstudio) to know when my next blog post is out!