Auditions have three crucial parts. Most actors understand the first two—preparation and execution—but many forget the third. Often overlooked but extremely helpful, willful amnesia is something it may benefit you to cultivate.
After several years in New York and Los Angeles, I developed the ability to all but forget an audition as I walked out the casting room door. I kept a journal of auditions, with notes and specifics, but without it I couldn’t remember what I had read for week by week. This allowed me a blithe, carefree momentum. Unconcerned about whether I would land any particular job (job? what job?), the callbacks and bookings came only as happy surprises. Forgetting my auditions kept me sane.
I developed this survival skill through time and repetition, but you can benefit from audition amnesia even in the early stages of your career, when the opportunities are few and far between. Make it part of your overall approach, your audition ritual. While we’re used, as actors, to prepping and performing, you’ll need to practice letting go. Examine what you’ve done, but give yourself a brief time limit. Journal a few moments, noting what you want to remember or might improve in the future, but don’t linger. Assume you didn’t get the job. Forgive yourself for your mistakes, congratulate yourself on your successes, take a deep breath, and move on.
Jackie Apodaca is an associate professor and the head of performance at Southern Oregon University.